Males, Females, and Behavior: Toward Biological Understanding

By Lee Ellis; Linda Ebertz | Go to book overview

Foreword: Sexual Development -- Nature's Substrate for Nurture's Influence

Milton Diamond


WHY THIS BOOK?

Some might think it presumptuous in today's scientific and political climate to produce a book called Males, Females, and Behavior: Toward Biological Understanding. The reasons are apparent enough. Scientifically, there is such a wealth of materials that warrant inclusion -- from pregnancy and health considerations to intellectual abilities and sports -- that a series of volumes would seem more appropriate and the selection process horrendous. On the other hand, the political climate makes any inclusion in such a publication subject to criticism, justified or not.

The selection process was not so difficult. The choice of material was narrowed by this book being part of the culmination of a meeting held in Minot, North Dakota, under the auspices of Lee Ellis and Minot State University. It was made possible by a generous grant from the Eugene Garfield Foundation. The name of the meeting was the "Intemational Behavioral Development Symposium: Biological Basis of Sexual Orientation and Sex-Typical Behavior." Among its more notable features, the meeting was truly international -- contributors attended from Australia to the United Kingdom --and the invitees were of stellar caliber. All had earned their way by publication and reputation. The presentations were first rate, and this volume contains expanded versions of many of them.

Presumption aside, it may be that such a book is not only needed but also potentially required reading for many. Consider this statement from a recent

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