Sexual Orientation and Brain Development Term Paper by Nicky

Sexual Orientation and Brain Development
A look at physiological factors that may influence sexual orientation.
# 151118 | 1,386 words | 5 sources | APA | 2012 | US

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This paper examines potential genetic and hormonal factors that may influence an individual's sexual orientation. First, the paper considers research studies about twins, their genetic make-up and whether they are hetero or homosexual. In particular, it notes a study in which certain chromosomes seemed to be linked to sexual orientation. Then, the paper addresses prenatal influences on sexuality and certain congenital conditions that may also have an impact. Finally, the paper notes the problematic aspects of these theories while acknowledging that there is some sort of physiological predisposition to homosexuality. The paper concludes with an exploration of cultural concepts of sexuality, noting how in some societies homosexuality is considered totally normal at certain stages of life.

From the Paper:

"Furthermore, the theory of hormonal influence upon the developing male fetus reflects the fact that the developing male fetus 'begins' as a female, and only becomes male later on, and thus homosexuality is conceptualized as a deviation from the process of masculinzation. This tends to emphasize the importance of the development of male homosexuality versus lesbianism in understanding orientation. Still, this phenomenon of under-or over-masculinzation of the fetus has also been noted in non-human animals, namely that animals with insufficient masculinizing hormones will exhibit same-sex attraction: "The organization-activation theory posits that the nervous system of a developing fetus responds to prenatal androgens so that, at a postnatal time, it will determine how sexual behavior is manifest" (Diamond 2009). A study by Hall and Schaeff (2008) proposed that as shifts in hormonal levels and fetal stress are often correlated to asymmetry of morphological structures (such as left-handedness, or length of various fingers and limbs) in offspring, gays and lesbians would exhibit more asymmetry than their heterosexual counterparts."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Diamond, M. (2009). Clinical implications of the organizational and activational effects of hormones. Hormones and Behavior, 55(5), 621-632. Retrieved September 22, 2009, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1719302541).
  • Graceffo, S. (2008, July 23). Homo Made. Syracuse New Times, p. 12. Retrieved September 22, 2009, from Alt-Press Watch (APW). (Document ID: 1532821511).
  • Hall, P., & Schaeff, C. (2008). Sexual orientation and fluctuating asymmetry in men and women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37(1), 158-65. Retrieved September 22, 2009, from ProQuest Medical Library. (Document ID: 1425235181).
  • Kauth, Michael R. (2002). Much ado about homosexuality: Assumptions underlying current research on sexual orientation. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 14(1), 1. Retrieved September 22, 2009, from ProQuest Medical Library. (Document ID: 468044401).
  • Kunzig, R. (2008, May). Finding the switch. Psychology Today, 41(3), 89-93, 10. Retrieved September 22, 2009, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1469936821).

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Sexual Orientation and Brain Development (2012, May 22) Retrieved January 22, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Sexual Orientation and Brain Development" 22 May 2012. Web. 22 January. 2022. <>