"Although the book's chief appeal probably will be to professionals dealing with these issues, other interested readers will find it an informative and generally. Gay, Straight and the Reason Why by Simon LeVay (O.U.P. ) is about sexual orien- tation, both gay and straight. It asserts the origin of both is the same: . What causes a child to grow up gay or straight? Neuroscientist Simon LeVay summarizes a wealth of scientific evidence that points to one.
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To read Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation PDF, you should click the web link beneath and download the document or gain . Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation (; second edition .. (PDF). PsycCRITIQUES. Retrieved 27 November Lauritsen, John (). "The Gay Brain and other such nonsense". John Lauritsen's. What causes a child to grow up gay or straight? Neuroscientist Simon LeVay summarizes a wealth of scientific evidence that points to one inescapable.
But that meanness is almost pathological. All of us were deeply confused or lying to ourselves for a good chunk of our adolescence. So we show other people what the world shows us, which is nastiness. I arrived to a date once and the guy immediately stood up, said I was shorter than I looked in my pictures and left.
It helps to be close to people who instinctively understand you. But for us, the effect is the opposite. Several studies have found that living in gay neighborhoods predicts higher rates of risky sex and meth use and less time spent on other community activities like volunteering or playing sports.
A study suggested that gay men who were more linked to the gay community were less satisfied with their own romantic relationships. Rejection from other gay people, though, feels like losing your only way of making friends and finding love. Being pushed away from your own people hurts more because you need them more.
We're not kidding.
You should subscribe. It has to be constantly enacted or defended or collected. We see this in studies: You can threaten masculinity among men and then look at the dumb things they do. They show more aggressive posturing, they start taking financial risks, they want to punch things.
According to Dane Whicker, a clinical psychologist and researcher at Duke, most gay men report that they want to date someone masculine, and that they wished they acted more masculine themselves. A two-year longitudinal study found that the longer gay men were out of the closet, the more likely they were to become versatile or tops.
When he first came out, he was convinced that he was too skinny, too effeminate, that bottoms would think he was one of them. My boyfriend noticed recently that I still lower my voice an octave whenever I order drinks. So, his sophomore year, he started watching his male teachers for their default positions, deliberately standing with his feet wide, his arms at his sides.
These masculinity norms exert a toll on everyone, even their perpetrators. Feminine gay men are at higher risk of suicide, loneliness and mental illness.
Masculine gay men, for their part, are more anxious, have more risky sex and use drugs and tobacco with greater frequency. One study investigating why living in the gay community increases depression found that the effect only showed up in masculine gay guys. The second reason the gay community acts as a unique stressor on its members is not about why we reject each other, but how.
Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation
In the last 10 years, traditional gay spaces—bars, nightclubs, bathhouses—have begun to disappear, and have been replaced by social media. At least 70 percent of gay men now use hookup apps like Grindr and Scruff to meet each other. In , around 20 percent of gay couples met online.
By , that was up to 70 percent.
Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation
Meanwhile, the share of gay couples who met through friends dropped from 30 percent to 12 percent. And yes, those are problems. But the real effect of the apps is quieter, less remarked-upon and, in a way, more profound: For many of us, they have become the primary way we interact with other gay people. It feels good in the moment, but nothing ever comes of it, and those messages stop coming after a few days. It is that they are almost perfectly designed to underline our negative beliefs about ourselves.
In interviews that Elder, the post-traumatic stress researcher, conducted with gay men in , he found that 90 percent said they wanted a partner who was tall, young, white, muscular and masculine. For the vast majority of us who barely meet one of those criteria, much less all five, the hookup apps merely provide an efficient way to feel ugly.
John, the former consultant, is 27, 6-foot-1 and has a six-pack you can see through his wool sweater. It is, like mine, mostly hellos he has sent out to no reply.
Maybe you end up with a friend out of it, or at least something that becomes a positive social experience. But the downside is that they put all this prejudice out there. As kids, growing up in the closet makes us more likely to concentrate our self-worth into whatever the outside world wants us to be—good at sports, good at school, whatever. As adults, the social norms in our own community pressure us to concentrate our self-worth even further—into our looks, our masculinity, our sexual performance.
Then we wake up at 40, exhausted, and we wonder, Is that all there is?
And then the depression comes. He has published four books on gay culture and has interviewed men dying of HIV, recovering from party drugs and struggling to plan their own weddings. He sat Halkitis and his husband down on the couch and announced he was gay. He went to a public school with openly gay kids.
So I thought those were my two options: this fairy-tale life I could never have, or this gay life where there was no romance. He must have been 10 or 11, dragged on a vacation to Long Island by his parents. Mine was in Halkitis says his was in When we think of marriage laws or hate crime prohibitions, we tend to think of them as protections of our rights.
One of the most striking studies I found described the spike in anxiety and depression among gay men in and , the years when 14 states passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. Gay men in those states showed a 37 percent increase in mood disorders, a 42 percent increase in alcoholism and a percent increase in generalized anxiety disorder. The laws were symbolic.
They increased though less dramatically among gay people across the entire country. The campaign to make us suffer worked.
Now square that with the fact that our country recently elected a bright orange Demogorgon whose administration is publicly, eagerly attempting to reverse every single gain the gay community has made in the last 20 years. Any discussion of gay mental health has to start with what happens in schools. Only around 30 percent of school districts in the country have anti-bullying policies that specifically mention LGBTQ kids, and thousands of other districts have policies that prevent teachers from speaking about homosexuality in a positive way.
These restrictions make it so much harder for kids to cope with their minority stress. For the last four years, Nicholas Heck, a researcher at Marquette University, has been running support groups for gay kids in high schools.
He walks them through their interactions with their classmates, their teachers and their parents, and tries to help them separate garden-variety teenage stress from the kind they get due to their sexuality. One of his kids, for example, was under pressure from his parents to major in art rather than finance. His parents meant well—they were just trying to encourage him into a field where he would encounter fewer homophobes—but he was already anxious: If he gave up on finance, was that surrendering to stigma?
If he went into art and still got bullied, could he tell his parents about it? The trick, Heck says, is getting kids to ask these questions openly, because one of the hallmark symptoms of minority stress is avoidance. Kids hear derogatory comments in the hall so they decide to walk down another one, or they put in earbuds. They ask a teacher for help and get shrugged off, so they stop looking for safe adults altogether.
But the kids in the study, Heck says, are already starting to reject the responsibility they used to take on when they got bullied. So for kids, the goal is to hunt out and prevent minority stress.
But what can be done for those of us who have already internalized it?
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People who feel rejected are more likely to self-medicate, which makes them more likely to have risky sex, which makes them more likely to contract HIV, which makes them more likely to feel rejected, and so on.
Similarly, the National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization notes on its website that "experts in the human sexuality field do not believe that premature sexual experiences play a significant role in late adolescent or adult sexual orientation" and added that it's unlikely that anyone can make another person gay or heterosexual. Advocates for Youth, an organization that works in the U. In , Dr.
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THE ARGUMENT Anti-LGBT organizations, seeking to promote heterosexuality as the healthier "choice," often offer up the purportedly shorter life spans and poorer physical and mental health of gays and lesbians as reasons why they shouldn't be allowed to adopt or foster children.
On the basis of the same obituaries, Cameron also claimed that gay men are 18 times more likely to die in car accidents than heterosexuals, 22 times more likely to die of heart attacks than whites, and 11 times more likely than blacks to die of the same cause. He also concluded that lesbians are times more likely to die of murder, suicide, or accidents than straight women.
Remarkably, these claims have become staples of the anti-gay right and have frequently made their way into far more mainstream venues. Even Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has called Cameron's methods "just ridiculous. The authors of the study became aware that their work was being misrepresented by anti-LGBT groups, and issued a response taking the groups to task.
Lively is the virulently anti-gay founder of Abiding Truth Ministries and Abrams is an organizer of a group called the International Committee for Holocaust Truth, which came together in and included Lively as a member.
The primary argument Lively and Abrams make is that gay people were not victimized by the Holocaust. Rather, Hitler deliberately sought gay men for his inner circle because their "unusual brutality" would help him run the party and mastermind the Holocaust.
In fact, "the Nazi party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history," the book claims.
The book has also attracted an audience among anti-gay church leaders in Eastern Europe and among Russian-speaking anti-gay activists in America. Christine Mueller, professor of history at Reed College, did a line-by-line refutation of an earlier Abrams article on the topic and of the broader claim that the Nazi Party was "entirely controlled" by gay men. Historian Jon David Wynecken at Grove City College also refuted the book , pointing out that Lively and Abrams did no primary research of their own, instead using out-of-context citations of some legitimate sources while ignoring information from those same sources that ran counter to their thesis.
The myth that the Nazis condoned homosexuality sprang up in the s, started by socialist opponents of the Nazis as a slander against Nazi leaders.
The Nazis considered homosexuality one aspect of the "degeneracy" they were trying to eradicate. Heinrich Himmler, Hitler's security chief, announced that homosexuality was to be "eliminated" in Germany, along with miscegenation among the races. Historians estimate that between 50, and , men were arrested for homosexuality or suspicion of it under the Nazi regime.
These men were routinely sent to concentration camps and many thousands died there. Himmler expressed his views on homosexuality like this: "We must exterminate these people root and branch. We can't permit such danger to the country; the homosexual must be completely eliminated. THE ARGUMENT Anti-gay activists, who have long opposed adding LGBT people to those protected by hate crime legislation, have repeatedly claimed that such laws would lead to the jailing of religious figures who preach against homosexuality — part of a bid to gain the backing of the broader religious community for their position.
Hate Crimes Prevention Act — signed into law by President Obama in October — would "jail pastors" because it "criminalizes speech against the homosexual agenda. Bob Unruh, a conservative Christian journalist who left The Associated Press in for the right-wing, conspiracist news site WorldNetDaily, said shortly before the federal law was passed that it would legalize "all forms of sexual deviancy or 'paraphilias' listed by the American Psychiatric Association.
The First Amendment provides robust protections of free speech, and case law makes it clear that even a preacher who publicly suggested that gays and lesbians should be killed would be protected. Neither do hate crime laws — which provide for enhanced penalties when persons are victimized because of their "sexual orientation" among other factors — "protect pedophiles," as Janet Porter and many others have claimed.
According to the American Psychological Association , sexual orientation refers to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality — not paraphilias such as pedophilia. Moreover, even if pedophiles, for example, were protected under a hate crime law — and such a law has not been suggested or contemplated anywhere — that would not legalize or "protect" pedophilia. Pedophilia is illegal sexual activity, and a law that more severely punished people who attacked pedophiles would not change that.
MYTH 7 Allowing gay people to serve openly will damage the armed forces. THE ARGUMENT Anti-gay groups have been adamantly opposed to allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, not only because of their purported fear that combat readiness will be undermined, but because the military has long been considered the purest meritocracy in America the armed forces were successfully racially integrated long before American civil society, for example.
If gays serve honorably and effectively in this meritocracy, that suggests that there is no rational basis for discriminating against them in any way. At the same time, gays and lesbians have served openly for years in the armed forces of 25 countries as of , including Britain, Israel, South Africa, Canada and Australia, according to a report released by the Palm Center, a policy think tank at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
The Palm Center report concluded that lifting bans against openly gay service personnel in these countries "ha[s] had no negative impact on morale, recruitment, retention, readiness or overall combat effectiveness. But a review of that poll by the Palm Center suggested a wide disparity between what soldiers said they would do and their actual actions.
Yet when those countries lifted bans on gays serving openly, virtually no one left the service for that reason.
Despite the fact that gay men and lesbians have been serving openly in the military since September , anti-LGBT groups continue to claim that openly gay personnel are causing problems in the military, including claims of sexual abuse by gay and lesbian soldiers of straight soldiers. According to then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in , the repeal of DADT was being implemented effectively and was having no impact on readiness, unit cohesion or morale.
MYTH 8 Gay people are more prone to be mentally ill and to abuse drugs and alcohol. The most frequently used secular argument made by anti-LGBT groups in that regard is that homosexuality is inherently unhealthy, both mentally and physically. Some of these groups, including the particularly hard-line Traditional Values Coalition , claim that "homosexual activists" managed to infiltrate the APA in order to sway its decision. The American Psychological Association states that being gay is just as healthy as being straight, and noted that the s-era work of Dr.
Evelyn Hooker started to dismantle this myth. Studies of judgment, stability, reliability, and social and vocational adaptiveness all show that gay men and lesbians function every bit as well as heterosexuals. The organization removed homosexuality from its official diagnostic manual in after extensive review of the scientific literature and consultation with experts, who concluded that homosexuality is not a mental illness.
Though it is true that LGBT people tend to suffer higher rates of anxiety, depression, and depression-related illnesses and behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse than the general population, that is due to the historical social stigmatization of homosexuality and violence directed at LGBT people, not because of homosexuality itself. Studies done during the past several years have determined that it is the stress of being a member of a minority group in an often-hostile society — and not LGBT identity itself — that accounts for the higher levels of mental illness and drug use.
Richard J. Wolitski, an expert on minority status and public health issues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, put it like this in : "Economic disadvantage, stigma, and discrimination One of the researchers, Dr.
Rather, social stigmatization and prejudice appear to contribute to health disparities in the LGBT population, which include emotional and psychological distress and harmful coping mechanisms. MYTH 9 No one is born gay.LeVay writes that, contrary to Money's expectations, Reimer, who ultimately decided to live as a man, was sexually attracted to women as an adult, and that there are several similar cases conflicting with Money's learning theory of sexual orientation.
Anti-gay activists who make that claim allege that all men who molest male children should be seen as homosexual. He got bullied for being gay before he even knew he was. And there was Christian, the second guy I ever kissed, who killed himself at 32, two weeks after his boyfriend broke up with him. LeVay discusses both his research and the research of others, as well as commenting on whether each study is reliable or not.