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Is Homosexuality Biologically Based?

Clashing views on psychological issues

Citation

Gantt, E.E., & Slife, B. (2016). Taking sides: Clashing views on psychological issues (19th ed. expanded). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Summary

In the above-mentioned book, Edward Gantt tosses two opposing arguments regarding the nature of the issue of homosexuality; in the course of this argument, he provides Neuroendocrinologist Jacques Balthazart’s position that claims homosexuality is known to be organized by parental steroids while, on the contrary, Stanton L. Jones and Alex W. Kwee have an opposing position that counterargues the reliability of the evidence provided by Edward Gantt. They argue that the current research on the biological roots of homosexuality provides no well-founded evidence to claim it is the natural way of human behavior and that the re-orientation should not be dismissed as a treatment option.

Rationale

It has always been nature or nurture; this study follows the same traditional approach. One side holds the position of the essentialists, and the other of the constructionists. According to the essentialists, sexual orientation is natural and inborn, while on the contrary, according to constructivists, it is constructed by external stimuli such as our environment. Almost every source listed in this outline would follow this same scheme of categorization of arguments.

Is homosexuality Biological?

Citation

Barinaga, M. (1991). Is homosexuality biological?. Science253(5023), 956-958.

Summary

This argument also starts with the two opposing rationales regarding the issue of homosexuality in homo-sapiens; part of the evidence comes from Simon LevVay’s (a neurologist) article that immediately raised controversies by presenting evidence that there is a brain region known as the anterior hypothalamus which actually governs sexual behavior has the structural form that resembles with that of women.

Rationale

The argument is based on the anatomical difference of this form in homosexual and heterosexual men. The difference in the part of that particular part of the brain that controls our sexual urges interprets a major difference in the making of the brains of homosexuals. It indicates the natural presence of homosexuality despite cultural and geographical indications. Dennis Landis, a neurologist, says, “If it’s true, the implications are amazing; it would begin to suggest why male homosexuality is present in most human populations, despite cultural constraints. It suggests it’s a biological phenomenon.”

An American obsession: Science, medicine, and Homosexuality in Modern Society

Citation

Terry, J. (1999). An American obsession: Science, medicine, and homosexuality in modern society. University of Chicago Press.

Summary

In An American Obsession: Science, medicine, and Homosexuality in Modern Society, Terry J raises some crucial questions regarding the position of the LGBT community, their movement, and most importantly, their disgust for scientific; he also proposes the diversity of opinion present in these groups regarding the authority of modern scientific research regarding homosexuality. The book has a range of discussions that include a history of homosexual movements, the gradual progress in medicine, and scientific research concerning the justification of homosexual behavior, and it also highlights the position of the detractors who see homosexuality as a sign of the demise of human history.

Rationale

The study of scientific ideas and medicine throughout history suggests some general prejudices that conditioned and molded it for their personal gains like Nazi Germany and the Japanese did during world war two. In order to justify their actions, they used evolution by natural selection.

Queer science: The use and abuse of research into homosexuality

Citation

LeVay, S. (1996). Queer science: The use and abuse of research into homosexuality. MIT Press.

Summary

This source gives an insightful view of the scientific, psychological as well as philosophical take-over of Homosexuality. What are the reasons for homosexuality? Nature or nurture? The biological studies include the study of genes, mental traits, and stress and question the general perceptions regarding homosexuality.

Rationale

It starts to answer this question by providing references from antiquity, such as Plato’s Symposium, where Aristophanes became the first essentialist to claim the objectivity involved in one’s sexual orientation as an inborn characteristic. The references also include biblical figures like Saint Paul and some other literary figures like Oscar Wild.

Biological exuberance: Animal homosexuality and natural diversity

Citation

Bagemihl, B. (1999). Biological exuberance: Animal homosexuality and natural diversity. Macmillan

Summary

Biologists have always been interested in finding ways to study animal sexual orientation in order to understand human sexuality or to get some insights into the workings of human sexual behavior through natural diversity. In Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, it is precise, easy to get to, and has no-dramatized information regarding the subject of homosexuality among animals.

Rationale

The source explored the variety of behaviors studied in animals regarding their sexual orientation. It uses evolution as an active force that controls animal sexuality by giving examples of animals that are no-breeders and some that suppress their reproduction and have sex only for pleasure.

Science and Homosexualities

Citation

Rosario, V. A. (Ed.). (1997). Science and homosexualities. Psychology Press

Summary

This collection of papers edited by Rosario is a rich material that infuses many gapes regarding human sexuality, it covers a range of topics that cover historical, as well as political, ethical and scientific issues involves in the study of homosexuality.

Rationale

Is homosexuality biological? After reading this multiplicity of ideas and opinions based on factual findings, both scientific and semi-scientific, one can understand many thing,s like the religious and political extremism comprised in scientific studies.

A Natural History of Homosexuality

Citation

Mondimore, F. M. (1996). A natural history of homosexuality. Baltimore, Maryland: The John Hopkins University Press.

Summary

Rosario’s Science and Homosexualities seeks arguments and research made during the course of human history and intends to give careful consideration on the scientific knowledge that points out a humanistic and a normative view on human sexual orientation, it also includes, sexual identities, sexual politics., sexual histories, and, sexual biology.

Rationale

As we would see, there had been research made by people only to instigate propaganda and hatred for homosexuals. This kind of research is flawed due to its subjectivity and biases. Rosario’s Science and Homosexualities intends to highlight such prejudices that reinforce a disease modeling towards human sexual orientation.

What does Sexual Orientation Orient?

Citation

Diamond, L. M. (2003). What does sexual orientation orient? A biobehavioral model distinguishing romantic love and sexual desire.

Summary

The idea that heterosexuals have feelings of love only towards the opposite sex and that homosexuals are only attracted towards the same sex has been a myth. The author adopts a biobehavioral model for desire and love. It intends to distinguish between sexual desire and affectional love. The people are most probably inclined to a love bond that does not, in fact, involve sexual desire.

Rationale

This is a very interesting overview of one of the most puzzling things regarding homosexuality when it comes to affection and love that does not necessarily involve sexual urges. The biobehavioral model uses the scientific method to investigate and, hence, distinguish romantic love from sexual desire.

A Critical Review of Recent Biological Research on Human Sexual Orientation

Citation

Mustanski, B. S., Chivers, M. L., & Bailey, J. M. (2002). A critical review of recent biological research on human sexual orientation. Annual review of sex research

Summary

Mustanki intends to critically assess the current biological research on human sexual orientation. It has been critically measured according to rising standards through extreme evidential measures. The critical evaluation undertakes theories like genetic influences, neurohormonal theory of sexual orientation, the putative role for development instability, and fraternal birth order effects.

Rationale

Although there are many inconsistencies in the results, there seems to be a strong supportive argument in favor of neurohormonal theory, mostly in men. The genetic theory using twins and family methodologies does suggest genes influence human sexual orientation. On the other hand, molecular studies do show many inconsistencies in some genes. Hence, limitations in biological research for human sexual orientation have been noted in the conclusion.

Homosexuality and Biology

Citation

Burr, C. (1993). Homosexuality and biologyATLANTIC-BOSTON-271, 47-47.

Summary

Like many sources cited in this outline, Burr is set to undertake the so-called similar method of critical evaluation of the research done in the field of biology and medicine on human sexual orientation.

Rationale

Unlike other sources cited in this outline, this one differs in one aspect, and that is the innate impossibility and complexity involved in a scientific investigation regarding the issues of human sexual orientation. This paper highlights the mysterious nature of the human brain and the in-authenticities of the neurological research that pervades the authority of the generality of the findings.

References

Bagemihl, B. (1999). Biological exuberance: Animal homosexuality and natural diversity. Macmillan.

Barinaga, M. (1991). Is homosexuality biological?. Science, 253(5023), 956-958.

Burr, C. (1993). Homosexuality and biology. ATLANTIC-BOSTON-271, 47-47.

Diamond, L. M. (2003). What does sexual orientation orient? A biobehavioral model distinguishing romantic love and sexual desire. Psychological review110(1), 173.

Gantt, E.E., & Slife, B. (2016). Taking sides: Clashing views on psychological issues (19th ed. expanded). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

LeVay, S. (1996). Queer science: The use and abuse of research into homosexuality. MIT Press.

Mondimore, F. M. (1996). A natural history of homosexuality. Baltimore, Maryland: The John Hopkins University Press.

Mustanski, B. S., Chivers, M. L., & Bailey, J. M. (2002). A critical review of recent biological research on human sexual orientation. Annual review of sex research13(1), 89-140.

Rosario, V. A. (Ed.). (1997). Science and homosexualities. Psychology Press.

Terry, J. (1999). An American obsession: Science, medicine, and homosexuality in modern society. University of Chicago Press.

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