978-0-684-18705-1 / 9780684187051

Sexual Landscapes: Why We Are What We Are, Why We Love Whom We Love





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About the book:

The power of love is (as the song says) a curious thing. Rock stars sing about it, comedians tell jokes about it, and just about every advice columnist writes about it. Scientifically, however, just how curious love is, is still an open question. "Love" is a four-letter word to many peopleand "sex" is the shortest four-letter word of all. Society builds taboos around these words, but there's no denying that love and sex are spectacular.

This is a book about sex: typical and atypical, loving and lustful, sensible and ridiculous. Sexual Landscapes takes on the most challenging puzzles of human sexuality and incorporates the latest scientific research, experts' theories, and the author's own work to explain them.

Why are we attracted to the people we love? Why are we hetero-, homo-, bi-, or transsexual? Who's controlling the communication when a man and a woman meet for the first time? Why do there seem to be more gay men than gay women? More bisexual women than bisexual men? Why do men and women say they're aroused by different things, but when tested with actual erotica, appear to be aroused by the same things? Why are we afraid to educate our children about sex? Does homosexuality run in families? How do things as delightful as sex and love become intertwined with pain and violence? Dr. Weinrich challenges our assumptions and popular taboos as he presents the results of fascinating research and controversial theories about why we love and lust.

Sexual Landscapes is a provocative, challenging guided tour of our sexual selves that will delight, inform, and instruct.


  • Chapter 1: The Power of Love  Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Gender Transpositions  Erotic subtypes discussed in the book
  • Chapter 3: Ten Unsolved Problems  about the science of sexual arousal
  • Chapter 4: The S*x Taboo  and how it cripples our society
  • Chapter 5: Reality or Social Construction?  Are things like 'homosexuality' real, or just constructed by society?
  • Chapter 6: Limerence, Lust, Bisexuality  A new theory of types of attraction that explains how someone might 'fall in lust' with one sex but only 'fall in love' with the other sex
  • Chapter 7: The Periodic-Table Model  How the gender transpositions can be arranged
  • Chapter 8: Plethysmography  Direct genital measurement as an amazing and insightful scientific technique
  • Chapter 9: Families of Origin  How sexual preferences are related to childhood personality traits and parental caring patterns
  • Chapter 10: When Sex and Violence Mix  How can something as wonderful as love sometimes get connected to pain and suffering?
  • Chapter 11: Courtship theory  The secret ways women attract men, and why men don't know about them
  • Chapter 12: Homosexuality in Animals  Gay or bisexual animals? Why not?!??
  • Chapter 13: Sociobiology  How evolution explains sexual orientation
  • Chapter 14: The Big Picture  Solving the ten problems posed in chapter 3
  • Chapter 15: Conclusions  Why responsible openness about sex is vital to society
  • References
  • Index  The index page numbers do point accurately to page numbers in this printed edition.

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