558 pages, Figs, tabs
Homosexual behavior is common among social animals, and mainly expressed within the context of a bisexual sexual orientation. Exclusive homosexuality is less common, but not unique to humans. Poiani and Dixson invite the reader to embark on a journey through the evolutionary, biological, psychological and sociological aspects of homosexuality, seeking an understanding of both the proximate and evolutionary causes of homosexual behavior and orientation in humans, other mammals and birds.
The authors also provide a synthesis of what we know about homosexuality into a biosocial model that links recent advances in reproductive skew theory and various selection mechanisms to produce a comprehensive framework that will be useful for anyone teaching or planning future research in this field.
But aspiring sleuths owe a considerable debt to Aldo Poiani, who, in this admirable volume, has drawn together the best, most coherent summary to date of the currently available evidence. David P. Barash, Evolutionary Psychology
1. Animal homosexuality in evolutionary perspective; 2. The comparative study of homosexual behaviour; 3. Genetics of homosexuality; 4. Ontogenetic patterns; 5. The endocrine and nervous systems: a network of causality for homosexual behaviour; 6. Immunology and homosexuality; 7. Sexual segregation effects; 8. The social, life-histories and ecological theatres of animal homosexual behaviour; 9. Homosexual behaviour in primates; 10. A biosocial model for the evolution and maintenance of homosexual behaviour in mammals and birds.
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Aldo Poiani is an evolutionary ecologist from Monash University, Australia. He has studied social behaviour, sexual behaviour and parasitism in birds, having published widely in the fields of avian cooperative breeding and host-parasite interactions, including aspects related to behaviour, endocrinology and comparative biology. He has carried out field research in Australia, Europe and South America and is editor of the book Floods in an Arid Continent.