The benign, largely unsurprising findings of a ten-year study by the Institute for Sex Research, which demonstrates the...

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HOMOSEXUALITIES: A Study of Human Diversity

The benign, largely unsurprising findings of a ten-year study by the Institute for Sex Research, which demonstrates the diversity of homosexual expression and challenges the notion of social or psychological maladjustment. Weinberg and Bell dutifully present their data, collected in the San Francisco region, for black and white men and women, pointing out similarities and differences within homosexual subgroups and in comparison to heterosexual control groups. Some findings do conform to expectations: lesbians tend to have relatively few sexual partners (less than ten), while more than haft of the gay men polled could calculate 500 lovers. The authors, however, don't stop at sexual activity, already a well-explored subject, but consider several other, equally valid aspects of life, and in these areas--religiousness, politics, friendships, work--they refute some popular assumptions: gay men, for example, are as stable in their employment as straights. In fact, most homosexual men and women are, they contend, as well-adjusted overall as their heterosexual counterparts and wholly accepting of their orientation; two subgroups however (Asexuals and Dysfunctionals) do resemble the unattractive-misfit stereotype. Much of this formal academic presentation is statistics flattened out into grammatical sentences, using abbreviations (WHM--white homosexual male) and jargon freely and personal remarks sporadically. As such, it makes less involving reading than Howard Brown's Familiar Faces, Hidden Lives (1976), which used personal experience to launch an attractive, accessible introduction to homosexual lifestyles.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1978