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