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Neuroendocrinology Letters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology

including Psychoneuroimmunology, Neuro
Reproductive Medicine, Chronobiology
and Human Ethology
ISSN 0172–780X

NEL VOL. 22 No. 6
Invited NEL Review

Homosexual Orientation

2001; 22:393-401
pii: NEL220601R01



Related Article:
 Human Pheromones:
"Integrating Neuroendocrinology and Ethology"
(Zdenek Klein Award for Human Ethology)

Homosexual Orientation in Males:
Evolutionary and Ethological Aspects

by Frank Muscarella*, Bernhard Fink*, Karl Grammer*,
Michael Kirk-Smith*

*The authors have contributed equally to this publication.

sexual orientation, homosexuality, evolution,
adaptedness, kin-selection, sexual behavior, exaptation

Submitted: November 27, 2001
Accepted: November 28, 2001


Evolutionary theory proposes that adaptive traits are reproduced more successfully than maladaptive traits. Accordingly, natural selection should favour heterosexuality as it facilitates reproduction and the propagation of genes. However, the question becomes, what has maintained homosexuality in a small but consistent percentage of the human population? Research into the evolutionary and hormonal factors associated with a homosexual orientation have yielded provocative but inconsistent results. It also suggests that human sexual orientation, and in particular homosexual orientation, is too complex to be described by one simple model or a single research discipline. The current paper treads a new path and emphasises an integrative approach for the understanding of homosexuality. The authors examine the combined effects of evolutionary factors and neurohormonal processes on the development of a homosexual orientation. It is suggested that research into the topic could benefit from an examination of and change in some of the assumptions upon which much past research has been based.


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