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Houston Voice, No. 1000, December 24, 1999
File 017
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Houston Voice, No. 1000, December 24, 1999 - File 017. 1999-12-24. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 16, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6369/show/6356.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1999-12-24). Houston Voice, No. 1000, December 24, 1999 - File 017. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6369/show/6356

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1000, December 24, 1999 - File 017, 1999-12-24, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 16, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6369/show/6356.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1000, December 24, 1999
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date December 24, 1999
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 017
Transcript 16 OUT ON THE BAYOU DECEMBER 24, 1999 • HOUSTON VOICE Out In Print BOOK NEWS Sex theories taken to task by ANDREA LT. PETERSON Edward Stein wrote THE MISMEASURE OF DESIRE in an effort to clarify scientific, legal and personal thinking about human sexuality—and to contest the now widely- accepted view that "sexual orientations are genetic and/or biological." "Not only is there bad science being done," he said in an interview, "but the media coverage of the science exacerbates the mistakes of science. Further, the social and legal conclusions that are being drawn from this science are mistaken. Perhaps the main reason I wrote this book was to debunk scientific research on sexual orientation and offer an alternative view of the significance of research on sexual orientation." Stein looks at everything from early Greek assumptions about sexuality to notions of a "gay gene." Although he explains why it is "reasonable" for us to be interested in how sexual desire develops, he wonders aloud if we really need such theories. "These theories," says Stein, "are definitely inaccurate; with regards to legal and ethical arguments, these theories are also unhelpful." By this he does not mean to suggest that science is not worth pursuing. But does the issue warrant its growing cultural obsession and commensurate funding? "I think that some research on human sexuality should be funded and supported. However, I'm not convinced that scientific research on sexual orientation of the sort that is primarily being done up to now is worthwhile." Though "Mismeasure of Desire" is dense—bursting at its binding with minu- tia—the end result is still rewarding. Stein summarizes and reviews the material he has covered, allowing you to focus on certain parts of the book, poring over the ethical issues, for example, without delving into the scientific research. "The problems with the simple picture of sexual orientation [is] that [it] sees sexual orientations as coming in two and only two flavors," Stein contends. "Human sexual desires are complicated and they can be grouped in a variety of ways: how much sex you like to have, the sort of sex you like to have, the physical features of people you are attracted to, etc. Sexual orientation, the gender of the people you are sexually attracted to is just one aspect of sexual desire. "We aren't justified in assuming that sexual orientation, compared to other aspects of sexual desire, is especially revealing of one's inner character," he argues. Looking at the scientific evidence, Stein's position is clear: "All existing scientific theo ries of the origins of sexual orientation are wrong," he says. "Even if the scientific research improves over time, attempts to link theories of the origins of sexual orientation to legal and ethical positions concerning sexual orientation are also mistaken." "Some gay rights advocates claim that if scientific research demonstrates that sexual orientations are not chosen, then lesbians and gay men deserve legal protections," he explains. "While this argument seems plausible, I think this is a mistaken and a dangerous argument. ... It is very risky to link our basic human rights to the ups and downs of scientific research, especially when it is in an early stage." Stein also argues that while nature v. nurture appears to be an argument about whether being gay is a choice, most of what's important about being gay is, in fact, a choice. "Gay people chose to engage in same-sex sexual behaviors, to enter same-sex relationships and to express their gay identities," Stein claims. "The Tack of choice' argument is basically impotent. No one who is against lesbian and gay rights in the first place will be persuaded by this argument. Many lesbians and gay men feel that they didn't choose their sexual orientation. From this, says Stein, "they infer that they were bom with the sexual orientation." He points out that there are other personality traits that weren't chosen but, rather, developed after their birth. "This doesn't mean that I think a person's sexual orientation can be changed—in fact, I think it is impossible to change a person's sexual orientation, but this doesn't mean that people are born with sexual orientations." The Mismeasure of Desire by Edward Stein Oxford University Press, $35 What your neighbors are reading . . . 1 Comfort & Joy byjimGrimsley, $21.95 2 Let Nothing You Dismay by Mark O'Donnell, $12 3 Best of the Superstars 2000 edited by John Patrick, $11.95 4 Way to Go, Smith by Bob Smith, $24 5 Every Time We Say Goodbye by Jane Maiman, $11.95 6 Lawn Boy by Paul Lisieky, $13.95 7 Murder Undercover by Claire McNab, $11.95 8 Innuendo by R.D. Zimmerman, $21.95 9 Best Little Boy in the World Grows Up by Andrew Tobias, $12 10 Latin Lovers by Erasmo Guerra, $15.95 Crossroads Market BOOKSTORE & C A I I 1111 Westheimer 713-942-0147 1 Chop Suey Club by Bruce Weber, $60 2 Best of the Superstars 2000 edited by John Patrick, $11.95 3 Falcon Best of Legends $8.95 4 Sensual Men by Bruno Gmunder, $29.95 5 Way to Go, Smith by Bob Smith, $24 6 Innuendo by R.D. Zimmerman, $21.95 7 The Woman Who Rode to the Moon by Belt Recce Johnson, $12.95 8 Edmund White: The Burning World by Stephen Barber, $25.95 9 Mayhem at the Marina byCharlene Miller, SI 1.95 10 Best Lesbian Erotica 2000 ed. by Tristan Taormino, $14.95 JLOBO ^^ Bookshop & ('aft 3939 Montrose Boulevard 713-522-5156
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