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May 1994

Theories of Sexual Orientation: A Reappraisal

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1994;51(5):432. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1994.03950050092017

T article by Byne and Parsons1 in the March 1993 issue of the Archives proposed an interesting "interactionist model" of sexual orientation after a thorough review of the biologic research in this area. While they criticized the biologists (and to a much lesser degree the psychosocial theories) for not integrating the two theoretical approaches, they too seem to be inflexible for not allowing for the possibility that not all homosexual individuals need to necessarily fit into one model.

Inconsistencies in the data may be reflective of different subpopulations of homosexuals, some whose sexual orientation may be only biologically determined, some only psychosocially determined, and some who are better described by an interactionist model.

We agree with their statement that it is imperative to "resist the urge to search for simplistic explanations," 1(p236) and stress the need to be flexible when considering the determinants of sexual orientation for any one individual—a