::: about
   ::: news
   ::: links
   ::: giving
   ::: contact

   ::: calendar
   ::: lunchtime
   ::: annual lecture series
   ::: conferences

   ::: visiting fellows
   ::: resident fellows
   ::: associates

   ::: visiting fellowships
   ::: resident fellowships
   ::: associateships

being here
   ::: visiting
   ::: the last donut
   ::: photo album

::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2003-04 >> abstracts

Friday,13 February 2004
The Developmental Challenge to Genetic Determinism:
A Model Explanation for Sexual Attraction
Christopher Horvath
Illinois State University
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: Research over the last several decades has shown that many of the traits that make up human sexuality are both typical of human beings across cultures and reliably reproduced from generation to generation. Nevertheless, attempts to generate biological explanations of sexual orientation are often criticized as “genetic determinist” where that is understood to mean both (biologically) unrealistic and (politically) homophobic. Developmental Systems Theory (Oyama 1985, 1999 and Griffiths and Gray 1994) offers an alternative model of biological systems that does not privilege genes over other developmental resources—including aspects of culture. The most often heard criticisms of the DST approach is that it does not provide any concrete accounts of the mechanisms by which the “developmental systems” central to DST accounts operate and that most DST accounts are too vague to allow for testing. The goal of this paper is to offer a concrete DST hypothesis for the development of sexual orientation in at least some human beings that is consistent with established theories of human psychosexual development, is centered on biological processes but is not gene-centric, is in principle open to experimental testing, and does not pathologize non-heterosexual orientations.

Revised 3/11/08 - Copyright 2006