The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory, and Ethics of Sexual Orientation

The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory, and Ethics of Sexual Orientation

by Edward Stein
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195099958

ISBN-13: 9780195099959

Pub. Date: 10/21/1999

Publisher: Oxford University Press

In recent years scientific research and popular opinion have favored the idea that sexual orientations are determined at birth, but philosopher and educator Edward Stein argues that much of what we think we know about the origins of sexual desire is probably wrong. Stein provides a comprehensive overview of such research on sexual orientation and shows that it is…  See more details below

Overview

In recent years scientific research and popular opinion have favored the idea that sexual orientations are determined at birth, but philosopher and educator Edward Stein argues that much of what we think we know about the origins of sexual desire is probably wrong. Stein provides a comprehensive overview of such research on sexual orientation and shows that it is deeply flawed. Stein argues that this research assumes a picture of sexual desire that reflects unquestioned cultural stereotypes rather than cross-cultural scientific facts, and that it suffers from serious methodological problems. He considers whether sexual orientation is even amenable to empirical study and asks if it is useful for our understanding of human nature to categorize people based on their sexual desires. Perhaps most importantly, Stein examines some of the ethical issues surrounding such research, including gay and lesbian civil rights and the implications of parents trying to select or change the sexual orientation of their children.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195099959
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
10/21/1999
Series:
Ideologies of Desire Series
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.45(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction3
Pt. IMetaphysics
1Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation23
2What Is a Sexual Orientation?39
3Human Kinds71
4Essentialism and Constructionism about Sexual Orientation93
Pt. IIScience
5The Emerging Scientific Program for the Study of Sexual Orientation119
6Animal Models and Evolutionary Accounts in the Emerging Research Program164
7Critique of the Emerging Research Program190
8Experiential Theories of Sexual Orientation229
9Sexual Orientation and Choice258
Pt. IIIEthics
10Lesbian and Gay Rights and the Science of Sexual Orientation277
11Selecting and Changing the Sexual Orientation of Children305
12Should Scientific Research on Sexual Orientation Be Done?328
Conclusion342
Notes349
Bibliography359
Index383

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