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

By Simon Levay | Go to book overview

ELEVEN
CONCLUSIONS

Sexual orientation is an aspect of gender that emerges from the prenatal sexual differentiation of the brain. Whether a person ends up gay or straight depends in large part on how this process of biological differentiation goes forward, with the lead actors being genes, sex hormones, and the brain systems that are influenced by them.

The biological perspective on sexual orientation stands in marked contrast to traditional beliefs, which have remained largely silent on the origin of heterosexuality while ascribing homosexuality to family dynamics, learning, early sexual experiences, or free choice. As I discussed in Chapter 2, there is no actual evidence to support any of those ideas, although we

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • One - What Is Sexual Orientation? 1
  • Two - Why We Need Biology 27
  • Three - The Outline of a Theory 45
  • Four - Childhood 73
  • Five - Characteristics of Gay and Straight Adults 97
  • Six - The Role of Sex Hormones 129
  • Seven - The Role of Genes 157
  • Eight - The Brain 191
  • Nine - The Body 221
  • Ten - The Older-Brother Effect 247
  • Eleven - Conclusions 271
  • Glossary 297
  • Notes 309
  • Bibliography 331
  • Author Index 393
  • Subject Index 397
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