The Origins of Sexual Identity: A Clinician’s View

  • Stephen B. Levine
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 22)


It is not possible to be completely objective about a subject as value-laden and emotionally evocative as sexual preference. Instead of indulging in illusions about my dispassionate, critical thinking in this area, I want to make my biases explicit. The perspective of this essay is clinical. It has evolved over a decade of helping men and women with concerns about their sexual preferences. My clinical bias is developmental. It is based on the assumption that all mental and behavioral phenomena involving sexual preferences are products of the child’s integration of biologic, intrapsychic, and social forces. My perspective is also psychodynamic, because I sense that such traditions place more emphasis on the child’s unique integration of inherent capacities, internal processes, and social influences than do strictly sociologic, behavioral, or biologic perspectives.


Sexual Behavior Behavioral Intention Gender Identity Sexual Identity Homosexual Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen B. Levine
    • 1
  1. 1.Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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