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Biologic Theories of Sexual Orientation

Nathaniel McConaghy, DSc, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1994;51(5):431-432. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1994.03950050091016.
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I their review of the literature concerning biologic theories of human sexual orientation, Byne and Parsons1 overlooked some issues of relevance. Biologic theories can account for the feelings that motivate behaviors; the behaviors themselves will be strongly determined by environmental factors—in the case of sexual orientation such factors as available opportunities and social and legal sanctions. A number of men Who identify and express their sexuality mainly or exclusively as heterosexual report strong or predominant homosexual feelings.2 In a US narional probability sample, 14% of men considered homosexual sex offered them some possibility of enjoyment and 12% of men considered that heterosexual sex offered them none.3 yet, only 6.7% of the men reported homosexual contacts resulting in orgasm after age 19 years, and in half of these, the contacts were rare.4 Contrary to the statement by Byne and Parsons1(p229) concerning "the pattern of essentially exclusive


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