Sexual Inversion: The Multiple Roots of Homosexuality

By Judd Marmor | Go to book overview

2 Ambisexuality
in Animals

R. H. DENNISTON

The problem of homosexuality—or better, of ambisexuality—in lower animals presents several intriguing theoretical facets that have implications for human beings. The general problem involves the relationship between sex drive and sex behavior. Is the former specific as to sex, that is, are there a male sex drive and a female sex drive, each resulting in its own appropriate behavior? Or is there a general sex drive that expresses itself in behavior appropriate to the anatomy, endocrine balance, conditioning, and present stimulus situation? If the drive is sex limited, is it one drive or, as Beach (1958) and Denniston (1954) have suggested, is there a progressive series of drives for the components of courtship and mating behavior?

There is no question that sex behavior represents a chained response series or that both positive and negative feedbacks play their roles at all levels of its organization. For this response chain to occur, certain prerequisites must be present in the organism and in the environment. The organism must be in a normal nutritional, maturational, and endocrine situation and must have

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