Gay, Straight and the Reason Why | Los Angeles Public Library
Print this page

Gay, Straight and the Reason Why

In conversation with Larry Swanson
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Episode Summary
What causes a child to grow up gay or straight or bisexual? Neuroscientist LeVay summarizes where the quest for a biological explanation of sexual orientation stands today, taking us on a tour of laboratories that specialize in genetics, endocrinology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology and more.

Participant(s) Bio
Simon LeVay is a British-born neuroscientist who has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He is best known for his research on the brain and sexuality, and has spent many years studying the visual system. He has written ten previous books, including the New York Times best-seller, When Science Goes Wrong.

Dr. Larry Swanson is Appleman Professor of Biological Sciences and a member of the Neuroscience Research Institute at USC, where he directs a laboratory investigating brain systems that control motivation and emotion. His recent book Brain Architecture: Understanding the Basic Plan presents a new theory of nervous system organization, and his atlas Brain Maps is in its third edition. He and his wife, Neely have translated three classic works of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934), the Nobel Prize-winning founder of modern neuroscience. Dr. Swanson is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.