Conundrum
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Conundrum
The Evolution of Homosexuality
Published:
2/20/2006
Format:
Perfect Bound Softcover
Pages:
208
Size:
5x8
ISBN:
978-1-42089-338-0
Print Type:
B/W

A pro-gay, pro-science look at a vexing issue … evolutionary biology suggests that individual living things are designed to reproduce.  So why does homosexuality exist?  Wouldn’t a gay gene ensure its own demise?

 

Conundrum pulls together information from biology, anthropology, and recent lesbian and gay history, and suggests that both nature and nurture are involved in the evolution of homosexuality.

Contents

 

Chapter One.  Lesbians and Gay Men in the Twentieth Century

 

Evolutionary theory suggests that individual organisms should try to “maximize their reproduction.”  So for biologists who study social behavior, homosexuality is a puzzle.

 

Chapter Two.  Darwinian Fundamentalism

 

Why Charles Darwin still matters.  An introduction to evolution and the theories of natural selection and sexual selection.

 

Chapter Three.  Rehabilitating Sociobiology

 

More evolutionary theory and a kinder, gentler sociobiology that suggests that modern human behavior is influenced by the evolutionary history of our species, but certainly is not determined by our genes.

 

Chapter Four.  Bisexual Monkeys

 

What can animal behavior tell us about human behavior?  How much homosexual behavior is observed in nonhuman primates?  How often is that behavior exclusive?  Why is exclusivity important?

 

Chapter Five.  Hereditary Homosexuality

 

Since the early 1990s, a number of studies have shown that there may be genetic and anatomical differences between straight people and gay people.  Is there a political agenda at the root of studies that suggest that gay people are born that way?

 

Chapter Six.  Queer Neighbors

 

Homosexuality as it has recently been expressed in Western countries does not seem to have been a part of many of the world’s traditional cultures.  The social construction of sexuality.

 

Chapter Seven.  Three Lives

 

Three cultural traditions that resonate with, but are very different from, recent Western homosexuality:  bisexuality among men in ancient Greece, ritualized homosexuality in Melanesia, and the Native American berdache tradition.

 

Chapter Eight.  False Dichotomies

 

If there is a gay gene, how has it been maintained in the human species?  The inextricable link between nature and nurture in the evolution of homosexuality.

 

Chapter Nine.  Homo sapiens in the Twenty-First Century

 

Politics, sociobiology and the future of a gene for homosexuality.

N.J. Peters is a freelance writer and editor who lives in New York City.  Contact:  conundrumbook@earthlink.net.

 
 


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