If You Seduce a Straight Person, Can You Make Them Gay?: Issues in Biological Essentialism Versus Social Constructionism in Gay and Lesbian Identities, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

If You Seduce a Straight Person, Can You Make Them Gay?

Issues in Biological Essentialism Versus Social Constructionism in Gay and Lesbian Identities, 1st Edition

By John Dececco, Phd, John Patrick Elia

Routledge

280 pages

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pub: 1993-04-22
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Description

The debate on whether or not people are born homosexual (biological essentialist theory) or become homosexual during the course of their lives (social constructionist theory) continues as each side claims to prove the truth through research and clinical findings. This breakthrough book shows the fissures in concepts of the gay and lesbian identity and the one-sidedness of both biological essentialist and social constructionist versions of both sexual and gender identity. The editors present an alternative view--sexual and gender expression is a product of complementary biological, personal, and cultural influences in If You Seduce a Straight Person, Can You Make Them Gay?

Through theoretical analysis, ethnographic and empirical data, and case studies, the editors show how the one-sidedness of both biological essentialist and social constructionist versions of sexual and gender identity make it difficult, if not impossible, to conceptually determine the origin of an individual’s sexual expression. This thought-provoking book covers many topics that are sure to cause readers to re-evaluate their thinking about the origins of gay and lesbian identity. Among the topics examined with this fresh perspective are:

  • Childhood Cross-Gender Behavior and Adult Homosexuality
  • Gay and Lesbian Teachers and Coming Out
  • Homosexuality, Marriage, Fidelity, and the Gay Community: Case of Gay Husbands
  • Can Seduction Make Straight Men Gay?
  • Gay and Lesbian Identities in Non-industrialized Societies--Surinam (Dutch New Guinea), Turkey, Nicaragua, and Argentina
  • Political-Economic Construction of Gay Male Identities

    Readers will clearly see that the controversy over the being born gay or becoming gay debate is far from resolved. From the beginning, the book explores how human beings are less constrained by biology than many would like to believe. Social circumstances and economics cause some determination of identity, but not exclusively. Theoretical introductions to each chapter attempt to synthesize elements on both sides of this most contemporary debate.

Table of Contents

Contents Preface

  • I. Introduction
  • A Critique and Synthesis of Biological Essentialist and Social Constructionist Views of Sexuality and Gender
  • II. Biological Issues in Gender and Sexual Identity
  • Essentialism, Which Essentialism?: Some Implications of Reproductive and Genetic Techno-Science
  • Childhood Cross-Gender Behavior and Adult Homosexuality: The Resurgence of Biological Models of Sexuality
  • Reproductive Strategies and Gender Construction: An Evolutionary View of Homosexualities
  • The Social Construction of Homosexuals in the Nineteenth Century: The Shift From the Sin to the Influence of Medicine on Criminalizing Sodomy in Germany
  • III. Politically Incorrect Identities
  • The Construction of Identities as a Means of Survival: Case of Gay and Lesbian Teachers
  • Gay Fathers in Straight Marriages
  • Homosexuality and Marriage
  • IV. Fluidity of Sexual Identity
  • Can Seduction Make Straight Men Gay?
  • The Freudian Construction of Sexuality: The Gay Foundations of Heterosexuality and Straight Homophobia
  • V. Gay and Lesbian Identities in the Third World
  • Mati-ism and Black Lesbianism
  • Homosexuality and Police Terror in Turkey
  • In Nicaragua: Homosexuality Without a Gay World
  • Invertidos Sexuales, Tortilleras, and Maricas Machos: The Construction of Homosexuality in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1900–1950
  • VI. Capitalism and the Gay Identity
  • Political-Economic Construction of Gay Male Clone Identity
  • The Mineshaft: A Retrospective Ethnography
  • Reference Notes Included
  • Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General
SOC012000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gay Studies
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOC032000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies