Sex Roles

, 65:442 | Cite as

A New Look at the Causes and Correlates of Sexual Orientation

Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. By Simon LeVay, New York, Oxford University Press, 2011. 412 pp. $27.95 (hardcover). ISBN: 978-0-19-973767-3
  • Richard Lippa
Book Review

Simon LeVay’s book, Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why, offers an excellent review of scientific research on the causes and correlates of sexual orientation. It provides a clear and comprehensive summary of recent studies of sexual orientation—a review that should be useful to lay people and journalists as well as to professionals in the field. LeVay has a knack for describing complicated scientific topics—brain anatomy, behavior genetics, endocrinology, cognitive psychology—in straight-forward and easy-to-understand ways. He provides the reader with a good sense of where research on sexual orientation stands today, and where further research is needed.

LeVay takes an unabashedly biological perspective in his book, arguing that sexual orientation is likely to be strongly molded by biological factors, particularly the early (prenatal and perinatal) influence of sex hormones. At the same time, LeVay is not doctrinaire in his approach. He examines various theories of sexual...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California State UniversityFullertonUSA

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