Sharing Unsalted Almonds

Charles Alexander
By | 2013-11-14T09:00:00-04:00 November 14th, 2013|Opinions, Parting Glances|
Parting Glances

According to specialists in brain neuroanatomy, each of us is anatomically blessed with an amygdala.
If you’re gay, your amygdala is similar to that of straight women; if lesbian, to that of straight men. Bisexual? That’s a good question. Research awaits on that score.
My amygdala is almond-shaped (Greek for almond) and located at the end of my hippocampus (taking its name from the etymology for sea horse). My hippocampus is located under the hypothalamus, which is part of the cerebellum. You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.
The graphic I’m looking at as I type (and Spell Check) about this very private part – which I’ve never actually measured but more than likely have diddled with – is found in a text called, “The Rough Guide to The Brain” (Penguin Books).
And, no, I’m not into leather. Mentally, physically, or for camouflage. ($250 for chaps – initialed or not – is outside the parameters of my SS-denuded budget. And just for the AARP record: I’ve also dropped out of my over-70s ICON Group. Too much sag in all the wrong kinda places. Theirs, not mine, by the way.)
The Rough Guide graphic shows the configuration of almond and sea horse to look not unlike a penis; which I suppose, given what some recent and provocative MRI and PET scans researched at the Stockholm Brain Institute tell us about sexual orientation, is rather apropos. If a little wishful thinking on my part.
What these Swedes in lab coats are saying is that it’s now possible to look at a brain scan and tell by amygdala size who’s gay or lesbian and who’s straight. That plus length of index finger to ring finger, swirl of hair pattern to the right or to the left, and choice of opera clucking over hockey pucking provide strong markers – especially the latter.
“At the end of the ganglia ‘horns’ (QUEERY: hence our expression ‘horny’?), beneath the hypothalamus is the amygdala,” says Rough Guide. “The amygdala plays a significant role in generating emotional responses such as fear and desire, and also affects the way we relate to the world and others around us. Emotions and memories are tightly interwoven.”
The way things are going with all this snooping around under our collective craniums I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if in the near future neuroscientists will be able to tell Republican brains from T-Party brains at a glance. It will take pinpointed PET expertise, because God knows there are so many political loose wires between the two cranial neuron misfirings.
Of course it’s nice to know that scientists are finding out what I’ve all along suspected: my sexual wiring comes with the rest of my complex evolutionary makeup. It’s up to me to use this genetic “gift” as plus or minus, as asset or liability, as tool for success or failure, just the same as sensible straights.
After all we’re all homo sapiens – er, human beings – aren’t we? Very Long Pause. Well, truthfully I’m not so sure. I don’t mean to poke fingers at anybody else’s amygdalas sight unseen.
But (don’t quote me on this to Scientific American): I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the amygdalas (“almonds”) of those, as a convenient example, who constantly profess to “love the sinner but hate the sin” compared to, let’s say my own, are peanut size. And vacuum roasted. So, I’m a size queen.

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Charles Alexander