The Sexual Brain / Edition 1

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Overview

Written with the same clarity, directness, and humor that have made Simon LeVay one of the most popular lecturers at Harvard Medical School and at the University of California, SanDiego, The Sexual Brain examines the biological roots of human sexual behavior.

It puts forward the compelling case that the diversity of human sexual feelings and behavior can best be understood in terms of the development, structure, and function of the brain circuits that produce them. Discarding all preconceptions about the motivation and purpose of sexuality, LeVay discusses the scientific evidence bearing on such questions as why we are sexual animals, what the brain mechanisms are that produce sexual behavior, how these mechanisms differ between men and women and how these differences develop, and finally, what determines a person's sexual orientation: genes, prenatal events, family environment, or early sexual experiences?

The Sexual Brain is broad in scope, covering evolutionary theory, molecular genetics, endocrinology, brain structure and function, cognitive psychology, and development. It is unified by LeVay's thesis that human sexual behavior, in all its diversity, is rooted in biological mechanisms that can be explored by laboratory science. The book does not shy away from the complexities of the field, but it can be readily appreciated and enjoyed by anyone with an intelligent interest in sex.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
LeVay continues his controversial crusade to establish the biological basis of sexuality and, more specifically, of sexual preference. Drawing both on his background in biology and his experience with the gay community, he presents a nontechnical treatise on the evidence. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262620932
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 7/25/1994
  • Series: Bradford Books Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 186
  • Sales rank: 1,131,581
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Simon LeVay, whose 1991 paper published in Science, "A difference in hypothalamic structure between homosexual and heterosexual men," attracted worldwide scientific and public attention, isAssociate Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Adjunct Professor of Biology at the University of California, San Diego. He is presently Chair of the Steering Committee of theInstitute of Gay and Lesbian Education, West Hollywood, a new college for the gay and lesbian community in Southern California.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Thou, Nature, Art My Goddess: Genes, Environment, and Sex 1
2 Time's Millioned Accidents: The Evolution of Sex and Sexual Behavior 5
3 For a Woman Wert Thou First Created: The Biology of Sexual Development 17
4 What's in the Brain that Ink May Character?: Some Basic Principles of Brain Organization 31
5 The Womby Vaultage: A Visit to the Hypothalamus 39
6 The Beast with Two Backs: The Elements of Sexual Intercourse 47
7 A Joy Proposed: Courtship Behavior 57
8 The Child-Changed Mother: Maternal Behavior 63
9 The Generation of Still-Breeding Thoughts: Brain Circuits for Sexuality 71
10 My Brain I'll Prove the Female: Sex and Brain Development 83
11 In All Suits Like a Man: Sex Differences Beyond Sex 97
12 So Full of Shapes Is Fancy: Sexual Orientation and Its Development 105
13 Wrapped in a Woman's Hide: Gender Identity and Transsexuality 131
Epilogue: Two Artificial Gods 137
Afterword 139
Sources and Further Reading 143
Glossary 153
Index 167
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