The American Sociologist

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 68–76 | Cite as

The attitudes of American sociologists toward causal theories of male homosexuality

  • Michael J. Engle
  • Joseph A. McFalls
  • Bernard J. Gallagher
  • Kristine Curtis


The origin of homosexuality has been the subject of systematic study in many disciplines during the previous century. In the social science literature, two general models concerning the etiology of homosexuality have emerged, the essentialist model and the constructionist model. This article reviews these two models and provides empirical data on their relative support. Support for each model has been gauged by assessing the opinions of sociologists. Data was obtained from a random sample of sociologists teaching in colleges and universities throughout the United States. The major finding is that the majority of sociologists now endorse the essentialist position.


Sexual Orientation Biological Theory Constructionist Model Early Childhood Development Sociology Department 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Engle
  • Joseph A. McFalls
    • 1
  • Bernard J. Gallagher
    • 2
  • Kristine Curtis
  1. 1.Villanova UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Villanova UniversityUSA

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