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April 13 Provost’s Lecture with Simon LeVay

Simon levay

My Brain Made Me Gay: Scientific Perspectives on Sexual Orientation

simon levay
Simon LeVay

British-born neuroscientist Simon LeVay has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He achieved international fame with a 1991 Science paper that reported on a difference in the structure of the hypothalamus between gay and straight men. This study helped trigger an avalanche of new biological research into sexual orientation — research that has influenced popular views on the nature of homosexuality.

Since retiring from laboratory science LeVay has authored or co-authored 12 books, including Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why, the textbook Discovering Human Sexuality, and the historical novel The Donation of Constantine. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Abstract: The now-dominant biological theory of sexual orientation proposes that our sexual attraction to males, females or both sexes emerges from prenatal interactions between genes, sex hormones and the developing brain. LeVay presents some of the evidence supporting this theory. He also asks whether the biological perspective has — or should have — any bearing on the moral status of homosexuality or on how gay people should be treated by society.

This Provost’s Lecture, co-sponsored by Stony Brook University’s Graduate Queer Alliance and the Neurosciences Institute, will be held on Monday, April 13, at 4 pm in the Charles B. Wang Center Theater.

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