What Causes Sexual Orientation? Genetics, Biology, Psychology

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What Causes Sexual Orientation? Genetics, Biology, Psychology

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Part of the series, "Gallup's Guide to Modern Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Lifestyle" homosexuality, alternative sexual preferences and lifestyles are areas that certainly can benefit from accessible texts for pre-teens and teens. These topics are frequently accompanied by high levels of emotion and controversy and therefore demand the most accurate and authoritative treatment. Overall this series falls short on these latter requirements, as it relies largely on popular press and websites for sources and utilizes statements in the text without citing the relevant source(s). Citations in the bibliography often fail to provide an issue or page numbers when journal articles are included. Typographical errors were found in several texts. Each book is opened with the identical introduction from the series editor, James Sears, former editor of the Journal of LGBT Youth. The introduction describes the tensions between societal expectations and individual rights which largely underlie discrimination against non-dominant groups in any culture. Each book's text is organized in short chapters with terms highlighted in the text and defined in colored boxes. Although biological and psychological/sociological views of sexuality and sexual orientation are discussed, there are no definitive answers offered here. In fact, the author concludes that cause is unimportant, and that the focus should be on the individual's right within a society to choose who to love. As with other entries in this series, definitions of terms are often imprecise. Illustrations and photos are spread throughout, short lists of additional information sources close each chapter, and a bibliography and index follow the main text of the book. The layout and production quality make these books accessible and the tenor of the messages to youth dealing with these issues is positive; however, the quality of the information suggests these be used only as ancillary information in a school or public library setting. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
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