What is sexual orientation?

Bryan Wildenthal bryanw at tjsl.edu
Thu Feb 19 13:30:23 PST 2004


It certainly does not follow that animal behavior would necessarily be "innate and biological" rather than environmentally and socially developed.  Animals grow up together and have societies and family relationships too.

-----Original Message-----
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu]On Behalf Of Volokh, Eugene
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2004 1:21 PM
To: 'conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu'
Subject: RE: RE: What is sexual orientation?


	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
any.

	Eugene

> -----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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