The Psychology of Sexual Orientation, Behavior, and Identity: A Handbook

The Psychology of Sexual Orientation, Behavior, and Identity: A Handbook

The Psychology of Sexual Orientation, Behavior, and Identity: A Handbook

The Psychology of Sexual Orientation, Behavior, and Identity: A Handbook


This comprehensive overview of research, issues, and theories relating to sexual orientation, behavior, and identity by experts in various disciplines is unique in providing both historical perspectives and a synthesis of the recent advances in understanding homosexuality and heterosexuality. Drawing from biological and psychological research, this major reference explores the major theories about orientation; summarizes recent developments in genetic and neuroanatomic research; considers the role of social institutions in shaping current beliefs; and discusses the social construction of gender, sexuality, and sexual identity. The handbook also describes sexual dysfunctions in ton-clinical populations, clinical disorders, and important social issues. Experts address the continuing controversy over the feasibility of altering sexual orientation; practical concerns such as disability and illness; new developments in treating sexual and personal problems within heterosexual and homosexual populations; and perspectives about sexual deviations today. This handbook is designed for the use of educators, students, and researchers in the social and behavioral sciences.


There was a sexually explicit joke making the rounds during the young adulthood of the senior editor. Its theme was sexual variations. Whether it was funny or not is not the main point. The crucial part is that, unknown to the editor at the time, this joke was inspired by the recently released findings of Alfred C. Kinsey. This marked the time that sexuality had come out of the closet and presaged an era of factual acquaintance with human sexual motivation and behavior. Prior to Kinsey, sexual knowledge was promulgated chiefly through doctrine and mythology. Kinsey gave the world an entry into the empirical study of sexuality. It was exciting and modern and promised to dispel the prevailing misconceptions.

In spite of continuing criticisms, Kinsey's work may be viewed as the spiritual parent of a prolific line of research and published work, including this handbook. Through their determination and creativity, many individuals have been instrumental in bringing the study of sexuality into the twenty-first century. Some of these individuals made direct contributions to this book; others are prominently listed in the references.

Empirical studies of sexual orientation and behavior have proliferated in recent years. Although attempts to synthesize historical and contemporary views have been made, we identified the need for an updated yet concise overview of the empirical findings. We further reasoned that such an overview would be meaningful and accurate only if placed within our cultural historical context.

It is the design of this handbook to be a comprehensive aggregate of topic . . .

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