Mismeasure of Desire

Mismeasure of Desire : The Science, Theory and Ethics of Sexual Orientation

3.84 (25 ratings by Goodreads)
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A critical analysis of scientific research on sexual orientation, its methodological and ontological assumptions and its ethical implications. The book argues that we are far from understanding how human sexual desires originate and that our thinking about sexual orientations and the issues relating to them are based on unfounded cultural assumptions on sexual orientation. In a clear, careful and accessible style, the book examines and extends contemporary thinking about human sexual desire.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 30.48mm | 635.03g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 10 line illustrations, notes, bibliography, index
  • 0195099958
  • 9780195099959

About Edward Stein

Edward Stein is the author of Without Good Reason: The Rationality Debate in Philosophy and Cognitive Science (OUP) and the editor of Forms of Desire: Sexual Orientation and the Social Constructionist Controversy. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from M.I.T. and has taught at Yale University, New York University, Mount Holyoke College, and Williams College. He will be receiving a J.D. from Yale Law School in 2000.
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Table of contents

PART 1: METAPHYSICS; Sex, Gender and Sexual Orientation; What is Sexual Orientation?; Human Kinds; Essentialism and Constructionism about Sexual Orientation; PART 2: SCIENCE; The Emerging Scientific Program for the Study of Sexual Orientation; Animal Models and Evolutionary Accounts in the Merging Research Program; Critique of the Emerging Research Program; Experiential Theories of Sexual Orientation; Sexual Orientation and Choice; PART 3: ETHICS; Lesbian and Gay Rights and the Science of Sexual Orientation; Selecting and Changing the Sexual Orientation of Children; Should Scientific Research on Sexual Orientation be Done?
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Review quote

"Should be the first title on any queer studies reading list. Intelligent, well-researched, and well-written. A gem of philosophical debate."--Library Journal"The Mismeasure of Desire is the best analysis in print of the many theories of what causes sexual orientation. Stein's analysis bears importantly on constitutional issues such as the level of equal protection scrutiny courts should apply to sexual orientation classifications and the rationality of anti-gay of no promo homo' state policies."--William Eskridge, Yale Law School"Here Edward Stein explains, analyzes, and criticizes the notion that sexual orientation is biological, and therefore not chosen or changeable, and therefore an unfair basis for moral condemnation and also therefore protected from discrimination by our norms and laws requiring equality. He brings his prodigious skill as an analytic philosopher to bear on a conceptual, scientific, ethical and legal problem of great complexity, not only putting the problem on a new footing but setting an example for honesty, clarity and care in thinking about controversial social issues. Stein reminds us that slipshod pro-gay thinking is not really pro-gay. I wish he could write us a book every year."--Janet E. Halley, Professor of Law and Robert E. Paradise Faculty Scholar, Stanford University"An expertly analytical contribution to the literature, The Mismeasure of Desire re-sets the stage of debate and action."--Christopher Moore, The Dartmouth Contemporary
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Rating details

25 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 32% (8)
4 28% (7)
3 36% (9)
2 0% (0)
1 4% (1)
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