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May 1994

Theories of Sexual Orientation: A Reappraisal-Reply

Author Affiliations

Albert Einstein College of Medicine Department of Pathology Bronx, NY 10461
Department of Psychiatry Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons New York, NY

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1994;51(5):432-433. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1994.03950050092018

In reply  As biological psychiatrists, we believe that everything we do, think, or feel has an ultimate biological substrate. Although we are interested in delimiting these substrates and their interactions with experiential factors, we realize that if we are to progress in this endeavor, we must rigorously question our methods and our data, as well as our hypotheses and the assumptions on which they rest. Unfortunately, one cannot offer constructive criticism of the biological theories of sexual orientation without being perceived by some as rejecting the hypothesis that biology plays any role.We did not, as McConaghy concludes, consider "a biological influence on sexual orientation incompatible with findings of a large proportion of monozygotic twins discordant for homosexuality." Our conclusion was that, while genes are not irrelevant, "the large proportion of discordant pairs undersciores our ignorance of the factors that are involved... in the emergence of sexual orientation. "1(p230) Logically, the

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