Attraction, Love, Sex
The Inside Story
by Simon LeVay
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Pub Date 16 May 2023 | Archive Date 23 Aug 2023
Sex may be the most powerful motivating force in our lives after hunger. It drives us to seek intimate contact with others and to form relationships that may be fleeting or lifelong, blissful or troubled. Yet many mysteries surround sex and sexuality: Why don’t we reproduce by virgin birth? Why does so much of our sexual behavior have nothing to do with reproduction? Why isn’t everyone heterosexual? How does the brain create sexual arousal? How do sexual kinks develop? Is porn harmful? What is the relationship between sex and love?
In Attraction, Love, Sex, the renowned scholar Simon LeVay introduces readers to a memorable cast of researchers trying to answer these questions and many more. A biologist dredges a New Zealand lake for asexual mud snails. Psychologists measure whether eating a good meal changes a man’s idea of female beauty. Physiologists probe orifices with miniature toilet plungers and place lovers in brain scanners. Geneticists reconstruct the sex crimes of Genghis Khan. Neuroscientists create mice whose sexual behavior can be switched on and off. A zoologist traps and releases 260,000 voles and launches a new science of love.
LeVay distills vast expertise on the biology and psychology of sex into an engaging and easy-to-understand survey with scientific acumen, a critical eye, and a sense of humor. This book reveals how scientists are unraveling the secrets of sex and, in the process, shattering many traditional ideas and prejudices.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Simon LeVay is a neuroscientist and writer who has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He is best known for his 1991 report documenting a difference in brain structure between gay and straight men. LeVay is author or coauthor of twelve books, including a leading textbook on human sexuality.
"Simon LeVay highlights how science can help us understand our sexual psychology, from attraction and love to the darker sides of sexual behavior."
--Catherine A. Salmon, Redlands University, and coauthor of Warrior Lovers