Written with the same clarity, directness, and humor that have made Simon LeVay one of the most popular lecturers at Harvard Medical School and at the University of California, San Diego, The Sexual Brain examines the biological roots of human sexual behavior. It puts forward the compelling case that the diversity of human sexual feelings and behavior can best be understood in terms of the development, structure, and function of the brain circuits that produce them. Discarding all preconceptions about the motivation and purpose of sexuality, LeVay discusses the scientific evidence bearing on such questions as why we are sexual animals, what the brain mechanisms are that produce sexual behavior, how these mechanisms differ between men and women and how these differences develop, and finally, what determines a person's sexual orientation: genes, prenatal events, family environment, or early sexual experiences? The Sexual Brain is broad in scope, covering evolutionary theory, molecular genetics, endocrinology, brain structure and function, cognitive psychology, and development. It is unified by LeVay's thesis that human sexual behavior, in all its diversity, is rooted in biological mechanisms that can be explored by laboratory science. The book does not shy away from the complexities of the field, but it can be readily appreciated and enjoyed by anyone with an intelligent interest in sex.
...excellent: accurate, entertaining and thought-provoking... - American ScientistVirtually anyone interested in gender studies, human sexuality, the application of evolutionary theory to behavior, or psychology in general should consider this fascinating book must reading. - BooklistIn this work on how evolution affects how we behave in the romantic and sexual realms, the author . . . kicks away Cupid in favor of Darwin and the result is fascinating . . . . Barber is seemingly inexhaustible when it comes to diversity of thought . . . . His accessible and lively writing keeps the book from feeling too wide-ranging and scholarly. . . . those who don't mind considering that romantic inclinations may be in one's genes and not in one's heart will find much to chew on in this weighty addition to the field of evolutionary psychology. -ForeWord MagazineNigel Barber is one of the most innovative and intriguing investigators currently writing in the field of evolutionary psychology. His insights are always novel and provocative, challenging our preconceptions and encouraging us to consider alternative perspectives on gender differences and romantic and sexual behavior. His observations are certain to generate discussion from scientists, and from anyone who has ever been mystified by love. - Michael Cunningham, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Louisville, and President, International Network on Personal RelationshipsRecent advances in evolutionary psychology and biology have revolutionized the understanding of human courtship, marriage, and relationships. The Science of Romance provides an accessible and entertaining look at this new research and explores many of the implications for sexual and romantic relationships. The book is a pleasure to read and is highly recommended to the reader who wishes to better understand human relationships or wants an introduction to evolutionary psychology. - David C. Geary, Ph.D., Middlebush Professor of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri at Columbia, and author of Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex DifferencesA gripping book throughout--scientifically sound and wonderfully illustrated with real life examples; must reading for everyone concerned with human mating, which is just about everyone. - David M. Buss, author of The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human MatingHave you ever wondered why divorce is so much more common now than a century ago? Why the sex appeal of certain body types and clothing styles changes so dramatically over time? Why so many liberated young women today prefer emotional commitment from men while their male counterparts seem always more interested in sowing their wild oats?According to evolutionary psychologist Nigel Barber, each of these aspects of modern life reflects two million years of hominid evolution. In The Science of Romance he explains that much of our present behavior can be traced back to the ancient evolved motives of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. In short, we exhibit the behaviors that have evolved over millennia to increase the reproductive success of the species. Also drawing on the mating behavior of various animals, Barber finds illuminating comparisons that help to explain human actions and reactions.Barber delves into a host of interesting topics: dating competition and aggression; female courtship signals that subtly manipulate male behavior; how exposure to different sex hormones shapes the evolving brain in utero, which may account for the different behaviors of men and women; and much more.This absorbing book educates and entertains, while showing that many seemingly irrational aspects of our intimate romantic behavior make sense when understood in terms of our prehistoric ancestors and evolution.Nigel Barber, Ph.D. (Portland, ME), formerly an assistant professor of psychology at Birmingham-Southern College, is now a freelance writer and researcher, and the author of Why Parents Matter: Parental Investment and Child Outcomes.
Looks at the biology of gender, including such topics as male and female brains, sex differences in emotions, sexual orientation, hormones, and social roles
Do biological factors, such as gonadal hormones, determine our sexual destiny after our genes are in place? Do they make men aggressive, or women nurturing? Do they cause boys and girls to play differently or to have different interests? Do they explain differences in sexual orientation within each sex group? Do they contribute to the preponderance of men in science or women at home? Scientists working from a psychosocial perspective would answer these questions differently than those working from a behavioral neuroscience or neuroendocrinological perspective. This book brings both of these perspectives to bear on the questions, tracing the factors that influence the brain, beginning with testosterone and other hormones during prenatal life, and continuing through changing life situations and experiences that can sculpt the brain and its activity, even in adulthood. This influence has important implications for understanding the social roles of men and women in society, the different educational and emotional issues that confront males and females, the legal rights of those whose sexual orientation or gender identity do not correspond to norms, and even standards of clinical care for people born with physical intersex conditions that make it difficult to classify a person as male or female at birth. This original and accessible book will be of interest to psychologists, neuroscientists, pediatricians, and educators, as well as the general public. It is also suitable for use in graduate and undergraduate courses on the psychology of gender or on hormones and behavior.
The knowledge that there are biological differences in the male and female brain has been taken for granted in the scientific community for years, yet it's kept so quiet as to seem like science's dirty little secret. This book boldly and responsibly ventures forth with these findings and their implications.
Society tells us that sex is an act of self-expression, a personal choice for physical pleasure that can be summed up in the ubiquitous phrase: “hooking up". Millions of American teenagers and young adults are finding that the psychological baggage of such behavior is having a real and lasting impact on their lives. They are discovering that “hooking up” is the easy part, but “unhooking” from the bonds of a sexual relationship can have serious consequences. A practical look into new scientific research showing how sexual activity causes the release of brain chemicals, which then result in emotional bonding and a powerful desire to repeat the activity. This book will help parents and singles understand that “safe sex” isn't safe at all; that even if they are protected against STDs and pregnancy, they are still hurting themselves and their partner.
Jordan-Young has written a stunning book that demolishes most of the science associated with the dominant paradigm of the development of sex and gender identity, behavior, and orientation. The current paradigm, brain organization theory, proposes: "Because of early exposure to different sex hormones, males and females have different brains"; and these hormones also create "gay" and "straight" brains. Jordan-Young interviewed virtually every major researcher in the field and reviewed hundreds of published scientific papers. Her conclusion: "Brain organization theory is little more than an elaboration of longstanding folk tales about antagonistic male and female essences and how they connect to antagonistic male and female natures." She explains, in exquisite detail, the flaws in the underlying science, from experimental designs that make no statistical sense to "conceptually sloppy" definitions of male and female sexuality, contradictory results, and the social construction of normality. Her conclusion that the patterns we see are far more complicated than previously believed and due to a wider range of variables will shake up the research community and alter public perception.
The author the best-selling The Female Brain identifies gender differences in the brain, behavior, and hormones to reveal the fundamental characteristics of male realities, offering insight into such topics as the male problem-solving process, competitive aptitude and sexual drive.
This collection of foundational papers on sex differences in the brain traces the development of a much-invoked, fast-growing young field at the intersection of brain and behavior. The reader is introduced to the meaning and nature of sexual dimorphisms, the mechanisms and consequences of steroid hormone action, and the impact of the field on interpretations of sexuality and gender. Building on each other in point-counterpoint fashion, the papers tell a fascinating story of an emerging science working out its core assumptions. Experimental and theoretical papers, woven together by editor's introductions, open a window onto knowledge in the making and a vigorous debate between reductionist and pluralist interpreters. Five major sections include papers on conceptual and methodological background, central nervous system dimorphisms, mechanisms for creating dimorphisms, dimorphisms and cognition, and dimorphisms and identity. Each section builds from basic concepts to early experiments, from experimental models to humans, and from molecules to mind. Papers by such leading scholars as Arthur Arnold, Frank Beach, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Patricia Goldman-Rakic, Doreen Kimura, Simon LeVay, Bruce McEwen, Michael Merzenich, Bertram O'Malley, Geoffrey Raisman, and Dick Swaab, illustrate a rich blend of perspectives, approaches, methods, and findings. Sex and the Brain will show students how a scientific paper can be analyzed from many perspectives, and supply them with critical tools for judging a rapidly emerging science in a contentious area.
Since Dr. Brizendine wrote The Female Brain ten years ago, the response has been overwhelming. This New York Times bestseller has been translated into more than thirty languages, has sold nearly a million copies between editions, and has most recently inspired a romantic comedy starring Whitney Cummings and Sofia Vergara. And its profound scientific understanding of the nature and experience of the female brain continues to guide women as they pass through life stages, to help men better understand the girls and women in their lives, and to illuminate the delicate emotional machinery of a love relationship. Every brain begins as a female brain. It only becomes male eight weeks after conception, when excess testosterone shrinks the communications center, reduces the hearing cortex, and makes the part of the brain that processes sex twice as large. Louann Brizendine, M.D. is a pioneering neuropsychiatrist who brings together the latest findings to show how the unique structure of the female brain determines how women think, what they value, how they communicate, and whom they’ll love. Brizendine reveals the neurological explanations behind why • A woman remembers fights that a man insists never happened • A teen girl is so obsessed with her looks and talking on the phone • Thoughts about sex enter a woman’s brain once every couple of days but enter a man’s brain about once every minute • A woman knows what people are feeling, while a man can’t spot an emotion unless somebody cries or threatens bodily harm • A woman over 50 is more likely to initiate divorce than a man Women will come away from this book knowing that they have a lean, mean communicating machine. Men will develop a serious case of brain envy.
What are we exactly, when we are said to be our brain? This question leads Jan De Vos to examine the different metamorphoses of the brain: the educated brain, the material brain, the iconographic brain, the sexual brain, the celebrated brain and, finally, the political brain. This first, protracted and sustained argument on neurologisation, which lays bare its lineage with psychologisation, should be taken seriously by psychologists, educationalists, sociologists, students of cultural studies, policy makers and, above all, neuroscientists themselves.
Using findings from the latest information in developmental psychology, neuroscience and education, this book debunks the assumed differences between male and female brain function and reveals the brain's remarkable plasticity and the influence of culture on identity. Reprint.
During the last years human sexuality has been the focus of interest and study by various disciplines. In this volume a multidisciplinary team of international experts discuss contemporary issues of human sexuality from updates on diagnosis to the management of various sexual dysfunctions. Reviews of the management of several female sexual dysfunctions, the impact of cancer on sexual functioning, the impact of trauma on sexual desire and function as well as the newest trends in sex therapy; androgen deprivation treatment of sexual behavior and autogynephilia are discussed in detail. Further, the complex interplay between the field of human sexuality and the Internet, psychological and cultural aspects of infertility are reviewed. A large amount of clinical material on topics rarely covered in other volumes will prove invaluable reading to clinicians from various disciplines such as psychiatry, psychology, urology, gynecology, sexology and sex therapy.
Controversial sexual medicine icon Dr. John Money has been on the leading edge of sex research for decades. Supporters and students call him a powerful genius who has changed the face of sex research, blazing new pathways for future scientists and sexologists, especially in the murky area of gender identification and disorders.Sin, Science, and the Sex Police contains twenty-nine selections covering both the study of sex (sexology) and the ideology of sex (sexosophy) in which Money, the man who coined the terms gender and lovemap, ponders the many dimensions of human sexuality: its biology, the natural coding of sex assignments, how we identify ourselves sexually, the sex roles we play, and more. These fascinating essays explore the compelling topics of eroticism, the ideology of homosexuality, the concept of gender, role and sexual identity, antisexualism in history and religion, Freud, paraphilia, gendermaps and loveblots, lust in humans and animals, evolutionary sexology, the Kama Sutra, masturbation, sexological disorders, sex reassignment, orgasm, body-image, and much more.Money proclaims that while societies have cherished medicine and philosophy as sciences, sex has unfortunately failed to be properly embraced. Always on the cutting edge, always far beyond his time, Money enlightens and fascinates.John Money (Baltimore, MD) is professor emeritus of medical psychology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, and the author of many books including the popular Lovemaps.
The Brave New World of Sex We've seen in less than a generation a swift revolution in human sexual behavior, attitude, and consequences so dramatic that some people are left in a state of stunned dismay and the public at large in aimless confusion. Much of the trend, if you can call a revolu tion a trend, is fueled by, or at least made possible by, technological innovations dating back to the middle of the twentieth century. The birth control pill opened the gate to promiscuity with little fear of pregnancy; marriage became an annoyance; divorce be came an opportunity; two working parents became a necessity; and teenage sex became nearly as socially acceptable as holding hands or going to the movies. The copulation explosion resulted in a spiraling epidemic of children giving birth to children, many of them on welfare. Girls seeking relief through abortions were sometimes forced to have their unwanted offspring despite the inevitability of some of them living in poverty and a desperate dead-end environment of squalor and crime. Some misguidedly wanted babies and ended up the same way. To top it all, discipline 2 A Sexual Odyssey became a lost art, leaving schools and neighborhoods infested with gun-toting, knife-wielding teenage delinquents-even in middle-class areas-who engaged in contests fo see who could get the most girls knocked up. The chaotic state of fornication, mating, and birthing may be a throwback to the past.
Ambition, genius, thought, imagination, love, hate, greed and, above all, consciousness ourselves as alive and as part of our world OCo all this is somehow enabled by the brain. The brain is the person, and if it goes wrong, a person is ruined. This book is about part of what the brain does OCo a role of which many of us are hardly aware, but one that has ensured, the survival of mankind. Despite famine, drought, wars, cold, infections and hostile environments, we survive as a species OCo though not always as individuals. All this time, our brains have been coping with what fate throws at us OCo a process that some call adaptation. How does the brain do it? How does it know whatOCOs needed? How does it enable us to provide that need? How much do we depend on our own brains, or on those of others?. This book is different from other books on the brain. It deals with the brainOCOs role in survival, rather than OC higherOCO cognitive functions (such as language or thought). It describes the special part of the brain that keeps you alive: that makes you feel hungry when you need energy, makes you feel thirsty when you need water, drives you to reproduce so that your species survives, makes you fearful of things or individuals that might harm you, and defends you against adversity."
What if great sex wasn't just great sex: what if great sex could actually change your life? A groundbreaking and intriguing look at how each one of us can grab a better life through better sex, this book lays out a bold yet simple path for uncovering desire and maximizing its effects. You will learn how to discover your true desires, understand what they mean, and use those secrets to create powerful change.
Pornography is powerful. Our contemporary culture as been pornified, and it shapes our assumptions about identity, sexuality, the value of women and the nature of relationships. Countless Christian men struggle with the addictive power of porn. But common spiritual approaches of more prayer and accountability groups are often of limited help. In this book neuroscientist and researcher William Struthers explains how pornography affects the male brain and what we can do about it. Because we are embodied beings, viewing pornography changes how the brain works, how we form memories and make attachments. By better understanding the biological realities of our sexual development, we can cultivate healthier sexual perspectives and interpersonal relationships. Struthers exposes false assumptions and casts a vision for a redeemed masculinity, showing how our sexual longings can actually propel us toward sanctification and holiness in our bodies. With insights for both married and single men alike, this book offers hope for freedom from pornography.
Turning conventional thinking about gender differences on its head, Lise Eliot issues a call to close the troubling gaps between boys and girls and help all children reach their fullest potential. Drawing on years of exhaustive research and her own work in the field of neuroplasticity, Eliot argues that infant brains are so malleable that small differences at birth become amplified over time as parents, teachers, and the culture at large unwittingly reinforce gender stereotypes. Indicating points of intervention where social pressures can be minimised, she offers concrete solutions for helping everyone grow into wellrounded individuals.