What Is Sexual Orientation All About? Explaining an Evolutionary Paradox

Brad Bowins


Numerous psychological, biological, and evolutionary theories have been proposed to explain sexual orientation. For a theory to be valid it must account for the evolutionary or Darwinian paradox of how homosexual behavior seemingly blocking evolutionary fitness could have evolved. Typically it is only evolutionary based theories that attempt to address this issue. All theories proposed to date have limitations, a major one being that they tend to be specific for male or female sexual orientation. A model for sexual orientation is proposed that both explains the evolutionary paradox of homosexuality and accounts for male and female sexual orientation. The model departs from others by taking the approach that homosexuality and heterosexuality only represent descriptions of underlying natural occurrences. Four interactive components consisting of homoerotic and heteroerotic dimensions, activation/deactivation of these dimensions, erotic fantasy, and social construction comprise the model. Homoerotic and heteroerotic behaviors organized on separate dimensions represent natural occurrences. A completely novel process-activation and deactivation of these dimensions-is proposed to explain various manifestations of sexual orientation. Erotic fantasy provides an additional layer to sexuality beyond physical behavior and serves to activate sexual orientation dimensions, while social construction tends to deactivate inconsistent expressions. The evolutionary paradox only arises when behaviors are remade into identities via social construction, and heterosexual behavior inconsistent with a homosexual identity is deactivated.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v3i2.698


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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