by Aimee Genter-Gilmore, PQ MonthlySimon LeVay doesn't like beating around the bush. With a background as a former Harvard neuroscientist, LeVay's research has been at the center of discussion about what causes a person to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight. In 1991, he discovered that INAH3, a structure in the hypothalamus of the brain that helps to regulate sexual behavior, tended to be smaller in gay men than in straight men. This study lit the fire of "is it a choice or are we really born this way" debate that has been raging on for over a decade. In this lecture, The Science of Sexual Orientation, he will provide an update on the science and consider whether scientific knowledge about sexuality is relevant to how sexual minorities are treated by society. LeVay describes his lecture:
I usually speak on the topic of "The Science of Sexual Orientation." This lecture is an up-to-dateÂ survey of research, including my own. My message is thatÂ biological factors such as genes, prenatal hormones, and their interaction with the developing brain influence whether a person becomes gay, bisexual, or straight. Depending on the audience, I give a presentation that presumes no scientific knowledge, or one that is more advanced.
LeVay's research has not been without controversy. Some have found his support of J. Michael Bailey, author of The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism, as exploitation of transsexualism. Why not check out the lecture and come to your own conclusion?
Dr. Simon LeVay will present his lecture, The Science of Sexual Orientation, Thursday April 5th at 7:00 p.m. at the Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center of Pacific University in Forest Grove. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information on the lecture, visit pacificu.edu.