Science of Sexual Orientation

THE SCIENCE OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION is the title of this topic created to help anyone wanting to understand more about the science of sexual orientation.

From as recent as the 1980s there was a belief that people were born with no sexual preference and that life experiences are the determinate factor that leads to a particular sexual orientation. Sexual orientation cannot be changed by social influences or surgery. Studies emerged in the late 1990s that indicated that influences from hormones impacted sexual orientation during pregnancy.

All human characteristics have a normal variation. Whether we are looking at height, weight, eye color, or sexual orientation, normal variations occur for all traits.

Lesson 202 – The Science of Sexual Orientation Part 1: Nature vs. Nurture

Dr. Cynthia Chappell discusses the history and present state of the Nature vs. Nurture argument.

Lesson 203 – The Science of Sexual Orientation Part 2: Genetics and Orientation

Dr. Cynthia Chappell discusses the results of family and twins studies that point to the link between genes and sexual orientation.

Lesson 204 – The Science of Sexual Orientation Part 3: Prenatal Determination

Dr. Cynthia Chappell discusses prenatal hormones, hypothalamic activation, and dimorphic characteristics positing that sexual orientation is determined during the 8th through the 16th week of pregnancy.