literature by Dr. LeVay
Essay Topic & Personal Reflection
Based on the recent review of the scientific literature by Dr. LeVay, as well as one primary research article you locate using Google Scholar, develop a plausible scientific explanation accounting for the development of diverse sexual orientations in humans.
The essay should provide a plausible scientific explanation for the development of varying sexual orientation(s) in humans in light of the scientific evidence. The scientific explanation should be able to account for heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual and asexual orientations. The thesis statement of your essay should directly address the essay prompt.
The essay should consider the following kinds of questions:
What factors seem most important in the development of sexual orientation(s)?
Based on the evidence, are there differences in the development of sexual
orientation for males and females?
How would an evolutionary psychologist, an evolutionary biologist or a
sociobiologist account for the development of varying sexual orientation(s)
What can we learn about sexual orientation based on research on other
animals including other higher primates?
What various kinds of scientific evidence exist that help us to understand the development of diverse sexual orientation(s)?
What factors might explain the persistence of different sexual orientations
throughout evolutionary history?
Psychology 1 Assignment Help- Dr. LeVay
literature by Dr. LeVay
There are various factors significant in development of sexual orientation. There are many ongoing studies trying to investigate how sexual orientation and biology interrelate. There is no single and simple determinant for sexual orientation which has been demonstrated conclusively (Payne, 2013). Several studies have differing stands that conflict each other, but scientists have affirmed that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of social factors, genetic factors and hormonal factors. There are also many popular biological theories which try to give an explanation of factors determining sexual orientation. In this case biological factors include the environment of early uterine as well as genetic factors’ complex interplay. Factors such as the structure of brain, prenatal hormones and genes can be closely linked to the development or formation of homosexual orientation, bisexual orientation, heterosexual orientation, and asexual orientation (Ferber, Holcomb& Wentling, 2017). Scientists have found that genes cause most complex physiological traits. The effects of each of these genes on determining someone’s traits are small, thus, they do not hit the mark of reaching traditional statistical significance level (Posner, 1992). Expressly, many genes with no effect on sexual orientation falls under the radar, although soon they may be caught up with scientific orientation (In Laing, 2015). Scientists have further affirmed that sex hormones in prenatal life also have a great role. For instance, the ladies with congenital adrenal hyperplasia that causes male sex hormones to appear in ladies in high levels, causes ladies at young age to have same sex attractions just like adults (Archives of sexual behavior, 1971).
Sexual mechanisms are physiological inherent differences between females and males which gives the erotic features of life their significant structures. Amongst the most common differences, while the male’s penis erect, erection becomes an erotic feature but in females arousal is their lubricant; this means that there is no clitoral erection in females. Another obvious between males and females is ejaculation that occurs in men. Ejaculation is a feature of orgasm in male but there is no an orgasm feature in females. Another remarkable difference is brought up by many types of orgasms in females (Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, 1999). There are many women who rarely or totally do not orgasm, and there are those women happen to have multiple orgasms. Such kind of organisms women display is rare in males (LeVay, 2011). There are differences strictly pertaining copulation although there are other mechanisms which occur but with minimum relation to coitus but they are in a way much related to expression of sex as well as childbearing (Janssen, 2007). Mass of muscles, skeletal articulation, body, endocrine production, enzyme and other features of physiological functions as well as reflexes are other additional differences. The operation of the male endocrine system is relatively tonic whereas in females, their system is actually a cyclic in years of reproduction. It is important to note that both lesbians and heterosexual females can be aroused by female erotica as well as male erotica in contrast to male, thus, the arousal pattern in females is bisexual (Lloyd & Archer, 1976). Many gender minority individuals utilize the identities of their sexual orientation which show attraction to all genders. These and many other distinctions prove that there are differences in sexual orientation development both in females and in males (Levay, & Payne, 2016).
Evolutionary homosexuality explanations have been proposed by sociobiologists. Their hypotheses portray an assumption of homosexual orientation being a distinct trait, in preference of emotional as well as a universal sexual expression (LeVay, 2017). Homosexuality must be of a genetic basis for it to create a trait that may be considered to have evolved. It should be noted that there is no sufficient evidence that supports heterosexual and homosexual orientations to have been caused by differences in genetics. Because of this reason, and many other reasons, explanations of sociobiologists on homosexuality can be regarded to be implausible and not evidence-supported. The theory of evolution does not provide any morality guides or the progress of ethics. Neither does it provide guide to the required social attitude on this subject (A journal of research, 1975).
Most of the researches available regarding the homosexuality behavior in animals fail to specify between animals exhibiting exclusively tendencies of same sex and those that show homosexual and heterosexual behavioral interchanging mating activities (Silverstein & In De, 1974). This issue of lack of specifications has resulted to many opinions that differ and conflict how the collected data can be interpreted by researchers and scientists. For example, the author of Biological Exuberance book: natural diversity and homosexuality in animals, Bruce Bagemihl affirms that exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual pairs of animals lack endocrinological or anatomical distinctions (Bagemihl, 2013). And, if “homosexual behavior” definition is slightly changed to include animals which show opposite sex and same sex mating actions, the documentation of hormonal differences between hormones have been among main hormones of sex, like estradiol and testosterone, when comparison is laid to those who only perform heterosexual mating. Many animals have been used to carry out laboratory studies on homosexuality (Archives of sexual behavior, n.d.). However, these animals do not show these tendencies spontaneously when they are in their habitats. The researcher usually exaggerates and elicits this behavior when carrying out an experiment by destructing a brain tissue portion, or when the researcher exposes the animal to high prenatally steroid hormone levels (Archives of sexual behavior, 2000). The experimental information is actually limited especially when its application is made to animals that spontaneously practice same sex behavior outside the lab. Initially, same sex behavior was not seriously observed or regarded to, but in recent times, same sex behavior has been observed officially on large scale (A journal of research, 1990). The delay in observing same sex behavior in a large perspective may have been probably caused by the biasness of the observer who may have been influenced by the attitude of the society on the behavior of same sex, innocent confusion or shying off for the fear of colleagues’ ridicules (Wilson, 2008). The biologist of Georgetown University by the name Mann Janet stated that researchers or scientists who dedicate their efforts in studying a topic are usually accused of trying to put an agenda forward (Journal of sex research, 2007), this exposes their work to a greater scrutiny when compared to the work done on other topics by their colleagues. She also provided that reproductive function is not met by each and every act of sex and this applies to both animals and humans or non-humans (Society for the Scientific Study of Sex et al, 1993). Sexual acts are much portrayed among social birds and animals, especially mammals in this case. In the category of mammals, primates and sea mammals can be categorized in this class. There is no known true homosexuality extent in animals but most researchers in their studies have shown homosexuality in various animal species (Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, 1965).
Persistence of different sexual orientation throughout the evolutionary history can be explained by a number of factors which either directly or indirectly impact on the body of the living organism (In Narrain & In Chandran, 2016).
The factors include:
Individuals attracted to persons of the same sex develop such attractions and orientations earlier before they are even born. It is therefore not a choice or lifestyle as majority tends to assume .such peoples’ parents bare no blame whatsoever for their children’s orientation.
According to recent findings and research, there exists a specific chromosomal region that facilitates this same sex orientation.This specific chromosomal region proved that a gay gene must be in existence and that homosexuality is a heritable trait.
Social and environmental factors
A number of studies were conducted in several parts of the world. Different countries appreciate different sex rights and laws (Weill, 2009).
For instance in African continent, gay marriage is legalized in South Africa and illegal in Uganda despite the fact that these two countries are in Africa (Bagemihl, 2013). Persons with same sex orientation in South Africa are more safe and open to discuss their sexual orientation in public without intimidation or discrimination. In such a country, same sexual orientation is on the rise since society has embraced it (Sociobiology,1979).The reverse of this however happens in Uganda’s gay individual will shun away from opening disclosing his sexual orientation for fear of intimidation. In other parts such individuals are publicly punished with the notion of serving as an example. Individuals with same sexual orientation live in fear and oppression. Fear and oppression results into reduced number of individuals with same sex orientation. One would rather live in the pretense just to please the society (Lloyd & Archer, 1976).
Other factors like hormones and brain structure has also influenced the persistence of different sexual orientation throughout the evolutionary history. A kid born and raised in the company of one particular sex would find attraction towards the same sex. Kids raised in the company of both sexes would develop equal attraction for both the sexes (Lloyd & Archer, 1976).
Society for the Scientific Study of Sex. (1965). The journal of sex research: Jsr : the publication of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex. Philadelphia, PA: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
Society for the Scientific Study of Sex (U.S.), & Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (U.S.). (1993). The journal of sex research. New York, N.Y: Society for the Scientific Study of Sex.
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Sex roles: A journal of research. (1990). Dordrecht [etc.: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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In Silverstein, C., & In De, C. J. P. (1974). Journal of homosexuality.
Archives of sexual behaviour. (n.d.).
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Archives of sexual behavior. (1971). Heidelberg [etc.: Springer.
Levay, Simon, & Payne, Topher. (2016). Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. Audible Studios on Brilliance audio.
LeVay, S. (2017). Gay, straight, and the reason why: The science of sexual orientation.
LeVay, S. (2011). Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. Oxford University Press.
Payne, D. (June 12, 2013). Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why ??? The Science of Sexual Orientation Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why ??? The Science of Sexual Orientation.Nursing Standard, 27, 41, 29.
In Ferber, A. L., In Holcomb, K., & In Wentling, T. (2017). Sex, gender, and sexuality: The new basics : an anthology.
In Laing, M. (2015). Queer sex work.
Wilson, G. (2008). Born gay?: The psychobiology of sex orientation. London: Peter Owen.
Janssen, E. (2007). The psychophysiology of sex. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Posner, R. A. (1992). Sex and reason. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Lloyd, B. B., & Archer, J. (1976). Exploring sex differences. London: Academic Press.
Sociobiology. (1979). Blacksburg: Dept. of Sociology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Bagemihl, B. (2013). Biological exuberance: Animal homosexuality and natural diversity. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Weill, C. L. (2009). Nature’s choice: What science reveals about the biological origins of sexual orientation. New York: Routledge.
In Narrain, A., & In Chandran, V. (2016). Nothing to fix: Medicalisation of sexual orientation and gender identity.