The relationship between biology and sexual orientation is a subject of research. While scientists do not know the exact cause of sexual orientation , they theorize that it is caused by a complex interplay of genetic , hormonal , and environmental influences. Biological theories for explaining the causes of sexual orientation are favored by scientists. The influence of hormones on the developing foetus has been the most influential causal hypothesis of the development of sexual orientation.
Exotic Becomes Erotic: Interpreting the Biological Correlates of Sexual Orientation
Biological basis of sexual orientation
Sexual orientation is one of the largest sex differences in humans. The vast majority of the population is heterosexual, that is, they are attracted to members of the opposite sex. However, a small but significant proportion of people are bisexual or homosexual and experience attraction to members of the same sex. The origins of the phenomenon have long been the subject of scientific study. In this chapter, we will review the evidence that sexual orientation has biological underpinnings and consider the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms.
The biological basis of human sexual orientation: is there a role for epigenetics?
Although biological findings currently dominate the research literature on the determinants of sexual orientation, biological theorizing has not yet spelled out a developmental path by which any of the various biological correlates so far identified might lead to a particular sexual orientation. The Exotic-Becomes-Erotic EBE theory of sexual orientation Bem, attempts to do just that, by suggesting how biological variables might interact with experiential and sociocultural factors to influence an individual's sexual orientation. Evidence for the theory is reviewed, and a path analysis of data from a large sample of twins is presented which yields preliminary support for the theory's claim that correlations between genetic variables and sexual orientation are mediated by childhood gender non-conformity.
The reasons behind why people are gay, straight or bisexual have long been a source of public fascination. Indeed, research on the topic of sexual orientation offers a powerful window into understanding human sexuality. Among the indigenous Zapotec people in southern Mexico, individuals who are biologically male and sexually attracted to men are known as muxes. They are recognized as a third gender: Muxe nguiiu tend to be masculine in their appearance and behavior; muxe gunaa are feminine. In Western cultures, they would be considered gay men and transgender women, respectively.