Sexuality and Sexual Orientation

Jacques Balthazart

in The Biology of Homosexuality

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199838820
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919512 | DOI:
Sexuality and Sexual Orientation

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This chapter reviews the various theories that have been advanced to explain homosexuality from an environmental perspective and shows why these theories, although they are still widespread, are not satisfactory and are not supported by experimental evidence. The arguments presented here concern exclusively homosexual orientation as defined in Chapter 1: exclusive or preferential sexual attraction for persons of the same sex. It considers psychoanalytic theories, theories based on learning derived from behaviorism, and theories based on “social constructivism”. It argues that the evolutionary history of life on earth means that we can find evidence of the causes of human behavior through the study of similar behaviors in other animals, and the role of neurons in initiating and controlling our actions.

Keywords: homosexuality; sexual orientation; human behavior; behaviorism; social constructivism; psychoanalysis; evolution; history of life

Chapter.  6361 words. 

Subjects: Neuroscience

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