Gay Sheep May Help Explain Biology of Homosexuals, Wrestling Fans
By Derek Burgan, PWTorch.com, Health and Science Correspondent
MINNESOTA (Reuters) - Gay sheep that mate only with other rams have different brain structures from "straight" sheep, a finding that may shed light on human sexuality along with the viewing habits of millions of American pro-wrestling fans, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
The differences are similar to those seen in some homosexual humans, but probably only go a small way to explaining the causes of different sexual preferences and reasons why people watch television shows like WWE Velocity, the team at Minneapolis Health & Science University said.
"We are not trying to explain human sexuality by this study," Ellen Cohen, a professor of physiology and pharmacology who led the study, said in a telephone interview. "Whether this is a big component of what contributes in humans, that's still debatable."
Working with a team at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois along with a blue ribbon coalition of wrestling experts including Jason Powell of the PWTorch, Bryan Alvarez of Figure Four Weekly and Nick Moore from the planet Mars, Cohen's team studied 27 sheep -- 10 ewes, nine rams that mated only with other rams and eight rams that mated only with females.
The "gay" sheep are strongly homosexual, Cohen said. “In fact, they are also very aroused at the sight of Jeff Hardy on RAW.”
"They don't pair-bond," she said. "But they are exclusive. They don't court or mate with females. They only court and mate with males. This is where their bond with wrestling fans is at it’s weakest, because our data suggests that up to 90% of them never bond with anything other than maybe an issue of Swank.”
First the scientists watched the sheep to be sure of their behavior -- something that cannot be done with wrestling fans as no scientist, or anyone with an IQ above 85 for that matter, could sit through an entire episode of RAW is War. Then they took apart their brains.
"There had been reports in humans that a certain area of the hypothalamus, the preoptic area ... was usually larger in males than females," Cohen said. ”This area was also found to be larger in heterosexual humans than in homosexual men. We are tentatively calling this area of the brain the UFC zone.”
But the researchers had used the brains of men who had watched WCW Nitro and/or listened to the WWE CD Forceable Entry in their study, which meant that wrestling itself or items related to wrestling could have had an effect on the brain.
Wade Keller of the PWTorch, the most widely read periodical dealing with the exploits of oiled men pretending to hit each other, questioned the results of the scientific study. “I think the number of gay men drawn to pro-wrestling may be skewed because such a large percentage of wrestling fandom is made up of males to begin with.”
Keller continued by adding, “Sure, there is a small percentage of women who like watching wrestling. In fact, with Mallory Mahling and BJ Bethel the Torch is striving to keep its male/female columnist ratio equivalent to that of the makeup of wrestling fans itself, that being about 90% male.”
The scientists stressed the accuracy in their studies.
"With an animal model you can be more selective and do more controlled studies," Cohen said. “Besides, at least you can understand why a hamster will run in a wheel all day long. Can anyone reasonable explain why a wrestling fan can continue to watch angles like the Katie Vick storyline and return the next week?”
The sheep had similar differences in their brains, the researchers told a meeting in Orlando, Florida, of the Society for Dirtsheet Appreciation.
"In a sense we confirmed what been found in wrestling fans," Cohen said.
The brain cells in this area also made greater amounts of an enzyme called aromatase in the heterosexual rams. Aromatase is involved in the action of testosterone, the so-called male hormone. An over abundance of aromatose can lead an abundance of hair follicles best shown in adult male gorillas, Insomnia’s Robin Williams and the WWE’s Albert.
This does not mean the gay rams had less testosterone in their brains, Cohen stressed. "It is not necessarily the activational effect of the hormone," she said. Other types of neurons are probably active -- they just have not found them yet.
"It's not that gay men have lower levels of testosterone," she said. "And it's not the case with these sheep. They are just more predisposed to wanting to see other men take extremely homo-erotic wrestling moves such as the sunset flip, the Lou Thesz Press and the small package."
Derek Burgan can be seen transcribing the events of Smackdown by rote every Thursday night exclusively on PWTorch.com He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and welcomes all reader comments, suggestions AND interview requests.