Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why The Science of Sexual Orientation

ISBN-10: 0199931585

ISBN-13: 9780199931583

Edition: 2012

Authors: Simon LeVay

List price: $20.95
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Description:

What causes a child to grow up gay or straight? In this book, neuroscientist Simon LeVay summarizes a wealth of scientific evidence that points to one inescapable conclusion: Sexual orientation results primarily from an interaction between genes, sex hormones, and the cells of the developing body and brain.LeVay helped create this field in 1991 with a much-publicized study in Science, where he reported on a difference in the brain structure between gay and straight men. Since then, an entire scientific discipline has sprung up around the quest for a biological explanation of sexual orientation. In this book, LeVay provides a clear explanation of where the science stands today, taking the reader on a whirlwind tour of laboratories that specialize in genetics, endocrinology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology, and family demographics. He describes, for instance, how researchers have manipulated the sex hormone levels of animals during development, causing them to mate preferentially with animals of their own gender. LeVay also reports on the prevalence of homosexual behavior among wild animals, ranging from Graylag geese to the Bonobo chimpanzee.Although many details remain unresolved, the general conclusion is quite clear: A person's sexual orientation arises in large part from biological processes that are already underway before birth. LeVay also makes it clear that these lines of research have a lot of potential because--far from seeking to discover "what went wrong" in the lives of gay people, attempting to develop "cures" for homosexuality, or returning to traditional explanations that center on parent-child relationships, various forms of "training," or early sexual experiences--our modern scientists are increasingly seeing sexual variety as something to be valued, celebrated, and welcomed into society.
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Book details

List price: $20.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/1/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 432
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Simon LeVay, whose 1991 paper published in Science, "A difference in hypothalamic structure between homosexual and heterosexual men," attracted worldwide scientific and public attention, is Associate Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Adjunct Professor of Biology at the University of California, San Diego. He is presently Chair of the Steering Committee of the Institute of Gay and Lesbian Education, West Hollywood, a new college for the gay and lesbian community in Southern California.

Introduction
What Is Sexual Orientation?
Why We Need Biology
The Outline of a Theory
Childhood
Characteristics of Gay and Straight Adults
The Role of Sex Hormones
The Role of Genes
The Brain
The Body
The Older-Brother Effect
Conclusions
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Author Index
Subject Index
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