The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory, and Ethics of Sexual Orientation

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Oxford University Press, Apr 12, 2001 - Psychology - 400 pages
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In recent years scientific research and popular opinion have favored the idea that sexual orientations are determined at birth. In this book, Edward Stein, a philosopher and legal theorist, investigates scientific research on sexual orientation and shows that it is deeply flawed. He argues that this research assumes a picture of sexual desire that reflects unquestioned cultural stereotypes rather than cross-cultural scientific facts, and that it suffers from serious methodological problems. He then asks whether sexual orientation is amenable to empirical study and if it is useful for our understanding of human nature to categorize people based on their sexual desires. Perhaps most importantly, Stein examines some of the ethical issues surrounding such research, including gay and lesbian civil rights and the implications of parents trying to select or change the sexual orientation of their children.
  

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The mismeasure of desire: the science, theory, and ethics of sexual orientation

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

As with most gems of philosophical debate, Stein's book poses a lot more questions than it answers, but his intelligent, well-researched, and well-written primer should be the first title on any queer ... Read full review

Review: The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory and Ethics of Sexual Orientation

User Review  - Nicole - Goodreads

if you only read one queer theory text (although i don't know why you'd stop at one...) this should be it. accessible enough to bring to the beach (i think) but will reshape your way of thinking. definitely one of my top five most influential books. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
Metaphysics
18
Sexual Orientation
93
Science
115
Animal Models and Evolutionary Accounts
164
Critique of the Emerging Research
190
Experiential Theories of Sexual
229
Sexual Orientation and Choice
258
Lesbian and Gay Rights and the Science
277
Selecting and Changing the Sexual
305
Should Scientific Research on Sexual
328
Conclusion
342
Bibliography
359
Index
383
Copyright

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About the author (2001)


Edward Stein is an Associate Professor of Law at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York City. He is the author of Without Good Reason: The Rationality Debate in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from M.I.T., a J.D. from Yale Law School, and he has previously taught at Yale University, New York University, Mount Holyoke College, and Williams College.

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