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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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The Hormonal Control of Sexual Behavior

The Hormonal Control of Sexual Behavior

Chapter:
3 The Hormonal Control of Sexual Behavior
Source:
The Biology of Homosexuality
Author(s):

Jacques Balthazart

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199838820.003.0014

This chapter presents a brief review of a mass of data widely accepted in the scientific world concerning the neuroendocrinology of behavior. Although a dense array of technical points is presented, nonscientists are encouraged to concentrate on general principles rather than on trying to understand every single term. In this context it is less important to know exactly what 17β-estradiol and 5α-dihydrotestosterone are and more important to know what they do. The chapter begins by describing what is known concerning the endocrine control of copulatory behavior in males and females. The elements of hormonal control of these behaviors need not be the same as those of sexual orientation, but recent research has shown that they frequently do overlap. Since much more research has been done concerning copulatory behavior itself, it is clearly useful first to review this huge corpus of data. The chapter then considers what is known specifically about the control of sexual orientation in animals.

Keywords:   homosexuality, neuroendocrinology, copulatory behavior, endocrine control, sexual orientation, animals, hormones

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