Experiments with the DNA of fruit flies and sheep show that male homosexuality is genetic. Now Martin Hutchinson writes in BBC News that lesbianism may be due to hormones.

Lesbians are more than twice as likely to suffer from a hormone-related condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome. Symptoms include excess hair, acne, and obesity, as well as a greater risk of diabetes and fertility problems. One in ten women has the condition, which produces excess male sex hormones in the bloodstream. While not all women with the condition are lesbians, many more lesbians have the condition.

Doctors at a clinic that treats lesbians in the U.K. noticed a “staggering” number of lesbian women, who had polycystic ovary syndrome or a less serious, but related condition, with few symptoms. They found that 80% of the lesbian women they saw had the symptomless condition, compared with only 32% of their heterosexual patients. 38% of lesbians had regular polycystic ovarian syndrome, compared to 14% of the heterosexual women. It’s possible that exposure to high levels of male hormones in the womb could cause this condition.

Dr. Rina Agrawal says this suggests there are “significantly greater” rates of hormone imbalance in lesbian women. She says, “We do hypothesize that hyperandrogenism, which is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome, may be one of the factors contributing to the sexual orientation of women.”

While Agrawal would like to help women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome, she’s not interested in “curing” lesbianism. She says, “We do not view lesbianism as a disease that is in need of a cure.”

Psychiatrists have never found a successful method of turning gays into straight sexual partners. Since all living beings are programmed to reproduce their species, gayness has to be an aberration; yet it’s so common, it must be some sort of “natural” phenomenon. Perhaps it’s a check on overpopulation or a way of providing extra caregivers to help parents with the long-lasting care that human babies require. If homosexuality is genetic, we can stop arguing about it and start finding out what role it’s meant to play?which is the really fascinating study.

Maybe we should be like Lilith and see sex as the path to a good meal.

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