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Theories about Sexual and Affectional Orientation

Gay Rights on About.com

This is the expert guide for About.com on gay and lesbian issues. The page presents recent news stories and links about a range of issues.

APA on Homosexuality

One of its factual briefings from the American Psychological Association's Psychology and Daily Life, this page provides information about theories related to homosexuality and answers to common questions about sexual orientation and homosexuality.

Exotic Becomes Erotic: Explaining the Enigma of Sexual Orientation

This is a text of an address by Darrell J. Bem of Cornell University given to the annual meeting of the APA in 1997. Bem outlines his theory that biological variables do not code for sexual orientation per se but for childhood temperaments that influence a child's preferences for sex-typical or sex-atypical activities. These preferences lead children to feel different from opposite-sex or same-sex peers--to perceive them as "exotic." This, in turn, produces heightened physiological arousal that subsequently gets eroticized to that same class of peers: Exotic becomes erotic. The theory claims to accommodate both the empirical evidence of the biological essentialists and the cultural relativism of the social constructionists. Bem also discusses sex differences in sexual orientation and the political implications of trying to explain homosexuality.

Theory, Gender and Identity Resources

This page by David Gauntlett from the Institute of Communications Studies in Great Britain explores post modern theories of identity with emphasis on the works of Theodor Adorno, Judith Butler, Michel Fouccault, and Antonio Gramsci.

The personality genes. Time, April 27, 1998 v151 n16 p60(2).

This is the text of an interview with Dean Hamer, the molecular psychologist. The interview was conducted and reported by J. Madelieine Nash. Dean Hamer first gained fame with a 1993 Science article attributing homosexual tendencies to X chromosome DNA. He maintains that his research establishes that personality traits are merely influenced by genes, not dictated. InfoTrac.

Human sexual orientation has a heritable component. Richard C. Pillard; J. Michael Bailey. Human Biology, April 1998 v70 n2 p347(19).

The study is an overview of behavioral genetics research on homosexual and heterosexual orientation. Family, twin, and adoptee studies indicate that homosexuality and thus heterosexuality run in families. Sibling, twin, and adoptee concordance rates are compatible with the hypothesis that genes account for at least half of the variance in sexual orientation. InfoTrac.

A subcultural study of gay and bisexual college males: resisting developmental inclinations. Robert A. Rhoads. Journal of Higher Education, July-August 1997 v68 n4 p460(23).

An ethnographic study of gay and bisexual male college students is developed using the experiences of students at Eastern University from academic year 1991 to 1993. Homosexual developmental models are used to eliminate the monolithic evaluation of gay students through a contextualization of the diversity of gay and bisexual male expression. The use of homosexual identity stage models of Vivienne Cass, Richard Troiden and Eli Coleman are found to be effective compared with the traditional explanations for homosexual development. InfoTrac.

Culture, sexual lifeways, and developmental subjectivities: rethinking sexual taxonomies. Andrew J. Hostetler; Gilbert H. Herdt. Social Research, Summer 1998 v65 n2 p249(42).

Sexual categories have been conceptually and ideologically questionable since Michel Foucault published "History of Sexuality, vol 1." Historians have delved beyond the classifications of deviance in an attempt to understand and explore the cultural, historical, and textual sources of male/female and homosexual/heterosexual analysis. InfoTrac.

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Copyright, 2000-05 by Terrence A. Doyle, Ph. D.
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