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The Biology of Homosexuality$
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Jacques Balthazart

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199838820

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199838820.001.0001

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Sexuality and Sexual Orientation

Sexuality and Sexual Orientation

Learning or Biology?

Chapter:
2 Sexuality and Sexual Orientation
Source:
The Biology of Homosexuality
Author(s):

Jacques Balthazart

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199838820.003.0012

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

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