- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Gay men who raise children undergo changes in brain activity that scientists say resembles both new fathers and mothers.

Findings of the study, which were conducted in Israel, were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Reuters reported Monday.

To complete the study, scientists required 20 heterosexual mothers, 20 heterosexual fathers and 48 gay fathers. Participants in the study were then asked to watch videos while in an MRI tube, some of which included their children.


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Reuters reported that mothers had increased activity in the “emotion-processing regions” (primarily the amygdala) while heterosexual fathers had increased activity in “cognitive circuits,” which interpret “cries and nonverbal cues.” Gay fathers, however, displayed brain activity that “seemed to be both mom and dad, brain-wise,” the researchers found.

“Fathers’ brains are very plastic,” Feldman said. “When there are two fathers, their brains must recruit both networks, the emotional and cognitive, for optimal parenting,” neuropsychologist Ruth Feldman of Bar-Ilan University told Reuters. The new study built on her previous research.