The Biology of Homosexuality

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Oxford University Press, USA, Dec 2, 2011 - Medical - 188 pages
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In this fascinating book, Jacques Balthazart presents a simple description of the biological mechanisms that are involved in the determination of sexual orientation in animals and also presumably in humans. Using scientific studies published over the last few decades, he argues that sexual orientation, both homosexual and heterosexual, is under the control of embryonic endocrine and genetic phenomena in which there is little room for individual choice. The author begins with animal studies of the hormonal and neural mechanisms that control the so-called instinctive behaviors and analyzes how this animal work may potentially apply to humans. The book does not focus exclusively on homosexuality, however. Instead, the book acts as a broader guide to the biological basis of sexual orientation, and also discusses important gender differences that may influence sexual orientation. While firmly grounded in the scientific literature, this text is developed for a broader audience and will be of interest to psychologists, researchers, students, and anyone interested in the biological factors that determine our sexuality.
 

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Contents

The Basics
3
Learning or Biology?
12
3 The Hormonal Control of Sexual Behavior
27
4 Biological Determinism of Sexual Orientation in Animals
47
5 Gender Differences in Humans
61
Organizing Effects
69
Activating Effects
91
8 Sex Differences Suggest Homosexuality Is an Endocrine Phenomenon
101
9 Sexual Orientation in Clinical Cases
130
10 A Genetic or Immunological Mechanism Underlying Homosexuality?
141
11 General Conclusions
154
References
163
Index
179
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About the author (2011)


Jacques Balthazart, PhD, is Associate Professor of Neuroendocrinology in GIGA Neurosciences at University of Liège in Belgium. He is former President of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology and is co-editor of the Oxford series on Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.

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