|"This book is an essential tool for those of us who are trying to forge a place of equality and respect for our gay loved ones. I read it all in one day. LeVay manages simultaneously to balance techNical information, offer an unsettling historical perspecTive, and serve up a provocative analysis of the use and abuse of knowledge." -- Catherine Turek, M.A., R,N., C.S,. President, Washington DC Chapter of Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) "If you have been waiting for a clear and readable exposition of sex orientation research that integrates science and politics, get this book." -- Richard C. Pillard, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine "Queer Scinece is the best book to date on the science of homosexuality. And Simon LeVay is a very engaging, thoughtful writer. Everyone who wants to be informed about research into homosexuality and its political, social, and moral, consequences should read this wonderful book." -- Richard Isay, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College; author of Becoming Gay: The Journey to Self Acceptance
What makes people gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual? And who cares? These are the twin themes of Queer Science, a scientific and social analysis of research in the field of sexual orientation. Written by one of the leading scientists involved in this research, it looks at how scientific discoveries about homosexuality influence society's attitude toward gays and lesbians, beginning with the theories of the German sexologist and gay-rights pioneer Magnus Hirschfeld and culminating with the latest discoveries in brain science, genetics, endocrinology, and cognitive psychology. Research into homosexuality exemplifies both the promise and the danger of science applied to human nature. LeVay argues that the question of causation should not be the crucial issue in the gay-rights debate, but that science does have an important contribution to make. It can help to demonstrate that the traditional and still prevalent view of homosexuality -- as a mere set of behaviors that anyone might show -- is inadequate, and that gays and lesbians are in a real sense a distinct group of people within the larger society with a privileged insight into their own natures.