12.1 Chapter Objectives

   Learning Objectives

By the end of your reading and our in-class discussion, you should be able to meet the following objectives:

  • Define sexual orientation, heterosexuality, homosexuality, asexuality, bisexuality, and pansexuality.
  • Explain what scientists mean when they say “sexual orientation is not binary.”
  • Defend, using examples, the statement: “homosexuality is widespread in nature.”
  • Cite evidence for a genetic basis of homosexuality, as well as evidence that homosexuality is environmentally influenced.
  • Explain why some biologists call homosexuality “an evolutionary problem.”
  • Explain why many biologists think that homosexuality is an adaptation that has been selected forg. describe a few of the hypotheses for the evolution of homosexuality.
  • Explain how homophobia could be an adaptation (how could homophobia increase an individual’s fitness?)

In the following  discussion, our goals are for you to:

  • Realize that sexual orientation governs many observable natural phenomena, that themselves can be studied scientifically.
  • Understand that homosexuality is widespread in nature – in human and non-human animals.
  • Realize that homosexuality and homophobia may have arisen as a result of natural selection.
  • Appreciate that our understanding of same-sex sexual preferences is part of an emerging field of study, thus, many of the scientific studies we will mention are relatively recent and, like all science, subject to revision

License

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The Evolution and Biology of Sex by Sehoya Cotner and Deena Wassenberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.