following the requirement I post (385 paper – 18)write approx. 4-5 pages- standard margins, fonts, etc. (E.g.- 4 pgs. of text is appx 1400 words–although content is much more important than length), and I will order 3 pages single space.On this assignment I would expect any positions being discussed to be adequately explained/detailed. No bibliographic references, etc. required unless you use outside material. If you do, a works cited page is required. Again, if you do use outside sources you must provide me with that information prior to beginning. Detail and exposition are key to this assignment.Answer one of the following possible suggestions, make sure use one of artilce I post. Philosophy
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Philosophy 385- essay/paper (50 pts.)
In an essay format, answer one of the following. This is not intended as a term paper or
research paper. It can be adequately completed simply from the textual materials and class discussions.
The purpose of this assignment is simply to present a (more) detailed elaboration of an authors view; or
to explain critical competing views. If you wish you can add explicit commentary, but this is not required.
The content can be culled from any of the readings on the syllabus.
On this assignment I would expect any positions being discussed to be adequately
explained/detailed. To do this you can use quotes but do so sparingly (and remember an un-attributed
quote is technically plagiarized) and always explain their use. (I.e. explain exactly what is being said and
how it fits into your overall presentation.) You should utilize examples to explicate any lines of reasoning
or concepts as necessary. Further, since this is meant as a written assignment, the organization of the ideas
you present should also be consideration. Again, if you use any quotes explain their use. (They must be
identified as such; remember a quote not cited is plagiarized as is using the ideas of others without
attribution- plagiarism will result in an F for this assignment- If youre unsure as to what constitutes
plagiarism consult the student handbook.), Most importantly- Detail any lines of reasoning and explain
any important concepts, etc. as necessary.
Below are some suggested questions. If you wish you can modify/add to them. Also, you can
address an issue of relevance not specifically referred to here (or explicitly discussed in class) If youre
thinking along those lines however you have to let me know, in advance, what topic/question youre
considering; additionally, you should provide me with a list of source material also in advance of
beginning. This applies to the use of any outside sources -including for the below questions. This is not
a research project; the questions can adequately be addressed solely from our source material. That being
said if you do use outside material you need to provide me in advance with the title/author/web-address
etc. (I mean this literallyany outside material requires approval—thats 3 times, so, it should stick!)
Finally, any outside source would need to be cited in your essay.
DetailsI suspect to adequately answer any of these questions you should expect to write approx. 4-5
pages- standard margins, fonts, etc. (E.g.- 4 pgs. of text is appx 1400 words–although content is much
more important than length). Detail and exposition are key to this assignment. Again, if you use quotes
elaborate on their use. Although it may be obvious, be sure to give yourself time to proofread your paper
to correct any grammatical or language-use errors. I generally dont lower grades for minor problems
along these lines, but if significant they could make the points youre discussing difficult to follow which
could be a considerable problem. No bibliographic references, etc. required unless you use outside
material. If you do, a works cited page is required. Again, if you do use outside sources you must
provide me with that information prior to beginning. Due the day of the final (late papers will be lowered
3 pts.) Finally, part of your submission of the paper requires uploading an electronic copy of your paper
to the turnitin link on moodle. (The assignment is not completed/you will not receive a grade until this
is done. For a brief discussion of turnitin refer to the syllabus.)
Some possible suggestions:
-At the end of chapter 2 Marks asserts, the confusion of biological with cultural diversity is the most persistent
problem in the study of humans (p.46) Using Linnaeus or Blumenbachs views on the races illustrate this claim in
the early biology of race. (I.e. summarize each of their racial taxonomies, highlighting the differences and explain
how each represents embedded cultural assumptions-specifically, the cultural error Marks refers to.) Finally, how
might an analogous error still be made in the conception of race? (e.g. ch.9)
-What is eugenics? Describe the difference between positive and negative eugenics. And describe in detail the
specific problems that undermine the eugenicist program. (You neednt discuss the history of the movement; rather
discuss the scientific and philosophic ideas and assumptions, how they were applied and how these applications
embody the specific problems you identify.)
– One of the underlying themes in Marks book is that culture can be as much (if not more) an adaptive force as
biology. This point is made in both in chapter 2 and 10. Describe the evidence Marks articulates for this position.
Marks (specifically in ch.13 and ch.6) can be read as a direct critique of the assertions made by Herrnstein and
Murray in The Bell Curve and Entine in Taboo- Read the second excerpt from Taboo and briefly articulate Entines
position (or the Bell Curve) and Marks reaction to it.
Gould (Curveball) provides a detailed critique of the assertions of the Bell Curve Specifically questioning
assumptions/methodologies of measures of intelligence as indicating natural/innate differences in racial/ethnic
groups. Summarize his view.
Gladwells article can be read as a critique of attempts (by Rushton, the Bell Curve) to connect race and IQ to
desirable/undesirable social outcomes. Explain his view and the evidence he cites against the sort of racial realism
occupied by those authors.
Wise argues a novel position he asserts a belief in the social construction of race; but argues that even if race is
shown to be deep biologically by some future science nothing of ethical or social significance would necessarily
follow. Explain his argument concentrating specifically on how he distinguishes conclusions of science from
societal ethical imperatives.
Kitcher and Andreason both attempt to rehabilitate the biological concept of race (away from the vernacular,
common or ogre realist perspective) toward a clinal conception tracking current genetic distribution maps.
Explain their view and briefly the evidence supporting their view.
Faust, in The Ethics of Scientific Research Utilizing Race as a Variable identifies an argument in favor of not
eliminating racial concepts from our scientific vocabulary despite our recognition that it isnt a deep scientific
concept. Explain this argument.
– Fausto-Sterling undermines the idea that sex is strictly dimorphic. Describe briefly how biology, in Fausto
Sterlings view actually undermines the idea of a strict dimorphism. (Your answer should include a detailed
discussion of sexual development and the idea of intersexed individuals).
Angier critiques the extreme evolutionary psychology view specifically with regard to male female sex/mate choice
distinctions. Explain the view she is critiquing (read Wilson, Sex as well). What she sees as potentially
undermining the assertions of the view and her alternate explanation for such differences.
Halpern, in Sex, Brains and Hands- Identifies an evident correlation between laterality (handedness), cognitive
ability and sex. However, she doesnt accept an extreme determinist position about sex and cognitive ability.
Summarize her view.
Some of the evidence in the Halpern article appears to support the idea of some correlation between sex and some
aspects of cognitive ability (although Halpern does not accept a strict determinism this idea appears to be
undermined by much of the Claire Renzetti article- Sex Differences: Much ado about nothing? Detail how she sees
the evidence as undermining the idea that sex/gender differences are deeply biological. (Be sure and read the
Halpern article as well to draw the relevant connections.)
– Discuss Steins analogy that Zomnian sleep orientation does not represent a deep natural kind. How might his
analogy be used to question the idea that sexual orientation is a deep natural kind (You should detail the
differences between kinds, and how our conceptions of sexual orientation may correspond to either.)
– Detail the differences between the different theoretical models of the development of sexual orientation. (Byne &
Lasco) Which model do Levay and Hamer endorse? (evidence?) How does Byne question this model (and in so
doing, Levay and Hamers conclusions)?
– Detail both the inversion hypothesis of Levay and the notion that there might be a gay gene. You should detail
the evidence in support of the gay brain hypothesis. (Including the rat studies) What is the human evidence Levay
sees as supporting this view? Also, how does Hamer articulate the idea that there is a genetic influence on sexual
orientation and that this gene is located on the X chromosome? And in detail, explain how any number of aspects of
Levay/Hamers experiments and the methodological assumptions might be questioned.
-In the course we have discussed the ways in which categories such as race, gender and sexual orientation appeal to
some underlying biological influences and yet are also culturally or socially constructed. Explain how this could be
for one of these concepts. You should include (although not necessarily in this order): An explanation of socially
constructed for the category, the kinds of biological influences that underlie the category and the environment that
both influence individual identity and go into the social construction of the category.
HEALTHCAREANALYSIS VOL.5:2,136-148 (1997)
Ethical Implications of
Scientific Research on the
Causes of Sexual
William Byne1~and Edward Stein$
tDepartment of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA
*+Department of Philosophy, Yale University, USA
In this article, we evaluate the status of current biological research into sexual
orientation and examine the relevance of such research on the legal and social status
of gay men and lesbians. We begin with a review of hormonal, neuroanatomical and
genetic studies of sexual orientation. We argue that the scientific study of sexual
orientation is, at best, still in its infancy. We turn then to the ethical and social
implications of this research. We argue that even if scientists could explain how
sexual orientation develops, no significant ethical conclusions would follow.
Further, we suggest that the current emphasis on findIng a biological basis for
sexual orientation is potentially harmful to lesbians, gay men and other sexual
minorities in various ways (although perhaps it is in some ways potentially helpful
as well). ©1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Health Care Anal., 5:2 136-148 (1997)
No. of Figures: O, No. of Tables: 0, No. of References: 59
Within the past four years, the size of three
different brain structures has been reported to
v a r y with sexual orientation in men, a n d the size
of a fourth structure has b e e n reported to v a r y in
genetic males as a function of g e n d e r identity. 1’2’3’4 During this s a m e period, h o m o s e x u a l ity has been reported to be m o d e r a t e l y heritable
in b o t h m e n 5 and w o m e n , 6 a n d h o m o s e x u a l i t y
has been reported to be linked to the tip of the X
c h r o m o s o m e in s o m e families. 7 Several of these
studies h a v e g a r n e r e d a great deal of positive
response in the media, b u t reactions f r o m the
scientific c o m m u n i t y h a v e b e e n mixed. While
William Byne, Department of Psychiatry, Box 1230, Mount
Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, and Edward
Stein, Department of Philosophy, Yale University, P.O. Box
208306, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
©1997 by JohnWiley & Sons, Ltd.
s o m e researchers have concluded that ‘science is
converging on the conclusion that sexual orientation is innate’, 8 others h a v e cautioned that
reports of simple a n d direct links b e t w e e n
biological factors a n d sexual orientation h a v e a
p o o r track record of reliability. 9 Reaction within
the g a y and lesbian c o m m u n i t y has b e e n
similarly mixed. Some g a y m e n a n d lesbians
caution that biological research in a h o m o p h o b i c
society m a y lead to biological interventions
a i m e d at p r e v e n t i n g or ‘ c u r i n g ‘ h o m o s e x u a l i t y .
Others maintain that, b y bolstering the argum e n t that sexual orientation is n o t chosen, the
biological evidence will enhance society’s tolerance of homosexuality, m a k i n g a variety of
social and political goals m o r e easily attainable.
In this article, w e evaluate the status of current
biological research into sexual orientation a n d
examine the relevance of s u c h research on the
legal and social status of g a y m e n a n d lesbians.
CAUSES OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION
We begin with a review of hormonal, neuroanatomical and genetic studies of sexual orientation. We argue that the scientific study of sexual
orientation is, at best, still in its infancy. We turn
then to the ethical and social implications of this
research. We argue that even if scientists could
explain how sexual orientation develops, no
significant ethical conclusions would follow.
Further, we suggest that the current emphasis
on finding a biological basis for sexual orientation is potentially harmful to lesbians, gay men
and other sexual minorities in various ways
(although perhaps it is in some ways potentially
helpful as well).
The Current Status of Biological Research
In the fields of neuroendocrinology and neuroanatomy, most research on sexual orientation is
premised on the assumption that sexual orientation is a sexually dimorphic trait, that is, a trait
with two forms, one typically associated with
males and the other typically associated with
females. Researchers who accept this assumption expect particular aspects of an individual’s
brain or physiology to conform to one of two
distinct types, one associated with each of the
two forms, namely, a male form that causes
sexual attraction to women which is shared by
heterosexual men and lesbians, and a female
form that causes sexual attraction to men which
is shared by heterosexual women and gay men.
We refer to the assumption that homosexuality
results from a sex-reversed or incompletely
sexually differentiated brain as the ‘intersex
assumption’. This assumption is evident in the
literature in the frequent equation of homosexual behaviour in men with effeminacy. In the
biobehavioural literature, this equation has l e d
to the concept of homosexuality as ‘central
nervous system hermaphroditism’ and to the
search in male homosexuals for ‘female mating
centres’ as well as feminised cognitive and
hormonal profiles and neuroendocrine responses. This assumption dates from at least
the middle of the last century when Johann
Ludwig Casper hypothesised that homosexuality results from ‘hermaphroditism of the s0ul’. 1°
Subsequently, the American psychiatrist, James
Kiernan, hypothesised that homosexuality re1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
suits from ‘hermaphroditism of the brain’, and
just before the turn of the century, the sexologist,
Richard von Krafft-Ebing hypothesised that it
was not hermaphroditism of the entire brain but
just the ‘psychosexual centers’J ] Research premised on the intersex assumption typically
proceeds by first trying to identify sex differences and then seeing if any alleged sex
difference is either sex-reversed or incompletely
differentiated in homosexuals.
There are alternatives to the intersex assumption. Perhaps, from the neurological point of
view, gay men and lesbians should be grouped
together and heterosexual men and women
should be grouped together. This would be the
case if heterosexuals had a brain structure or
physiology that disposed them to be sexually
attracted to people of the opposite sex while
lesbians and gay men had a brain that disposed
them to be sexually attracted to people of the
same sex. Or, more plausibly, there might be no
interesting generalisable differences in brains
that correlate with these categories of sexual
orientation. This would be the case if sexual
orientation is not simply dimorphic but rather
takes many different forms. Just as a computer
might be programmed to accomplish a particular task by more than one strategy, the conscious
and unconscious motivations associated with
sexual attraction could differ even among
individuals of the same sex and sexual orientation. A myriad of experiences (and subjective
interpretations of them) could interact to lead
different individuals to the same relative degree
of sexual attraction to men, women, or both.
Because sexual attraction to women, for example, could be driven by various different
psychological factors, there is no reason to
expect that all individuals attracted to women
should share any particular brain function that
distinguishes them from individuals attracted to
men. If a particular orientation does not require
a particular brain function, it follows that it does
not require a distinguishing physiology or brain
structure. When reviewing the results of evidence obtained based on the intersex assumption, it is important to remember both that there
are alternatives to this assumption and that this
assumption is at yet scientifically unsupported.
This is not to deny that the intersex assumption is intuitively plausible to many people in
HEALTH CAREANALYSIS,VOL. 5:136-148
our culture. This is not because the assumption
is intrinsically more plausible than either of the
two rivals we mentioned; rather, it is because of
our cultural bias in favour of thinking that gay
men are feminine and lesbians are masculine.
This cultural view is hardly universal. For
example, in some cultures, male homosexuality
was associated with warrior status, 12,13 while in
others receptive homosexual activity was universally practised and believed to be essential
for the attainment of virility. 14 The fact that the
intersex assumption would not have been
plausible in some cultures does not show that
the assumption is false. Together, however, the
lack of scientific evidence to support the intersex
assumption, and the fact that it is not culturally
universal suggests that it may be based as much
on our cultural biases as anything else.
From the turn of the century into the 1970s a
popular hypothesis held that homosexuals
might have atypical levels of androgens or
oestrogens, the so-called sex hormones, in their
bloodstreams. This hypothesis is no longer
viewed favourably because an overwhelming
majority of studies failed to demonstrate any
correlation between sexual orientation and adult
hormonal constitution, is Current speculation
concerning a hormonal basis for sexual orientation draws heavily on the observation that, in
rodents, hormonal exposure in early development exerts organisational influences on the
brain that determine the balance between male
and female patterns of mating behaviours
displayed in adulthood.
Extrapolating from behaviours in rodents to
psychological phenomena in humans is pronematic. According to some researchers and many
popular accounts, a male rat that is castrated at
birth and subsequently shows a sexually receptive posture called lordosis when mounted by
another male is homosexual. This receptive
posture, however, is little more than a reflex. A
neonatalty castrated male will assume the same
posture if a handler strokes its back. Further,
while the male who displays lordosis when
mounted by another male and the female who
mounts another female are counted as homoHEALTH CARE ANALYSIS,VOL. 5:136–148
W. BYNE AND E. STEIN
sexual, the male that mounts another male is
considered heterosexual and escapes scientific
scrutiny and labelling as does the female that
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