0
Sexual Orientation Summary of Current Research Michael A. Britt, Ph.D. Fall, 2009 The Psych Files podcast www.thepsychfile...
Background Info <ul><li>Demographics: 3% of males and 2% of females 5% of US population self identify as gay (260 million ...
Homosexuality among animals <ul><li>Necking and rubbing to sexual excitement is common among male giraffes </li></ul><ul><...
Physiological differences between gays and straights <ul><li>Simon LeVay (1991) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Neurobiologist at th...
Physiological differences between gays and straights <ul><li>Handedness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesbians are 91% more likely...
Hormones <ul><li>index (pointer) and ring finger </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Women: the length is more similar than in men (men:...
Hormones <ul><li>” Fraternal Birth Order Effect&quot; - James Cantor, et. al </li></ul><ul><li>the more older brothers you...
Hormones <ul><li>Testosterone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>no difference in testosterone levels between adult male hetero and hom...
Hormones <ul><li>Adrenal Glands </li></ul><ul><li>Age 10 (4th grade) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The mean age of your first sexu...
Genes: Twin Studies <ul><li>Types </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dizygotic twins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ fraternal twins” ...
Genes: Twin Studies <ul><li>focus: identical twins raised apart </li></ul><ul><ul><li>same genes, different environment </...
Nurture/Environment <ul><li>Childhood Experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research by Bell, Weinberg & Hammersmith (1981) </...
Nurture/Environment <ul><li>Influence of Gay Parents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patterson, C.J. (2000). Family Relationships of...
Nurture/Environment <ul><li>Myths: Roger Hock: &quot;resoundingly rejected&quot; as explanations for homosexuality: </li><...
Nature AND Nurture <ul><li>EBE: &quot;Exotic Becomes Erotic&quot; theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sandra Bem: Sexual orientat...
Conclusions <ul><li>Wood, Wood & Boyd: The World of Psychology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Clearly there are no certain pr...
Conclusions <ul><li>William Byne: The Biological Evidence Challenged (1994, Scientific American) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&qu...
References <ul><li>Bailey, J.M., Bobrow, D., Wolfe, M., & Mikach, S. (1995). Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of Gay Fathe...
References <ul><li>Carroll, M.P. (1998). But fingerprints don’t lie, eh?.  Psychology of Women Quarterly, 22, 739-749. </l...
References <ul><li>McClintock, M.K. & Herdt, G., Rethinking Puberty: The Development of Sexual Attraction in Current Direc...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Your Sexual Orientation - How Did It Develop?

6,472

Published on

Here's a summary of the latest research on sexual orientation. I provide an overview of the major nature and nurture explanations for why people have a heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual preference.

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
6,472
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
74
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Transcript of "Your Sexual Orientation - How Did It Develop?"

  1. 1. Sexual Orientation Summary of Current Research Michael A. Britt, Ph.D. Fall, 2009 The Psych Files podcast www.thepsychfiles.com
  2. 2. Background Info <ul><li>Demographics: 3% of males and 2% of females 5% of US population self identify as gay (260 million x .05 = 13 million) </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual Behavior vs. Sexual Orientation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An important distinction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People can engage in homosexual behavior (ex: in prison), but not have a homosexual orientation - Don Allen </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sexual orientation is considered by many researchers to be on a continuum </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On one end: those who are exclusively heterosexual and on the other, those who consider themselves to be exclusively homosexual with all degrees in between </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Homosexuality among animals <ul><li>Necking and rubbing to sexual excitement is common among male giraffes </li></ul><ul><li>Common among pygmy chimpanzees </li></ul><ul><li>Greylag geese can have homosexual unions that last up to 15 years </li></ul>
  4. 4. Physiological differences between gays and straights <ul><li>Simon LeVay (1991) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Neurobiologist at the Salk Institute in La Jolla California </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The third interstitial nucleus (located in the hypothalamus) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>is normally larger in men than in women </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>in his sample of gay men, the third interstitial nucleus was about the same size as in women </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypothalamus plays a role in sexual motivation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Published in the Journal Science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critics: it can't be as black/white as this because of the idea of a continuum </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Physiological differences between gays and straights <ul><li>Handedness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesbians are 91% more likely to be left handed than heterosexual women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gay men are 34% more likely </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Hormones <ul><li>index (pointer) and ring finger </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Women: the length is more similar than in men (men: bigger difference in the length of these two fingers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>caused by exposure to male hormones in utero </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>you can see this difference at age 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesbians: the difference is more similar to men </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>suggests that lesbians may have had a greater exposure to male hormones in the womb </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Hormones <ul><li>” Fraternal Birth Order Effect&quot; - James Cantor, et. al </li></ul><ul><li>the more older brothers you have, the more likely a male is to be gay </li></ul><ul><li>doesn't matter what the sexual orientation of the older brother </li></ul><ul><li>not true if your older brothers are step brothers or adopted </li></ul><ul><li>confirmed across cultures </li></ul><ul><li>no relationship found for lesbians </li></ul><ul><li>explanation: a change in the hormonal balance in the mother's uterus with each additional child </li></ul>
  8. 8. Hormones <ul><li>Testosterone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>no difference in testosterone levels between adult male hetero and homosexuals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spatial Abilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mental Rotations task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>homosexual men perform more similarly to women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;...these spatial ability data suggest possible biological and neuropsychological factors co-related to the development of sexual orientation&quot; - Brian Gladue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lesbians not sig different from heterosexual women </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Hormones <ul><li>Adrenal Glands </li></ul><ul><li>Age 10 (4th grade) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The mean age of your first sexual attraction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Between 6 and 8 the adrenal cortex begins to secrete DHEA (dehydro-piandrosterone) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Well before puberty </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>same for hetero as for homo-sexual adults </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the time of your adrenal glands mature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;...the biggest nongonadal source of sex steroids” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;This biological process, distinctly different from gonadarche, may underlie the development not only of sexual attraction, but of cognition, emotions, motivations and social behavior as well” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Genes: Twin Studies <ul><li>Types </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dizygotic twins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ fraternal twins” - two eggs, so they don't look alike </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>22% of twins of gay males were also gay </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>16% for lesbians </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monozigotic twins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;identical twins&quot; (one egg) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>52% of the identical twins of gay males were also gay” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>48% for lesbians </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>remember: this is not a perfect correlation, so environment must play some part </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Genes: Twin Studies <ul><li>focus: identical twins raised apart </li></ul><ul><ul><li>same genes, different environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>so: if identical twins raised apart are both gay, that argues for a genetic influence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>when one twin is gay, the chances that the other one is gay are much higher than would be expected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results: Roger Hock: results are &quot;quite consistent” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>higher, for example, than if the twins were dizygotic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but: even twins raised apart are not likely to be raised in very different family environments </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Nurture/Environment <ul><li>Childhood Experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research by Bell, Weinberg & Hammersmith (1981) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;..conducted face-to-face interviews with 979 homosexual participants (293 women and 686 men) and 477 heterosexual controls. The researchers found no single condition of family life or childhood experience that in and of itself appeared to be a factor in either homosexual or heterosexual development.&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Nurture/Environment <ul><li>Influence of Gay Parents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patterson, C.J. (2000). Family Relationships of Lesbians and Gay Men, Journal of Marriage and Family, 62, 1052-1069 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mikach interviewed 75 gay fathers - only 7 of their sons identified themselves as gay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>... no significant problems in the development of sexual identity among children of lesbian mothers have yet been identified&quot; - p. 1060 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;...gay men are no more likely than heterosexual men to perpetrate child abuse (Jenny, Roesler, & Poyer, 1994). Fears that children in custody of gay or lesbian parents might be at heightened risk for sexual abuse are without empirical foundation&quot; - 1060-1061 </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Nurture/Environment <ul><li>Myths: Roger Hock: &quot;resoundingly rejected&quot; as explanations for homosexuality: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>homosexual men have overly protective mothers and distant fathers and homosexual women had overly protective fathers and distant mothers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you know 1-3 gays who have a protective mother and distant father - that's too small a sample size for confident conclusions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Possible confirmation bias: how many heterosexual men do you know who have a distant father and protective mother? We often don't even think about looking at this </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The weakness of doing a survey on this issue: even if you find support - which one is the causal factor? Did the parents cause the child to be gay, or did the child's homosexuality cause the parents to act this way? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>homosexuals were molested as children by a same sex adult (The so-called &quot;seduction hypothesis&quot;) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>homosexuals are more likely to have had a gay mother or father - no evidence that homosexuality is more likely when children have gay parents </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Nature AND Nurture <ul><li>EBE: &quot;Exotic Becomes Erotic&quot; theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sandra Bem: Sexual orientation is a combination of in-born temperament and experiences with other children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temperament </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>male typical: aggressive, activity focused </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Female typical: relationship-oriented, non-aggressive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>temperament guides children toward &quot;Gender conforming behaviors” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>boys playing sports, &quot;rough and tumble&quot; play, girls play with dolls, pretend activities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Homosexuality results when: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>children with a temperament that doesn't match gender-typical activities are drawn toward opposite sex activities and same sex children are seen as &quot;exotic” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In adolescence, these feelings of the same sex being different, naturally turn to feelings of attraction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critics: not much empirical support </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Conclusions <ul><li>Wood, Wood & Boyd: The World of Psychology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Clearly there are no certain predictors of homosexuality” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brian Gladue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;The presence of biological factors in the development of homosexuality (and heterosexuality) is becoming increasingly obvious. Already we have a set of reliable findings, from many laboratories, demonstrating that human sexual orientation has a genetic basis....” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;...not all men and women arrive at their sexual orientation following the same path.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The continuum: back to where we started </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The danger of black/white, gay/straight thinking. We're all along that continuum somewhere. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For some, their orientation was influenced by hormones in the womb, others by events in their childhood. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That's what's fascinating about the study of psychology. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Conclusions <ul><li>William Byne: The Biological Evidence Challenged (1994, Scientific American) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;While attempts to replicate these preliminary finding continue, researchers and the public must resist the temptation to consider them in any but the most tentative fashion. Perhaps more important, we should also be asking ourselves why we as a society are so emotionally invested in this research. Will it- or should it - make any difference in the way we perceive ourselves and others or how we live our lives and allow others to live theirs? Perhaps the answers to the most salient questions in this debate lie not within the biology of human brains but rather in the cultures those brains have created.&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. References <ul><li>Bailey, J.M., Bobrow, D., Wolfe, M., & Mikach, S. (1995). Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of Gay Fathers. Developmental Psychology, 31 (1), 124-129. </li></ul><ul><li>Bell, A., Weinberg, M., & Hammersmith, S. (1981). Sexual preference: Its development in men and women. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Bem, D.J. (1886). Exotic becomes erotic: A Developmental theory of sexual attraction. Psychological Review, 103, 320-335. </li></ul><ul><li>Byne, W. (1994). The Biological Evidence Challenged. Scientific American, May. </li></ul><ul><li>Ciccarelli, S. & Meyer, G.F. (2006). Psychology. Prentice Hall. </li></ul><ul><li>Cantor, J.M., Blanchard, R., Paterson, A.D. & Bogaert, A.F. (2002). How many gay men owe their sexual orientation to fraternal birth order? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31, 1; Psychology Module. </li></ul>
  19. 19. References <ul><li>Carroll, M.P. (1998). But fingerprints don’t lie, eh?. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 22, 739-749. </li></ul><ul><li>Gladue, B.A, The BioPsychology of Sexual Orientation. in Current Directions in Human Sexuality and Intimate Relationships, Fisher, T.D. & McNulty, J. eds. Allyn and Bacon. </li></ul><ul><li>Hock, R. (2010). Human Sexuality, 2e. Prentice Hall. </li></ul><ul><li>Kendler, K.S., Thornton, L.M., Gilman, S.E., & Kessler, R.C. (2000). Sexual orientation in a U.S. national sample of twin and nontwin sibling pairs. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 157; 11; Health Module. </li></ul><ul><li>King, B.M. (2005). Human Sexuality Today. Prentice Hall, 5e. </li></ul><ul><li>Levay, S. (1991). A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men. Science, 253, 1034-1037. </li></ul>
  20. 20. References <ul><li>McClintock, M.K. & Herdt, G., Rethinking Puberty: The Development of Sexual Attraction in Current Directions in Human Sexuality and Intimate Relationships, Fisher, T.D. & McNulty, J. eds. Allyn and Bacon. </li></ul><ul><li>Patterson, C.J. (2000). Family Relationships of Lesbians and Gay Men, Journal of Marriage and Family, 62, 1052-1069 </li></ul><ul><li>Rind, B. (2001). Gay and bisexual adolescent boys' sexual experiences with men: an empirical examination of psychological correlates in a nonclinical sample. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 30 (4). </li></ul><ul><li>Selekman, S. (2007). Homosexuality in children and their parents. Pediatric Nursing, 33(5). </li></ul><ul><li>Smith, B. (2007). The Psychology of Sex and Gender. Allyn and Bacon. </li></ul><ul><li>Toates, F. (2007). Biological Psychology. Prentice Hall. </li></ul><ul><li>Wood, S.E., Wood, E. G., & Boyd, D. (2005). The World of Psychology, 5e. Allyn and Bacon. </li></ul>
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×