Sunday, August 27, 2006

Can sheeps be gay? Your tax money is spent on finding this out!

Out of the Closet: ‘Gay Sheep’ Experiments Exposed

In addition to being blacklisted as one of PETA’s picks for the 10 Worst Laboratories for conducting crude and useless experiments on monkeys, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) is now facing public condemnation from animal- and gay-rights advocates and scientific experts for its ill-conceived “gay sheep” experiments.

At the heart of these multi-million-dollar experiments, which are funded by taxpayers through the year 2008, is the goal of identifying a biological basis for homosexuality in sheep in an effort to “cure” homosexuality in humans. OHSU experimenter Charles Roselli is killing scores of sheep and cutting open the brains of rams he calls “male-oriented” (homosexual) in an attempt to find the hormonal mechanisms behind homosexual tendencies, so that they can subsequently be changed.

Roselli is also working with experimenter Frederick Stormshak of Oregon State University (OSU), who has surgically installed an estrogen implant in the bodies of rams in an effort “to restore tissue levels of estrogen comparable to those of heterosexual rams and affect sexual behavior accordingly.”

In a March 5, 2004, news release issued by OHSU, the university admitted that Roselli and Stormshak would “like to know whether sexual preferences can be altered by manipulating the prenatal hormone environment, for instance by using drugs to prevent the actions of androgen in the fetal sheep brain.”

Equally disturbing is the experimenters’ stated intention to apply their findings in sheep to humans. This is highlighted in Roselli’s application for public funding from the National Institutes of Health: “The [sheep] experiments proposed in this application will furnish important information that is needed to formulate and test novel hypotheses about the biological basis of sexual orientation in higher mammals including humans”. Roselli goes on to note in one of his published journal articles that “this research also has broader implications for understanding the development and control of sexual motivation and mate selection across mammalian species, including humans.”

This is not only a needless slaughter of animals and an ethically indefensible experiment, but has also been condemned by experts on scientific grounds. Dr. Malgosia Cegielski, a Portland-based clinical psychologist, calls Roselli’s gay-sheep experiment “frivolous” and “frightening.” She says: “I don’t see any clinical utility or human benefit with what he’s doing. … The gene expression and biological differences at a cellular level between [nonhuman] animals and humans is so huge. To draw conclusions between animal behavior [and] humans is a joke.”

What You Can Do
Please send polite letters to OSU and OHSU at the addresses shown below and ask that they immediately stop the needless use and slaughter of animals in these experiments and instead use taxpayers’ money for beneficial research that does not involve the use of animals or for funding a sexual diversity acceptance and tolerance initiative:

Dr. Ed Ray, President
Oregon State University
634 Kerr Administration Building
Corvallis, OR 97331-2128

Joseph Robertson Jr., M.D., M.B.A., President-Elect
Oregon Health and Science University
3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Rd.
Portland, OR 97239-3098

Read the letters that PETA sent to OSU and OHSU.

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