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Gay Science the Ethics of Sexual Orientation Research

by Timothy F. Murphy

  • ISBN: 9780231108485
  • ISBN10: 0231108486

Gay Science the Ethics of Sexual Orientation Research

by Timothy F. Murphy

  • List Price: $95.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1997
  • ISBN: 9780231108485
  • ISBN10: 0231108486
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Description: What is the goal of sexual orientation research? What should it be? Will biological, psychological, and other research into the origins of sexuality be used as an instrument to further marginalize gay people -- or encourage greater tolerance? What will these studies mean for the future of gay rights and culture?

The first book to offer a comprehensive look at the ethics surrounding this controversial area of research, Gay Science is sure to be at the center of the debate on homosexuality.

Timothy Murphy reviews the social and historical conditions that spawned sexual orientation research and the findings that often perpetuated confusion about homosexuality. Murphy presents the views of many gay men and women who contend a biological link to homosexuality would help mitigate prejudice and foster greater protection under the law. He also explores arguments of those who detect more ominous motives in the uses of this research: that, for instance, if a clear genetic marker for homosexual tendencies were discovered, genetic screening would be used to identify and discriminate against gay people; and if a method for changing sexual orientation were developed, it would be forced upon gay adults, or children whose parents suspected they might grow up to be gay.

Drawing on a wide range of studies in neuroanatomy, genetics, and psychology, Murphy systematically reviews the ways in which research could be used for discriminatory ends. He also argues that while much of the research to date is bad science, questionable in its objectives and methodologically flawed, the mistakes of the past and the potential misuse of research do not justify the suppression or abandonment of sexual orientationstudies.

As Gay Science explains, science, for better or worse, represents a vital channel through which a more complete understanding of homosexuality can be established.

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