Something is funny (not haha) with this story. I would have not even laughed if this was published on April 1st because it sounds like rubbish. However, I think he is serious.
A pregnant woman’s lifestyle is believed to have an impact on the development of their babies – with drinking, taking drugs and even living in an area with a lot of pollution affecting children in later life.
Dick Swaab, professor of neurobiology at Amsterdam University, suggests drinking and taking drugs can lower a child’s IQ while taking synthetic hormones and smoking can increase the likelihood of girls being lesbians or bisexual.
“Pre-birth exposure to both nicotine and amphetamines increases the chance of lesbian daughters,” Swaab told the Sunday Times.
“Pregnant women suffering from stress are also more likely to have homosexual children of both genders because their raised level of the stress hormone cortisol affects the production of foetal sex hormones.”
He said the brain in foetuses begins to develop at two weeks, with anything that introduces toxins into the body having an impact on this development. Studies show women who took synthetic oestrogen between 1939 and 1960 to reduce the chance of miscarriage had a greater chance of bisexuality and lesbianism in their daughters.
Swaab said lifestyle factors are just one influence, with genetics playing the most important role, but said the research proves that the development of the brain during pregnancy is directly linked to adult lifestyles.
Pseudo-neuroscience? Neuro-babble? Where’s the evidence? It’s not really news that some of this may be related to brain development. But this extent of it – sexual preference – sounds unsupported. He has a book – does he have the data in scientific journals to back it up?
And if you are wondering, yes, that IS his real name. He is a real person and a real brain researcher. Dick Swaab – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. He’s also no stranger to fringy claims.
Swaab’s research has on several occasions produced controversy. After conducting research suggesting links between brain anatomy and sexual orientation, Swaab reports receiving death threats from individuals believing this work was attempting to ‘pathologize’ homosexuality and treat it as a biological abnormality or disorder. Swaab’s view that neither free will nor metaphysical entities such as souls or spirits exist has also caused negative reactions among various religious groups. Swaab consistently defends his studies in the face of such criticism.