Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

True Nature: A Theory of Sexual Attraction

Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

True Nature: A Theory of Sexual Attraction

Article excerpt

True Nature: A Theory of Sexual Attraction Michael R Kauth Kluwer Academic, New York, 2000

In spite of the title, this seems to be primarily a book aiming at explaining why some people are attracted to those of the same sex and others to those of the opposite sex.

Most of the book is devoted to a competently done review of the various theories that have been offered to explain homosexuality and Lesbianism. The defects in the various theories are pointed out. Most of the major papers on the origins of homosexuality seem to have been covered. Many professionals will find this summary of the literature useful.

After rejecting previous theories as being at least incomplete, the author offers his own interactional theory which attempts to combine elements from various other theories. A major novelty is an attempt to argue that same-sex erotic attraction has evolved as a way of facilitating same sex alliances. It is claimed that social organizations in early human societies were characterized by same-sex bands. No real justification for this claim is offered. Deducing early human living patterns from campsite remains and similar evidence is obviously very difficult. Kauth then argues that women who could form strong same sex alliances were better able to raise children and find mates. Likewise, men who could form strong same sex bonds would have an advantage in hunting and in finding and protecting mates. Kauth argues that same-sex erotic attraction is an adaptation for forming such bonds.

There is little doubt that same sex bands are an advantage and we likely have mechanisms to aid in forming them. …

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