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Animal Homosexuality: A Biosocial Perspective Paperback – 19 Aug 2010

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Animal Homosexuality: A Biosocial Perspective + Homosexual Behaviour in Animals: An Evolutionary Perspective
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (19 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521145147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521145145
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 2.8 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 256,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


' … a truly monumental compendium of everything you might have wanted to know about same-sex biology, its proximate as well as ultimate causation … a goldmine … with a treasure-trove of many hundreds of references … Aldo Poiani, in this admirable volume, has drawn together the best, most coherent summary to date of the currently available evidence.' Evolutionary Psychology

… [a] remarkable new book … a well-presented and easily navigated text. … it precisely reflects the strongest conclusion that the current literature can make: animal homosexuality can only be understood as a diverse collection of multicausal phenomena. Importantly, it is this firm commitment to an integrative and pluralistic perspective that marks out Poiani's contribution to the literature.' Animal Behaviour

Book Description

This book is for readers who seek to understand the evolutionary basis of homosexuality. They will find a detailed analysis of its biological and social underpinnings. Through evolutionary theory the book links human homosexuality with similar behaviours observed in other animals, challenging the reader to think beyond the current stereotypes.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By streetcar1984 on 18 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
It is hard to find a book with the overview of this behaviour. I try to pursuit my PhD but seems this is an on-going debate... I can wait a while.
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Amazon.com: 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A MUST READ FOR ANYONE in the Nature / Nurture debate 22 April 2011
By Fabrizzio Mc Manus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Poiani's Book is organized as a textbook but it is certainly much more than an exhaustive compendium of the literature on homosexuality. It presents an original hypothesis, it test the hypothesis and it shows its successes and shortcomings. In a sense, he follows David Sloan WIlson is his suggestion that only an evolutionary social constructivist position can account for homosexuality in general.
First of all, the author has read the classical XIX century authors that began the research on sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular. He deploys a historical sensitivity regarding how this topic has been studied for the last 150 years that is uncommon for a behavioral ecologist.
Second, The Book not only summarizes recent research on animal and human homosexuality but also tracks the historical origins of particular explanatory strategies within this broader field; for example, he shows the relevance of the original studies of G. E. Hutchinson in the 1950's or Kinsey in 1948. So, even if he tries to integrate all different sorts of evidence within a single model, he respects the differences in perspective, discipline and historical origin that support these varied sets of data.
Third, the author is informed not only in the topics concerning scientific literature (natural sciences as well as social sciences) but also within major philosophical traditions. Within analytical philosophy he mentions classics such as Popper and Kuhn but, more surprisingly, he also mentions Sandra Mitchell's Integrative pluralism. In a sense the arguments offered by Poiani are inspired by Mitchell's understanding on how to integrate different perspectives and models without enacting a theory of the whole. Within Continental philosophy he obviously mentions Foucault and he actually suggests a non canonical reading of Foucault as providing a sociologically oriented account on how to explain homosexuality.
Forth, the author, in the opening sections of the book clearly states where the controversy is going to arise: mainly, the possibility of explicating mental states in humans with the very same tools we employ when dealing with non human animals. Even if he fails to understand the complications arising from this situation, he at least recognizes them and states his assumptions with clarity.
The Book cannot be read as endorsing a kind of biological determinism. It recognizes -within its theoretical foundations- the possibility of cultural variation, historical variation, etc. It does not reify our understanding of homosexuality in order to project it back to history and beyond. Even if someone disagrees with the book, its conceptual clarity, the amount of evidence revisited, and its philosophical and historical underpinnings should takes us to value this book as a major contribution for understanding how can we explicate homosexuality.
ext that fundamental.
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