The scientist behind the ground-breaking study that made a firm genetic link to behavior tells the inside story of how the discovery was made, discusses the possible effects on personality in general, and considers the moral implications. 35,000 first printing.
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An informal, first-person account of the discovery of a genetic link to male homosexuality by a scientist who has given thought to the ramifications of his findings. With the help of Scripps-Howard journalist Copeland, Hamer, a molecular geneticist who heads the National Cancer Institute's section on gene structure and regulation, describes in just the right amount of detail how he put together his research project on homosexuality. He relates how he obtained approval, funding, a research team, and a place to work; how he found the volunteers he needed (gay brothers willing to give blood samples and answer a lot of very personal questions); and what he learned from them and their family trees. Genetics being a statistical science, there's a fair amount of discussion of statistical techniques, but happily this is mostly presented with the general reader in mind. Hamer's account offers a glimpse into both the collegiality and the politics of science, and there's a delightful chapter on a confrontation he had at Harvard with critics of his research. The final portion of his book presents theories about how genes may influence sexual behavior and other human attributes and speculation about the implication of his research. In July 1993, in the midst of intense public debate over gays in the military, the journal Science published Hamer's paper, ``A Linkage Between DNA Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation.'' Tabloids and TV talk shows took it from there. Hamer does not dwell on his time in the spotlight, but the experience evidently sharpened his awareness of public concerns and misconceptions. After noting the possible misuses of genetic research, Hamer concludes that the real danger lies in not studying sex at all. Appendixes include the Science article (not seen) and the interview questionnaire used with research participants. Nothing to titillate, but plenty to think about. (Illustrations, not seen) (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
After reading books by Charles Darwin and Richard Lewontin, Hamer (a yeast geneticist at the National Cancer Institute) discovered that little is known about behavioral genetics in humans. He was intrigued enough to change his research direction. This book is a personalized account of the luck, pleasures, and pitfalls involved in scientific investigation-from the germ of an idea about genetic markers for homosexuality to results suggesting that the X-chromosome carries a marker for male homosexuality and speculation on the evolutionary and physiological mechanisms involved. Hamer's research included an intimate exploration of the development of homosexual behavior, family histories, and, finally, careful statistical and molecular analysis. Fortunately for Hamer, he already occupied a prestigious position that covered his day-to-day laboratory needs since the path he chose had many barriers, including hostility from celebrated scientists and intense public attention. While the topic may be offensive to some, this is an engaging odyssey through the mind of a scientist on a controversial path, with much musing, justification, and reassessment along the way. Recommended for both lay readers and specialists.
Constance Rinaldo, Dartmouth Coll., Hanover, N.H.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0671887246
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0671887246
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110671887246
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Book Description Simon & Schuster. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0671887246 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0252762