What is sexual orientation?

Volokh, Eugene VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Thu Feb 19 13:21:06 PST 2004

	David's request is quite sensible.  My recollection is that I read
this claim in a reputable book on evolutionary psychology, but I realize
that this isn't much of a citation.  My guess is that the most indicative
(though not dispositive) studies would be on behavior among other mammals.
As I vaguely recall from my readings, many mammals (though I'm sure not all)
have strong incest taboos; since these would presumably be innate and
biological rather than socially constructed, we can infer that similar
taboos in human societies likewise have biological sources.  But again I
second David's request for more specific information, if anyone should have


> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Cruz [mailto:dcruz at law.usc.edu] 
> Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2004 1:01 PM
> To: 'conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu'
> Subject: RE: RE: What is sexual orientation?
> On Thu, 19 Feb 2004, Volokh, Eugene wrote:
> > [snip]
> > 	As to biology, there is, to my knowledge, strong 
> evidence that most 
> > people have an innate preference not for all members of the 
> opposite 
> > sex, but for unrelated members (though that might be 
> psychologically 
> > operationalized as members of the opposite sex with whom one wasn't 
> > raised, since people can tell that more readily than an 
> actual genetic 
> > connection).
> I would be grateful for any citations to scientific studies 
> (as opposed to sociobiologic musings) that support this 
> proposition about biology.  I had not been aware of any.  
> (And this is an area that I do try to follow.) Many thanks.
> David B. Cruz
> Professor of Law
> University of Southern California Law School
> Los Angeles, CA 90089-0071
> U.S.A.
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