ETIOLOGY OF LESBIANISM
The majority of the following articles are from the U.S.A. and are available through your local library (you will have to complete an order card and it will probably take about a month as they will have to send to the British Library for a copy; this should cost you about .50p).
THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF FEMALE SEXUALITY, ERNEST JONES, THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHO-ANALYSIS, OCTOBER 1927, VOL VIII(4), P459-472.
ON THE GENESIS OF FEMALE HOMOSEXUALITY, EVA BENE, BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, 1965, VOL III, P815-821.
THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF HOMOSEXUALITY: A STUDY OF ADOLESCENT LESBIANS, M.W. KREMER & A.H. RIFKIN, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, 1969, VOL 126(1), P91-96.
Twenty-five lesbian girls between the ages of 12-17 were investigated with special emphasis on family background and relationships. The reversed oedipal formulation that appears to describe many lesbians raised in intact nuclear families was not found. Findings from the study suggest that homosexuality may be a final common behaviour pathway rather than a single entity with a single etiology.
THE ETIOLOGY OF GENDER IDENTITY AND THE LESBIAN, KENNETH POOLE, THE JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 1972, NO 87, P51-57.
FAMILY DYNAMICS IN HOMOSEXUAL WOMEN, JAN LONEY, ARCHIVES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR, 1973, VOL 2(4), P343-349.
Subjects for this study were drawn from an informal social group of young, relatively well-functioning lesbians. Overall scores on a projective questionnaire (the Elias Family Adjustment Test) confirmed the prediction that homosexual women would show more evidence of adverse factors in their upbringing than would a matched heterosexual comparison group. Statistically significant differences were also found between the homosexual and heterosexual groups on subtests measuring negative attitudes toward mother, negative attitudes toward father, struggle for independence, parent-child friction, interparental friction, family inferiority, rejection of child, and parental qualities. No differences were found on subtests tapping preference for one parent over the other or oedipal concerns. Inspection of significantly differentiating FAT items revealed a remarkably consistent picture of the childhood homes of these lesbian subjects. The homosexual women described a neglecting and churlish father, a martyred and preoccupied mother, and children who felt angry and spiteful. Discussion is focused upon the findings for construction of a valid general theory of the genesis of homosexuality in women. Inferences drawn from this study - particularly those concerning the importance of negative childhood experiences with the father - are compatible with some previous studies of lesbian women and with many investigations of female role development in general.
SEXUAL CONDUCT: THE SOCIAL SOURCES OF HUMAN SEXUALITY, JOHN H. GAGNON & WILLIAM SIMON, CHICAGO: ALDINE, 1973, REVIEW BY GERALD C. DAVISON, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1974, VOL 1(1), P125-127.
HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE MEDICAL MODEL, VERN L. BULLOUGH, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1974, VOL 1(1), P99-110.
In the eighteenth century the whole subject of sexuality came to be of increasing medical concern, and medical concepts about sexual deviation came to enforce traditional religious concepts which were under attack. These ideas were amplified in the nineteenth century until all nonprocreative forms of sexuality were looked upon as pathological.
OBJECT CHOICE AND ACTUAL BISEXUALITY, A. LIMENTANI, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHOANALYTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY, 1975, VOL 5, P205-217.
Actual bisexuality is to be distinguished from homosexuality in a latent state and from conscious bisexual fantasies. Contemporary social changes have caused an increased demand for help by those men and women capable of engaging in protracted heterosexual and homosexual relations. Among such people narcissistic and border-line states are common.
Clinical material is presented in some detail. The author suggests that the condition is associated with a tendency to be caught up between the anaclitic and narcissistic types of object choice. The concurrent involvement with a male and female love object against a background of pseudogenitality creates the illusory appearance of two objects being involved, covering up the fact that there is splitting of the original love object together with severe preoedipal disturbance.
IATROGENIC HOMOSEXUALITY: GENDER IDENTITY IN SEVEN 46,XX CHROMOSOMAL FEMALES WITH HYPERADRENOCORTICAL HERMAPHRODITISM BORN WITH A PENIS, THREE REARED AS BOYS, FOUR REARED AS GIRLS, JOHN MONEY, JEAN DALERY, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALTY, 1976, VOL 1(4), P357-371.
This paper describes seven chromosomal and gonodal females with the adrenogenital syndrome who were born with a penis as a result of extreme fetal androgenization. Four of them were reared as girls and differentiated a female gender identity with tomboyism. The other three were reared as boys, differentiated a male gender identity, and performed sexually as men with women partners. Even though these men are by no means homosexual in the everday meaning of the term, the sexual relation is homosexual on the criteria of chromosomal and gonadal sex. The prenatal hormonal environment as well as the social experience of the rearing have thus demonstrated a formula for creating the perfect female homosexual.
AGE, STRUCTURE, AND SEXUALITY: REFLECTIONS ON THE ANTHOPOLOGICAL EVIDENCE ON HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONS, BARRY D. ADAM, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1976, VOL 1(3), P19-33.
The paper compares selected examples of age-structured homosexuality to understand same-sex eroticism as a 'predictable' outcome of particular combinations of age, gender, and kinship. Unlike traditional models of homosexuality which view it as exceptional or abnormal, cross-cultural evidence demonstrates that homosexuality is an inextricable component of the structural codes of the societies in which it appears.
ATTITUDES, OPINIONS, AND SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT OF 205 HOMOSEXUAL WOMEN, ROBERT A. HOGAN, ANNE N. FOX, JOHN H. KIRCHNER, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1977, VOL 3(2), P123-136.
Two hundred and five homosexual women, aged 15 to 50, were surveyed as to their attitudes and experiences in the areas of education, religion, family experiences, marriage, friendship, personal happiness, sexual development and satisfaction, psychological adjustment, and occupational status. The investigation discovered a high rate of only-child status among lesbian women, a tendency toward ambivalence of opinion on many issues, and a general lack of insight into self and others. Comparisons with other research on female homosexuality were made.
HOMOSEXUALITY IN ADOLESCENCE, MERVIN GLASSER, BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY, 1977, VOL 50, P217-225.
This paper asserts that homosexuality in adolescence should not be regarded in the same way as it would be in adults. Different types of homosexuality emerge during adolescence according to the different psychodynamic conditions which occur at different stages of adolescence, particularly the changing relationship to the individual's parents, and these may subside or make an important contribution to the establishment and nature of an individual's homosexuality in adulthood.
The characteristic 'identificatory facility' of adolescence is discussed and it is suggested that this is retained in the make-up of the adult homosexual. Some comments on the clinical assessment of homosexuality in adolescence are briefly made.
THE DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS OF HOMOSEXUALITY, A. LIMENTANI, BRITISH JOURNAL OF MEDICAL PSYCHOLOGY, 1977, VOL 50, P209-216.
The treatment of homosexuality presents serious difficulties owing to its multifactorial aetiology and variety of psychopathological views. It is suggested that the combined use of psychiatric and psychoanalytic models can contribute to the establishment of a satisfactory differential diagnosis. Out of the innumnerable clinical types seen in practice and described in the literture, three major groups can be isolated. The homosexuality which occurs in the background of hysterical, obsessional and other neurotic personality types and related psychiatric conditions, tends to be linked with latent heterosexuality and responds well to all forms of psychotherapy. On the other hand, true homosexuality is often the major presenting symptom of borderline states, narcissistic disorders, psychopathy and the schizo-affective psychoses and carries an unfavourable prognosis with any form of treatment. Cases of actual bisexuality form the third group with its own specific psychopathology. The homosexual solution is seen as a defence and is regarded as a matter of survival for many individuals. It should be treated with the utmost caution by anyone who attempts to remove it.
COMPONENTS OF SEXUAL IDENTITY, MICHAEL G. SHIVELY, JOHN P. DE CECCO, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1977, VOL 3(1), P41-48.
This paper examines the four components of sexual identity: biological sex, gender identity, social sex-role, and sexual orientation. Theories about the development of each component and how they combine and conflict to form the individual's sexual identity are discussed. As defined here, social sex-role includes the individual's femininity and masculinity. Sexual orientation includes the individual's physical and affectional sexual preferences for relationships with members of the same and/or opposite biological sex. This paper may help to clarify meanings of the following terms used in research on sexual identity: sex, gender, femininity, masculinity, heterosexuality, and homosexuality.
ROLE EXPECTATIONS AND DEFINITIONS: A COMPARISON OF FEMALE TRANSSEXUALS AND LESBIANS, ELIZABETH A. MCCAULEY, ANKE A. EHRHARDT, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1977, VOL 3(2), P137-145.
A new study on female transsexuals and lesbians is reported. A matched-group comparison of 15 women in each sample suggests that the two groups do not differ in overall intelligence, although lesbians, unlike female transsexuals, tended to have a significantly higher verbal IQ than perforance IQ. Both groups showed a similar reponse pattern on the Embedded Figures Test but differed on the Draw-A Person Test, The Guilddord-Zimmerman Temperament Survey, and the Bem Androgny Scale. Whereas the female transsexual group reflected a more rigid gender role stereotype, the lesbians saw their options as more androgynous.
STIGMA, SEX, AND SOCIETY: A NEW LOOK AT GENDER DIFFERENTIATION AND SEXUAL VARIATION, MECHAEL W. ROSS, LESLEY J. ROGERS, HELEN MCCULLOCH, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1978, VOL 3(4), P315-330.
This paper takes a critical look at the hormonal basis of sexual behavior and concludes that it plays no part in determination of sexual activity or sexual preference in any of its forms including homosexuality and transsexualism. The empirical evidence of psychosexual functioning does not support Money's schema which suggests that sexual variation (homosexuality), transsexualism, and transvestism are incongruities of gender identity. An alternative approach which places gender differentiation and sexual variation in a social context is presented.
LESBIANISM IN FEMALE AND COED CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS, ALICE M. PROPPER, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1978, VOL 3(3), P265-274.
Questionnaire responses from 13- to 17-year-old girls in four all-female and three coed institutions were used to determine rates and causes of institutional homosexuality. Rates were as high in coed as in single-sexed institutions. The overall rates of homosexuality for all seven institutions were 14% for "going with or being married" to another girl, 10% for passionately kissing, 10% for writing love letters, and 7% for having sex, beyond hugging and kissing, with another girl. The data suggest that previous homosexuality, often experienced in other correctional programs, explains much of the variance in institutional homosexuality.
SELECTED CLINICAL STUDIES OF THE TREATMENT EFFECTS OF THE SEXUAL IDENTITY OF CLIENTS AND THERAPISTS, PATRICIA A. SALIBA, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1978, VOL 4(1), P113-120.
This bibliography contains annoted references for clinical research on the variables of biological sex, social sex-role, and sexual orientation. Biological sex refers to individuals being female or male. Social sex-role refers to psychological characteristics of individuals that are culturally associated with females or males. These characteristics are perceived by individuals as feminine or masculine. Sexual orientation refers to individuals' physical sexual activity and close relationships with and erotic fantasies about members of the same or opposite biological sex.
RELATING TO CHILDREN: GAYS AS ROLE MODELS, DOROTHY I. RIDDLE, JOURNAL OF SOCIAL ISSUES, 1978, VOL 34(3), P38-58.
Within the framework that same-sex sexual preference can be a positive outcome, the developmental aspects of sexual identity are traced. It seems that gender identity is fixed in early childhood, rigid sex-role identity has questionable effects while more flexibility in sex-role behaviors has definite advantages, and sexual preference choices continue to evolve throughout one's lifetime. A review of the literature on role modeling leads to the conclusions that children internalize particular traits from a variety of models, and that gays are more likely to serve as non-traditional sex-role models than as determiners of same-sex sexual preference.
SEXUAL STIGMA: AN INTERACTIONIST ACCOUNT, KENNETH PLUMMER, ROUTLEDGE & KEGAN PAUL, 1975, REVIEW BY BARRY D. ADAM, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1979, VOL 4(4), P395-396.
COLLEGE AGE LESBIANISM AS A DEVELOPMENT PHENOMENON, ANN FLECK HENDERSON, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE HEALTH ASSOCIATION, 1979, VOL 28(3), P176-78.
The clinical phenomenon of young lesbianism is seen as psychologically meaningful in terms of ongoing ego development rather than in terms of arrested psychosexual development.
FEMALE TO MALE TRANSSEXUALS COMPARED TO LESBIANS: BEHAVIORAL PATTERNS OF CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT, A.A. EHRHARDT, G. GRISANTI, E.A. MCCAULEY, ARCHIVES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR, 1979, VOL 8(6), P481-490.
We report detailed interview data on a clinical sample (N = 15) of female-to-male transsexuals (FTs) compared to a matched research sample (N = 15) of lesbians (Ls). Both groups were relatively young, with a mean age of 21 years 10 months (FTs) and 23 years 8 months (Ls), respectively, and were of middle or lower SES. Both groups did not differ from each other in respect to frequency of tomboyish behavior or interest in doll play and other aspects of maternal rehearsal. Male peer preference was more often remembered among the FTs, but the difference between the groups was only of borderline significance. The groups differed significantly regarding childhood cross-dressing (80% FTs, 0% for Ls), gender identity confusion in adolescence (absent among Ls), and negative reaction to breast development and menarche (approxiamte 70% for FTs, 10% for Ls). The similarities and differences between the two groups in childhood and adolescent development are relevant for clinical management and the differential diagnosis of transsexualism vs lesbianism.
LESBIANISM: A STUDY OF FEMALE HOMOSEXUALITY, DAVID H. ROSEN, REVIEW BY SHARON M. RAPHAEL, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1980, VOL 5(3), P239-241.
LESBIAN WOMEN'S PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS, EILEEN SHAVELSON, MARY K. BIAGGIO, HERB H. CROSS, ROBERT E. LEHMAN, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1980, VOL 5(3), P205-215.
Twenty-six self-identified lesbian women and a comparison group of twenty-six heterosexual women, who were either students in a human sexuality course, members of the National Organization for Women, or volunteers from a women's center, were administered the short form of Shaefer's Child Report of Parental Behavior Inventory, the Bem Sex Role Inventory, and an interview concerning family background relationships and sexual experiences and attitudes. Regression analysis revealed no significant family background variable or parental sex-role adherence variable that correlated with sexual orientation. Significant differences were found concerning sex-role adherence, with lesbian women being more masculinely sex-role typed than heterosexual women. Lesbian women were also found to be significantly more satisfied with their sex lives. It was concluded that there are no apparent family background variables that predict the development of a lesbian orientation.
IS HOMOSEXUALITY HORMONALLY DETERMINED? LYNDA I.A. BIRKE, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1981, VOL 6(4), P35-49.
This paper suggests there is insufficient evidence to conclude that homosexuality has endocrine bases. The search for hormonal correlates occurs within a model that views homosexuality as a medical problem requiring biological explanation and a program of treatment of prevention. This search is heavily rooted in popular conceptions of gender-appropriate behavior, as well as in naive concepts of the significance of hormonal changes.
Two kinds of hormonal study are considered here. Researchers may either (a) investigate hormone levels in adult populations or (b) investigate hypotheses of behavioral determination by prenatal hormones. Much of the latter information derives from animal studies, commonly on the laboratory rat. This paper questions the validity of assumptions underlying these studies - assumptions about the behavior of the laboratory rat itself and, more importantly, about the legitimacy of this animal as a model for human behavior. It is suggested that, although such hypotheses are naive, their current popularity arises from their potential role in "controlling" homosexuality.
THE LESBIAN AS "SINGLE" WOMAN, NANETTE GARTRELL, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOTHERAPY, 1981, VOL 35(4).
Until recently, lesbianism was considered a developmental disorder. Studies have now shown that lesbians are indistinguishable from heterosexual women in psychological adjustment. However, lesbians must cope with considerable stress living in a society which is intolerant of homosexuality. This paper will discuss the unique conflicts which cultural definitions of the "single" woman create for lesbian women.
ARE THERE GAY GENES? SOCIOBIOLOGY AND HOMOSEXUALITY, MICHAEL RUSE, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1981, VOL 6(4), P5-33.
This paper considers recent hypotheses prepared by sociobiologists puportedly giving Darwinian evolutionary explanations of human homosexuality. Four models are considered: balanced superior heterozygote fitness, kin selection, parental manipulation, and homosexuality as a maladaptive side effect of intensive natural selection for superior male heterosexual behavior. The evidence for the models is reviewed, and their philosophical adequacy is considered in some depth. It is argued that although the models pass obvious methodological hurdles and meet other criteria, as yet, the evidence for their applicability is indecisive.
EARLY AND LATER DETERMINANTS OF LESBIAN CHOICE, R.J. EISENBUD PSYCHOANAL-REV, 1982, VOL 69(1), P85-109.
LESBIAN IDENTITIES: AN EXAMINATION OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR AND SEX ROLE ATTRIBUTION AS RELATED TO AGE OF INITIAL SAME-SEX SEXUAL ENCOUNTER, BRENDA K. VANCE, VICKI GREEN, PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMEN QUARTERLY, 1984, VOL 8(3), P293-307.
THE MYTHIC MANNISH LESBIAN: RADCLYFFE HALL AND THE NEW WOMAN, ESTHER NEWTON, SIGNS: JOURNAL OF WOMEN IN CULTURE AND SOCIETY, 1984, VOL 9(4), P557-575.
BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ON HOMOSEXUALITY: ANSELL'S COW OR OCCAM'S RAZOR? WENDELL RICKETTS, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 9(4), P65-93.
Research based on the assumption that homosexuality can be traced to heredity, prenatal brain differentiation, or effects of gonadotropins in adulthood is reviewed. From a biological standpoint the studies are deficient in several respects: More or less accurate methods of hormone assay, uncertainty over the process of brain sexual differentiation in humans, lack of agreement regarding the role of various gonadotropins in human behavior, small samples, and lack of controls. Moreover, the biological research is based on unwarranted assumptions about human sexuality, sex differences, and sexual orientation that have been imported from the social sciences and popular beliefs. The article questions why a biological basis for sexual orientation is expected, why biologists try to explain homosexuality but not heterosexuality, and what biologists mean by "homosexual." The author concludes that the biological research on homosexuality shows the inelectable taint on "objective" science of personal beliefs and cultural prejudices.
THERAPEUTIC IMPLICATIONS OF VIEWING SEXUAL IDENTITY IN TERMS OF ESSENTIALIST AND CONSTRUCTIONIST THEORIES, JOHN HART, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 9(4), P39-51.
One of the most challenging developments in recent historical studies and in empirical research in sociology has been constructionist theories relating to "sexual personalities." The "constructionist" view is that sexual identity is labile and can be therapeutically modified. In clinical work, this has presented an alternative view of the development of social sex-role and sexual orientation. Previously, views of sexual identity as a fixed personal characteristic (the "essentialist" view) provided clinicians with ways of treating psychologically distressed people either by transexual conversion or aversion therapy. This article reviews some implications of "constructionist" and "essentialist" theory. It describes the author's clinical attempts to present constructionist views to clients who are in conflict about their sexual orientation and social sex-role. The article concludes that constructionist therapy has not taken into account clinicial evidence that clients may adhere to "essentialist" beliefs.
TOWARDS A THEORY OF HOMOSEXUALITY: SOCIO-HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES, MARTIN DANNECKER, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 9(4), P1-8.
REACTIONS TO ISSUES CONCERNING SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS, IDENTITIES, PREFERENCES, AND CHOICES, A.P. MACDONALD, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 10(3/4), P23-27.
Most etiological theories of homosexuality suffer from unomania, the preoccupation with single causes. Unomania, in MacDonald's terms, reflects a singularistic, as compared with a pluralistic cognitive set. It also reflects the rigid dichotomization of feminine roles for female and masculine roles for males. It is hoped that current research on bisexuality will be spared the unomania that has afflicted research on homosexuality.
IN DEFENSE OF A MULTIDIMENSIONAL APPROACH TO SEXUAL IDENTITY, FREDERICK SUPPE, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 10(3/4) P7-14.
The papers in Bisexual and Homosexual Identities assert that standard notions of sexual identity are inadequate. Their criticisms rest on unarticulated views about the nature of science, which constitute positions in the Verstehen controversies. It is argued that social constructionist conceptualizations of sexual identity, which these papers propose as an alternative to earlier ones, are unidimensional and thus inadequate. Despite its limitations, Shively and De Cecco's (1977) model for components of sexual identity, if augmented by ideas of (1) psychobiologically mediated arousal cue-responses and (2) self-concepts, provides a more comprehensive and potentially richer conceptualization of sexual identity than social constructionist theories.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION, BEHAVIORAL PLASTICITY, AND EVOLUTION, DAVID M. SEABORG, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 10(3/4), P153-158.
The argument of Futuyma and Risch (1983/1984), that the homosexual orientation is not a distinct, evolved, reifiable trait with a genetic basis, but an expression of universal sexual and emotional drives, has validity. Yet it does not answer the question of why the development of sexual orientation has evolved to be so flexible as to allow an individual to become homosexual. It is proposed that this flexibility may result from the evolution of the capacity to learn, the complexity of the central nervous system, and behavioral plasticity in general. This theory fits the known literature better than all other evolutionary explanations of homosexuality and has interesting implications for the evolution of altruistic behavior in humans.
WEIGHING THE SHIFT FROM SEXUAL IDENTITY TO SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS, VERN L. BULLOUGH, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 10(3/4), P3-5.
The shift in inquiry from sexual identity to a conceptualization of sexual relationship, as proposed by De Cecco and Shively (1983/1984), has advantages for research on sexuality, but psychological and political disadvantages for homosexuals, which are briefly summarised in this analysis.
NATURE/NURTURE: REFLECTIONS ON APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF HOMOSEXUALITY, MICHAEL RUSE, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 10(3/4), P141-151.
There is understandable apprehension by many people towards claims that biology plays a significant role in the etiology of homosexuality. These worries should not be allowed to deter any such work on sexual orientation. It is argued that the only proper way to evaluate biological analyses is against the full background of Darwinian evolutionary theory. Moral issues pertaining to biological research on homosexuality are addressed. Finally, it is urged that both biological and environmental factors be considered in rendering a true picture of homosexuality.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION AS DESTINY, JOSEPH HARRY, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 10(3/4), P111-124.
The article argues that social constructionists are referring to labels applied to sexual orientation while essentialists are discussing sexual orientation itself. Although a review of the literature shows that various labels are applied to sexual orientation, these labels do not markedly affect its reality. Sexual orientation, defined as erotic attraction rather than sexual behavior, is established at an early age and largely immutable in adulthood.
FOLLOW-UP OF FEMALES WITH GENDER IDENTITY DISORDERS, E. MCCAULEY, A.A. EHRHARDT, JOURNAL OF NERVOUS MENTAL DISEASES, 1984, VOL 172(6) P353-8.
The present paper reports on the course of 15 young female to male transsexual applicants followed for 1 to 9 years after initial evaluation. Each patient completed a lengthy evaluation process including detailed semistructured interviews and a battery of psychological tests. Of the 15 applicants, 10 went on to live full time in the male role; however, one of these later returned to living as a female. This woman and three others were living as lesbians at last follow-up, while the two other patients continued to live in a more ambigusouly male-female role. Psychosocial functioning at the time of follow-up in terms of employment, partners, and psychiatric status is reviewed. A supportive problem-solving psychotherapy program was offered to all of these patients and seven became actively involved in therapy. The potential benefits and limitations of psychotherapy with female gender dysphoric patients are discussed.
BREAKING OUT OF THE DOMINANT PARADIGM: A NEW LOOK AT SEXUAL ATTRACTION, GISELA T. KAPLAN, LESLEY J. ROGERS, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 10(3/4), P71-75.
Concepts of sexuality based on the physical sex of partners limit the way in which human sexuality is conceived and investigated. The shift in focus of inquiry from the sexual identity of individuals to the structure of their sexual relationship is an important step towards exploding concepts that, for the most part, have been severely restricted to male-female genital distinctions. This article argues that the genital organs are not the prime focus of sexual attraction. Careful studies may reveal that sexual arousal is based on criteria that transcend genital categories. To determine the basis of sexual attraction it is important to investigate an amalgam of characteristics - those related and unrelated to the partners' physical sex. There are indications that individuals with a greater mix of feminine and masculine characteristics (both mental and physical) are actually more arousing than those who fall closer to the stereotypes. The arts, it is suggested, have exploited this phenomenon.
A COMMENT ON CULTURAL ATTRIBUTES AND FLUIDITY OF BISEXUALITY, GILBERT H. HERDT, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 10(3/4), P53-61.
Selected aspects of the "essentialist" critiques and reviews in Bisexual and Homosexual Identities: Critical Theoretical Issues (De Cecco & Shively, eds, 1983/1984) of the idea of the bisexual identity are examined from the standpoint of their cross-cultural significance. Examples from recent studies in Melanesia are used to highlight possible areas of exploration for future research in homosexuality and bisexuality. The idea of fluidity of sexual identity is examined, including the associated notion of sexual desire.
BEYOND THE BIOLOGICAL MODEL: NEW DIRCTIONS IN BISEXUAL AND HOMOSEXUAL RESEARCH, MICHAEL W. ROSS, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 10(3/4), P63-70.
Past research on homosexuality has been based on two assumptions: one, that gender is the critical determinant of a sexual relationshp, and two, that sexual orientation is an essential condition. This paper argues that investigation of sexual relationships on these bases tests only within, rather than between, paradigms of possible relationships. It assumes that choice of partners is based on a number of physical and psychological characteristics apart from their biological sex and that different meanings of sexuality and of the contexts of sexual encounters will determine which characteristics are chosen. It is also suggested that comparisons between groups of exclusive homosexuals and exclusive heterosexuals will not cast light on preferred partner characteristics. It is therefore necessary to look at the preferred partner characteristics of bisexuals in order to understand the bases and significance of homosexual or heterosexual partner choice. Finally, it is concluded that the meanings of homosexuality in different contexts may be so varied that the possibility of establishing a unified theory of the homosexual identity is precluded.
CLASSIFYING SEXUAL DISORDERS: THE DIAGNOSTIC AND STATISTICAL MANUAL OF THE AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION, FREDERICK SUPPE, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 9(4), P9-28.
The objectivity of the classification of sexual disorders in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM -III)) of the American Psychiatric Association is explored via a critical examination of (1) the replacement of homosexuality per se by ego-dystonic homosexuality, (2) DSM's working concept of a mental disorder, (3) the notion of a paraphilia, (4) components of sexual identity, and (5) the literature on variant sexual behaviors. It is argued that (a) the same criteria that led to the removal of homosexuality per se as a mental disorder require the removal of all the paraphilias per se, (b) there is no empirical warrant to justify their continued inclusion, and (c) while there is legitimacy for a generalized ego-dystonic category, such ego-dystonias are only incidentally sexual. It is suggested that the present classification of sexual disorders is merely the codification of social mores.
THE ETHICAL AND MORAL IMPLICATIONS OF SEXUAL CLASSIFICATION: A COMMENTARY, CHARLES SILVERSTEIN, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984,
VOL 9(4), P29-38.
This paper reviews the relationship between psychiatric diagnosis and morality, suggesting that moral reasoning has been the primary determinant in the diagnosis of sexual disorders. It suggests two hypotheses to explain why homosexuality was eliminated from DSM. One, that homosexuality is now viable as a lifestyle and therefore has become socially regulated; and two, that the normal is the intractible. It further suggests that there is no scientific reason to keep the parphilias in DSM.
ALLIES AND PERSECUTORS: SCIENCE AND MEDICINE IN THE HOMOSEXUALITY ISSUE, GUNTER SCHMIDT, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1984, VOL 10(3/4), P127-140.
Using Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) and his Zwischenstufentheorie (theory of intersexual stages) as an example, the problems raised for homosexuals by etiological research into homosexuality are scrutinized. Hirschfeld, one of the most influential sex reseachers working in the first part of the century, fully intended his biological theory to support his campaign on behalf of homosexuals' rights. However, the Zwischenstufentheorie and modern variations of it, such as the ideas of the endocrinologist, Gunter Dorner, have been converted into strategies for preventing or curing homosexuality. From an historical point of view, it becomes clear that, in a society hostile to homosexuals, the results gained from research into the causes of homosexuality can be used against homosexuals and, in fact, have been.
FORBIDDEN LOVE, E. WILSON, FEMINIST STUDIES, 1984, VOL 10(2), P213-226.
The author looks at changes in assumptions about lesbianism and lesbian eroticism through the 1920s to the present and discusses the neglect of romanticism by feminists, concentrating on the period between the 1950s and the 1980s in Britain. Until the 1970s lesbianism was seen as a biologically determined condition which was also paradoxically against 'nature' and biology. For some feminists after the 1970s, lesbians were women who rejected the power relationships of heterosexuality. Lesbianism was presented as the escape route from socially constructed gender roles: the solution to heterosexuality. In the mid-1970s, some feminists challenged the notion that sexuality was the key to identity using arguments from psychoanalytic theory. Initially, lesbianism set the author apart from other women in a rebellion against the feminine mystique of the 1950s. Her lesbian identity started as a sort of romance which ended with the women's liberation movement of the 1970s.
THE ROLE OF PERCEIVED RELATIVE PARENT PERSONALITY IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF HETEROSEXUALS, HOMOSEXUALS, AND TRANSVESTITES, M.D. NEWCOMB, ARCHIVES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR, 1985, VOL 14(2) P147-64.
This study examines the hypothesis that non-normative parent sex-role qualities contribute to homosexual and transvestite development. Using the Parent Characteristics Questionnaire, this hypothesis was tested among samples of male and female heterosexuals, male and female homosexuals, and male tranvestites. The PCQ assesses the relative distribution of five personality traits between mother and father: R-F (relative father) intellectuality, R-F dependence, R-F affiliation, R-F endurance, and R-F aggressive-dominance. No significant differences were noted for the male homosexuals, while the hypothesized effects were evident for lesbian women and male transvestites, even when statistically controlling for age and education differences. Theoretical interpretations of the results are offered in the context of a nonpathological explanation of sexual orientation and preference.
BREAKING THE MIRROR: THE CONSTRUCTION OF LESBIANISM AND THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL DISCOURSE ON HOMOSEXUALITY, E. BLACKWOOD, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1985, VOL 11(3-4), P1-17.
This essay reviews the anthropological discourse on homosexuality by examining the assumptions that have been used by anthropologists to explain homosexual behavior, and by identifying current theoretical approaches. The essay questions the emphasis on male homosexual behavior as the basis for theoretical analysis, and points to the importance of including female homosexual behavior in the study of homosexuality. Cross-cultural data on lesbian behavior are represented and the influence of gender divisions and social stratification on the development of patterns of lesbian behavior are broadly explored. The article outlines suggestions for examining the cultural context of lesbian behavior as well as the constraints exerted on women's sexual behavior in various cultures.
CHILDHOOD CROSS-GENDER BEHAVIOR AND ADULT HOMOSEXUALITY, J.M. CARRIER, ARCHIVES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR, 1986, VOL 15(1), P89-93.
FEMININITY IN MEN AND MASCULINITY IN WOMEN: AMERICAN PSYCHIATRY AND PSYCHOLOGY PORTRAY HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE 1930'S, HENRY L. MINTON, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1986, VOL 13(1), P1-21.
Two influential studies of homosexuality are reviewed. Both were conducted in the United States in the 1930s and involved rather large samples of homosexual men and women. Each investigation concluded that homosexuality was linked to cross-gender identification. Consequently, these studies served as justification for perpetuating a clear distinction between masculine and feminine roles. Consideration is given to the intellectual and social context within which the association of gender deviation and homosexuality was promulgated.
SEX HORMONES AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR: A CRITIQUE OF THE LINEAR MODEL, RUTH G. DOELL, HELEN E. LONGINO, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1988, VOL 15(3/4), P55-78.
Behaviors in which human males and females differ are frequently attributed to fetal gonadal hormone exposures. Much current thinking on this topic relies on a model of explanation the authors call linear-analytic. This model emerges from studies of hormone-behavior relationships in nonhuman animals. Examining three areas of hormone-behavior research in humans, the authors argue that the form of explanation is inappropriate to the behavioral phenomena being explained. They urge the adoption of a more complex neurobiological approach that emphasizes the role of the cerebral cortex and correlatively minimizes the role of fetal hormones.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION AFTER PRENATAL EXPOSURE TO EXOGENOUS ESTROGEN, A.A. EHRHARDT, ET AL, REVIEW BY RUTH G. DOELL, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1988, VOL 15(3/4), P177-182.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION, SEXUAL IDENTITY, AND THE QUESTION OF CHOICE, LAURA REITER, CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK JOURNAL, 1989, VOL 17(2), P138-150.
Sexual orientation, determined early in life, may or may not match sexual identity, which can change over time. Starting with a review of some definitions of homosexuality in the literature, the author offers a definition that differentiates between orientation and identity. She goes on to describe several possible routes from gay orientation to gay identity, explains discrepancies, acknowledges the potential threat to subjective identity when sexual identity shifts, and argues that identity, not orientation, is open to choice. Two case examples illustrate some of these points.
NEGATIVE SEXUAL EXPERIENCES WITH MEN AMONG HETEROSEXUAL WOMEN AND LESBIANS, JOANNE C. BRANNOCK & BEATA E. CHAPMAN, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1990, VOL 19(1), P105-110.
Survey responses on traumatic experiences with men were compared from 50 matched pairs of heterosexual women and lesbians. Prior research has implied that lesbians have had more traumatic experiences with men than heterosexual women. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that lesbians would report more negative sexual experiences with men than heterosexual women. The findings of the present study did not support this hypothesis. The only significant difference found between the two groups was that heterosexual women were more likely to report multiple categories of traumatic experiences and lesbians were more likely to report experiences in only one category of trauma. Contrary to prior studies, these results indicate that previous traumatic experiences with men may not be a significant factor in the development of sexual orientation.
USING SEXTON TO READ FREUD: THE PRE-OEDIPAL PHASE AND THE ETIOLOGY OF LESBIANISM IN SEXTON'S "RAPUNZEL," MARGOT FITZGERALD, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1990, VOL 19(4), P55-65.
In her poem "Rapunzel," Anne Sexton maps out a model of lesbian etiology that at once parodies the model proposed by Freud and significantly amends it. Freud's famous model for female development, as he articulates it first in "Some Psychological Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes," and later in "Female Sexuality," may be profitably compared to the model implied by Sexton's poem. The female pre-Oedipal phase is crucially at stake in such a comparison, as Sexton's account suggests that the pleasures of the pre-Oedipal mother-daughter dyad are dangerously strong for the girl child, and seem to be the force that compels the majority of girls into the rechanneling of libidinal desire from the mother to the father. Sexton's poem emphasizes the continuous pressures exerted by the pre-Oedipal phase upon the psyche of the developing girl. Sexton's emphasis on the pre-Oedipal phase, and her depiction of heterosexual love, in "Rapunzel" and elsewhere, as regressive, suggests that the "normal" heterosexual female, who seeks a father figure in order to save herself from re-absorption into the primal mother-daughter dyad, is actually acting out an infantile fantasy of the devouring mother. The morbid irony of Sexton's "Rapunzel" stems from its depiction of a young woman who flees the boundary-less world of the pre-Oedipal state, only to resurrect the infantile fantasy of the devouring mother in the arms of a father substitute.
THE INFLUENCE OF FAMILIAL AND PERSONALITY VARIABLES ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION IN WOMEN, CHRISTINE P. DANCEY, THE PSYCHOLOGICAL RECORD, 1990, VOL 40, P437-449.
Results from studies investigating sexual orientation in women have been contradictory, with a few showing significant differences between groups, and others showing little or no difference. It therefore seems very improbable that any direct correlation between separate variables and sexual orientation exists. Sexual orientation is therefore probably caused by several interacting variables; exactly which factors contribute and the relative contribution of such factors is still a matter for debate. In this study the relative contribution of personality factors and family attitudes and behaviors were investigated. A total of 88 women gave details on family variables, and 57 of these women also completd Cattells 16PF qustionnaire. Multivariate statistics were used to assess the joint contribution of these variables. It was concluded that none of the variables, either separately or together, was imporant in predicting a lesbian or heterosexual choice.
LESBIANS UNDER THE MEDICAL GAZE: SCIENTISTS SEARCH FOR REMARKABLE DIFFERENCES, JENNIFER TERRY, JOURNAL OF SEX RESEARCH, 1990, VOL 27(3), 317-339.
This paper examines research, conducted under the auspices of the Committee for the Study of Sex Variants during the 1930s in New York City, which sought to determine what characteristics distinguished lesbians from heterosexual women. Assuming that marks of difference would appear either on the body or in the mind, researchers x-rayed skeletons, inspected genitals and conducted psychiatric interviews looking for indicators of masculinity. This inquiry was intended to establish scientific ways to identify, treat and prevent homosexuality.
Although physical findings alone were inconclusive, morphological and experiential patterns were noted. Because lesbians were assumed to be masculine, the research framework failed to explain the cases of 'feminine' women who sexually pursued women or who responded favourably to sexual advances by women. Recommendations for prevention identified the family as the appropriate site for establishing and reinforcing proper gender behaviours.
ATTITUDES AND EXPECTATIONS ABOUT CHILDREN WITH NONTRADITIONAL AND TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLES, CAROL LYNN MARTIN, SEX ROLES, 1990, VOL 22(3/4), P151-165.
Cross-sex behavior in boys generally is viewed more negatively than cross-sex behavior in girls. The two goals of this study were to assess attitudes toward tomboys and sissies, and to explore possible causes for differential evaluations of tomboys and sissies. Eighty undergraduates completed questionnaires assessing their attitudes toward tomboys and sissies, and their expectations for the future adult behavior of typical boys, typical girls, tomboys, and sissies. Results revealed that sissies were more negatively evaluated than tomboys. Women were more accepting of, and perceived more societal acceptance from cross-sex children, than were men. One reason for the negative evaluation of sissies may be that there is more concern for their future outcomes than for tomboys. Analyses of predictions concerning future behavior showed that sissies, more so than tomboys, were expected to continue to show cross-gender behavior into adulthood. Also, sissies were rated as likely to be less well adjusted and more likely to be homosexual when they grow up than other children. The accuracy of these beliefs and their implications for child-rearing practices are discussed.
THE MULTIDIMENSIONAL SCALE OF SEXUALITY, BRADEN ROBERT BERKEY, TERRI PERLMAN-HALL, LAWRENCE A. KURDEK, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1990, VOL 19(4), P67-87.
Research on the assessment of sexual orientation has been limited, and what does exist is often conflicting and confusing. This is largely due to the lack of any agreed upon definition of bisexuality. The Multidimensional Scale of Sexuality (MSS) was developed to validate and to contrast six proposed categories of bisexuality, as well as categories related to heterosexuality, homosexuality, and asexuality. This instrument includes ratings of the behavioral and cognitive/affective components of sexuality. The MSS as completed by 148 subjects, the majority of whom were from identified homosexual and bisexual populations. Although subjects' self-descriptions on the MSS were consistent with their self-descritions on the Kinsey Heterosexual-Homosexual Scale, the MSS provided a more varied description of sexual orientation. Subject's self-described sexual orientation on the MSS was more consistent with their cognitive/affective ratings than with their behavioral ratings. With the exception of self-described heterosexuals, the frequency of cognitive/affective sexuality was greater than that of behavioral sexuality.
REJECTING "FEMININITY": SOME RESEARCH NOTES ON GENDER IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT IN LESBIANS, MARGARET COOPER, DEVIANT BEHAVIOR, 1990, VOL 11, P371-380.
Fifteen women who identify themselves as lesbians were interviewed about their own development of gender identity. All the women involved in the study indicated a rejection of the traditional feminine role. This was often manifested before they were even aware of same-sex attractions. However, they saw the traditional role for women as representing heterosexuality. To gain access to women, many even saw a need to achieve masculinity. Due to few or no visible lesbian role models and the rejection of the traditional female role, many, as children, chose the male role. This was reflected in 1) taking the male role in play or fantasy, 2) being a "tomboy", and 3) rejecting items of dress and play associated with female children. While none, as adults, still wanted to portray a male role, each still rejected traditional femininity. Thus these lesbians had to come to their own conclusions about what it meant not only to be women, but lesbians as well.
THE RELATION OF GENDER AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION TO MEASURES OF MASCULINITY, FEMININITY, AND ANDROGYNY: A FURTHER ANALYSIS, BARBARA FINLAY, KAREN E. SCELTEMA, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1991, VOL 21(3), P71-85.
Data from a survey of 58 gay men and 58 lesbians are compared to college men and women on Spence and Helmreich's (1978) Personality Attributes Questionnaire measures of masculinity, femininity, and androgyny. Lesbians had higher M scores than college women, and gay men had lower M scores than college men, with F scores being similar across sexual orientation groups, within gender. Androgyny measures differed only by gender, not by sexual orientation. Further analysis shows that lesbians' high M scores come largely from their high self-ratings as independent, while college men's high M scores reflect strong competitiveness. Questions are raised about the validity of these measures for comparing these groups.
FACTORS DISTINGUISHING SAMPLES OF LESBIAN AND HETEROSEXUAL WOMEN, DEBRA K. PETERS, PEGGY J. CANTRELL, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1991, VOL 21(4), P1-15.
This study utilized non-clinical samples of women and examined historical, familial, sexual, and attitudinal variables to assess differences between groups endorsing heterosexual or homosexual orientations. Drawing from social learning theory, researchers expected the lesbian group to report more negative childhood sexual experiences with males, more positive childhood sexual experiences with females, more accepting parental attitudes toward sexuality and sexual experimentation, and more distant relationships with parents. Results indicate that, rather than childhood sexual experiences distinguishing groups, respondents' current attitudes are significant between-group discriminators. These findings are consistent with the recent body of literature that suggests that sexual orientation cannot be explained in terms of early sexual trauma or negative heterosexual experiences.
FREUD AND SEXUAL REORIENTATION THERAPY, TIMOTHY F. MURPHY, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1992, VOL 23(3), P21-38.
Contrary to certain psychoanalytic interpretations, Freud himself generally resisted the possibility or desirability of sexual reorientation therapy. Yet his understanding of the origins and nature of homoeroticism does not suggest that conversion therapy is impossible. Although he did not believe homoeroticism to be an inherent impediment to human accomplishment and fulfillment neither did he see it as having the full value of heteroeroticism. For these reasons he did not altogether rule out the desirability or possibility of conversion therapy for some individuals even if he did not believe that it could be psychoanalysis alone that could redirect sexual orientation.
LESBIANISM AND CHOICE, CLAUDIA CARD, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1992, VOL 23(3), P39-51.
Why does it matter whether a woman can choose whether to be lesbian? I argue by illustration that, first of all, it does make good sense to see the option to be lesbian as genuine for women in a fairly common sort of circumstance; that recognizing the genuineness of this option, however, does not impute to such women major control over their lives; that choosing to be lesbian may actually narrow rather than expand one's present options; and that nevertheless it is important to acknowledge such choices for their potentialities, in community, to change the meaning of "lesbian" in liberatory ways.
FORMS OF DESIRE: SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONIST CONTROVERSY, EDWARD STEIN, REVIEW BY DAVID F. GREENBERG, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1992, VOL 23(3), P117-124.
THE RELATIONSHIP OF INSTRUMENTALITY AND EXPRESSIVITY TO SEXUAL ORIENTATION IN WOMEN, CHRISTINE P. DANCEY, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1992, VOL 23(4), P71-82.
The study reported here investigated the relationship between Instrumentality (I) and Expressivity (E) (two personality variables related to sex roles), sexual orientation, occupational level and marital status. The hypothesis was that women high in I and low in E may find traditional heterosexual relationships to be in conflict with their personality traits, and that a lesbian choice may offer a way of life more in keeping with such traits. The study used a sample of 159 women, and found that neither I nor E alone, nor I x E, could predict sexual orientation. A weak relationship was found between I and housewifery, such that women who were married with children and did not have a job outside the home tend to score lower on I. Expressivity bore no relationship to any of the variables. Women who were high on I and low on E were not more likely to be lesbian. The study concludes that there is no relationship between I, E, and sexual orientation; also that it is inappropriate to use housewives as a heterosexual comparison group for lesbian women.
VISIONS AND REVISIONS OF REALITY: REFLECTIONS ON SEX, SEXUALITY, GENDER, AND GENDER VARIANCE, SUE-ELLEN JACOBS, JASON CROMWELL, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1992, VOL 23(4), P43-69.
Varying perceptions of gender, sex, and sexuality are investigated, using several examples, from the Pokot of East Africa to the Tewa Indians in New Mexico. The role that labels play in the acquisition of gender identity is also explored; and the influence of Cartesian dualism is challenged, suggesting a need to expand Euro-American conceptions of gender.
"SHE FORESWORE HER WOMANHODD": PSYCHOANALYTIC VIEWS OF FEMALE HOMOSEXUALITY, MAGGIE MAGEE, DIANA C. MILLER, CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK JOURNAL, 1992, VOL 20(1), P67-87.
Just as in early psychoanalytic views of female sexual development women's sexual anatomy, psychic development, and object relations were seen relative to male norms and found wanting, in much of psychoanalytic thinking the sexual and psychic development of women in lesbian relationships are seen relative to heterosexual women and found lacking. Various etiological explanations of female homosexuality attempt to isolate a particular developmental arrest or disorder characteristic of female homosexual relations. This paper reviews the major psychoanalytic formulations of female homosexuality and discusses them in terms of two phallocentric assumptions: 1) A woman who loves a woman must be a man, or be like a man, or must want to be a man; and 2) A relationship between two women must always remain incomplete compared to the complementarity assumed in a heterosexual relationship. Increased understanding of the sexual desires and experience of women in lesbian relationships would contribute to expanded perspectives about female sexuality and development. The paper offers two paradigms for thinking about homosexual object choice which are not based on analogies to pathological conditions.
MATI-ISM AND BLACK LESBIANISM: TWO IDEALTYPICAL EXPRESSIONS OF FEMALE HOMOSEXUALITY IN BLACK COMMUNITIES OF THE DIASPORA, GLORIA WEKKER, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1993, VOL 24(3/4), P145-158.
There are different ways in which black women in the Diaspora have given expression to their erotic fascination with other women. In this article two idealtypical expressions of black female homosexuality and the outlines of their underlying cosmologies are sketched: mati-ism and black lesbianism. Mati (or matis-ma) is the Sranan Tongo word for women who have sexual relations with other women, but who typically also will have had or still have relationships with men, simultaneously. More often than not they will also have children.
While both types can only be understood via a constructionist view of homosexuality, the institution of mati-ism will be shown to have retained more Afrocentric, working class elements, while black lesbianism has more middle class, Eurocentric features.
SURVEYING THE INTERSECTION: PATHOLOGY, SECRECY, AND THE DISCOURSES OF RACIAL AND SEXUAL IDENTITY, M. DIGGS, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1993, VOL 26(2/3), P1-19.
"Surveying the Intersection: Patholody, Secrecy, and the Discourses of Racial and Sexual Identity" cautions against the risks of metaphorical imperialism in readings of codified gay and lesbian representation. Taking issue with Foucault's suggestion that the secret of the nineteenth century was the secret of sex, I suggest that, in nineteenth-century American culture, where African-American identity and equality were among the most controversial issues of the century, the secrets of identity were secrets of race as well. Because scientific and literary representations of pathological and/or secret, essential identities are sites of intersection in the discourses of homosexual and mixed-race identity, they should be investigated as intersections, rather than read as codifications of sexual difference.
Surveying the discourses of scientific racism, genetics, and eugenics, and doing readings of Frances E.W. Harper's Iola Leroy and Alice Dunbar-Nelson's "The Stones of the Village," I suggest that Harper's representation of the mulatto leader can be read as an act of resistance to the representation of the mulatto as a degenerate, hybrid species; and that in Dunbar-Nelson's story, the thematics of passing, secrecy, and the fear of detection, while having a recognizable homoerotic quality, should not be read simply as a codification of homosexual difference and panic. I conclude with a call for more work on historicizing the intersection of racial and sexual identity in the discourses of pathology and degeneration.
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1993, VOL 24(3/4) INCLUDES:
A CRITIQUE AND SYNTHESIS OF BIOLOGICAL ESSENTIALISM AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONIST VIEWS OF SEXUALITY AND GENDER, JOHN P. DE CECCO, JOHN P. ELIA, P1-26.
To say that a person is homosexual is a statement about an individual in a particular social context and at a particular point in that person's life. Homosexuality is an aspect of sexual and gender expression that profoundly reflects contemporary social and cultural values. The essay is critical of both biological essentialist and social constructionist views. Biological essentialism depicts a process in which biological influences precede cultural influences and set predetermined limits to the effects of culture. In effect, it submerges sexual preference, a human process, into sexual orientation, a biological mechanism. Social constructionism tends to depict the individual as an empty organism that is filled and shaped by culture and society and is devoid of consciousness and intention. An alternative view is proposed that views sexual and gender expression as a product of complementary biological, personal, and cultural influences.
ESSENTIALISM, WHICH ESSENTIALISM? SOME IMPLICATIONS OF REPRODUCTIVE AND GENETIC TECHNO-SCIENCE, SARAH FRANKLIN, P27-39.
New technologies, such as genetic screeening, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and pre-natal diagnosis, have given new meaning to human reproduction. Such innovations make clear that marriage, procreation, and the biological family are not the sole "natural" means of perpetuating the human race. One would have hoped that these inventions would eventually have raised in public regard the gay/lesbian family to the same level as heterosexuality and the biological family. Franklin shows, however, that the old heterosexual essentialism is preserved by government restricting the use of the new technologies to two-parent families consisting of both mother and father. What should have resulted in the erosion of heterosexual privilege has, instead, led to its reinforcement. Franklin draws a parallel with the AIDS epidemic which could have been the opportunity to spread knowledge and acceptance of varied forms of sexuality but has instead been used to shore up a traditional sexual morality and a renewed vilification of homosexuality.
CHILDHOOD CROSS-GENDER BEHAVIOR AND ADULT HOMOSEXUALITY: THE RESURGENCE OF BIOLOGICAL MODELS OF SEXUALITY, JAY P. PAUL, P41-54.
Research on the causes of homosexuality frequently treat it as a matter of disturbed gender identity and/or gender role. Recently, attempts have been made to link cross-gender behavior among boys with adult homosexuality. Often this research presumes a common biological determinant to both the childhood behavior patterns and homosexuality in adulthood. Authors have described such childhood cross-gender behavior in boys as part of a "prehomosexual" configuration. This paper argues that the research to date suffers from (1) a failure to differentiate such concepts as gender identity, gender role and sexual orientation, (2) a reliance upon potentially inappropriate dichotomies in describing such concepts, (3) problematic interpretations of research that makes few distinctions between human sexual behavior and sexual behavior among rodents, and (4) the contradictions implicit in seeking simple biological determinants of constructs (such as cross-gender behavior) that are culturally determined. The author argues that any potential biological factors contributing to sexual orientation must be medicated by a complex sequence of experiences and psychosocial factors. Therefore, the essentialists' search for a simple congruence between physiological or biological traits and homosexuality may be expected to fail.
REPRODUCTIVE STRATEGIES AND GENDER CONSTRUCTION: AN EVOLUTIONARY VIEW OF HOMOSEXUALITIES, MILDRED DICKERMANN, P55-71.
In this chapter the author addresses the following question: Can the historical occurrence of various forms of homosexuality and bisexuality be explained as part of the management of reproduction in response to environmental conditions? She believes that explanations for the occurrence and forms of homosexuality appealing to genetics are biologically indefensible and historically inadequate. However, Darwinian behavioral theory, and specifically that subset termed life history theory, provides an explanatory framework. An individual's life course consists of behaviors coerced by parents and chosen by the individual in response to environmental conditions, forming a coherent reproductive strategy. In the process, alternate male and female genders, such as cadet sons, spinsters, and religious celibates are explained and the normative male bisexuality of Classical Athens and modern Mediterranean/Latin societies is elucidated. The rise of modern homosexuality in industrial nations results from the demographic transition to low mortality and low fertility, relaxing the reproductive management of children by parents and permitting a greater role for temperament in individual sexual and gender choices.
INVERTIDOS SEXUALES, TORTILLERAS, AND MARICAS MACHOS: THE CONSTRUCTION OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA, 1900-1950, DANIEL BAO, P183-219.
The author discusses Argentinean construction of homosexuality from 1900 to 1950 in the context of the raging debate of the essentialists versus social constructionists. The history of sexual inverts is discussed with reference to early sexologists. After a broad exploration of sexual inversion, the author turns to the Argentinean doctors who distinguish between acquired and congenital inverts. There was much resistance to the medical and legal establishments as there were autobiographies written by inverts, who subverted the medical views of the day. Finally, Bao concludes that there was, indeed, an Argentine construction of homosexuality, and that there were similarities between Buenos Aires and other large European cities. It is also noted that at the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a developed Argentine subculture of inverts who had meeting places, fashion, sexual tastes, and customs.
TRANSITIONS FROM HETEROSEXUALITY TO LESBIANISM: THE DISCURSIVE PRODUCTION OF LESBIAN IDENTITIES, CELIA KITZINGER, SUE WILKINSON, DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 1995, VOL 31(1), P95-104.
This article explored the discursive production of a major disjuncture in sexual identity in adult life: women's accounts of transitions to lesbianism after a substantial period of heterosexuality. Eighty semistructure interviews with self-identified lesbians, all with at least 10 years prior heterosexual experience (plus additional materials drawn from published autobiographical sources), were analyzed within a social constructionist framework. The article examined the creation of contexts in which sexual identity transitions become possible, explored how such transitions are defined and marked, identified the consequences, and detailed the continuing development of lesbian identity posttransition. In conclusion, the article reflected on the status and salience of such data in supporting the social constructionist position, particularly in the face of the continuing popularity of essentialist theories of sexual identity development.
ARTICLES WITHIN BOOKS
BIOLOGICAL WOMAN - THE CONVENIENT MYTH, R HUBBARD, 1982, INCLUDES:
FROM SIN TO SICKNESS: HORMONAL THEORIES OF LESBIANISM, LYNDA I.A. BIRKE, P71-90.
WOMEN-IDENTIFIED-WOMEN, EDITED BY TRUDY DARTY AND SANDEE POTTER, MAYFIELD PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1984, INCLUDES:
CHANGING THEORIES OF LESBIANISM: CHALLENGING THE STEREOTYPES, CHRISTINE BROWNING P11-30.
HOMOSEXUALITY: SOCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND BIOLOGICAL ISSUES, ED. WILLIAM PAUL, JAMES D. WEINRICH, JOHN C. GONSIOREK, MARY E. HOTVEDT, SAGE PUBLICATIONS 1982, INCLUDES:
INTRODUCTION, JAMES D. WEINRICH, P165-211
HORMONES AND HOMOSEXUALITY, NANETTE K. GARTRELL, P169-182.
SELECTION AND SEXUALITY, THE DARWINIAN VIEW OF HOMOSEXUALITY, JOHN A.W. KIRSCH, JAMES ERIC RODMAN, P183-195.
IS HOMOSEXUALITY BIOLOGICALLY NATURAL? JAMES D. WEINRICH, P197-208.
IDENTITIES IN THE LESBIAN WORLD - THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF SELF, BARBARA PONSE, GREENWOOD PRESS.
THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF LESBIANISM, CELIA KITZINGER, SAGE, 1987.
BORN THAT WAY? THE BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF HOMOSEXUALITY, STEVE DAVIS, CHANNEL 4 TELEVISION: PO BOX 4000, LONDON, W3 6XJ.
QUEER BY CHOICE, LESBIANS, GAY MEN AND THE POLITICS OF IDENTITY, VERA WHISMAN, ROUTLEDGE, 1996
THEORIES OF HOMOSEXUALITY, MARTIN DANNECKER, GAY MEN'S PRESS, 1981
QUEER SCIENCE, THE USE AND ABUSE OF RESEARCH INTO HOMOSEXUALITY, SIMON LEVAY,MIT PRESS, 1996,
*"I WANT TO PLAY WITH THE GIRLS..." CREATING LESBIAN IDENTITIES, DIANA HAMER.
*THE REPRODUCTION OF BUTCH-FEM ROLES: A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONIST APPROACH, E. KENNEDY AND M. DAVIS.
*BEYOND FEMINISM: THE BUTCH-FEMME DEBATE, SASKIA WIERINGA AND NOOR VAN CREVEL.
*GUYS AND DOLLS, THE COME-BACK OF THE BUTCH-FEMME, ANJA VAN KOOTEN NIEKERK AND SACHA WIJMER.
*DOES LESBIAN IDENTITY EXIST? OLGA HEYTMAJER.
*REPRODUCTIVE STRATEGIES AND GENDER CONSTRUCTION: AN EVOLUTIONARY VIEW OF HOMOSEXUALITIES, MILDRED DICKEMANN.
*THE SCIENTIFIC CONSTRUCTION OF LESBIANISM: THE LIBERAL HUMANISTIC TRAP, CELIA KITZINGER.
*SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORY: PROBLEMS IN THE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY, CAROLE S. VANCE.
*Papers presented to the conference "Homosexuality, Which Homosexuality?" held in Amsterdam in 1987. Copies acquired from the Lesbian Archive which has now moved to the Glasgow Women's Library, 109 Trongate (4th/5th Floors), Glasgow, G1 5HD, 0141.552.8345.
ALL IN THE JEANS/GENES? THE IMPORTANCE OF DETERMINIST DISCOURSES IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF GAY NARRATIVES OF SELF, JOHN BARKER, SUE HEMMINGS.
Paper presented to the British Sociological Association Conference held at the University of Central Lancashire, March 1994, copies from: Department of Applied Social Science, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA.
© Lesbian Information Service, 1995