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Assignment: Biological Basis for Sexual Orientation

This week, you have learned that many behaviors, such as eating, drinking and reproductive behaviors are based in biology. These same behaviors are associated with issues that affect society, such as what to do about the obesity epidemic and how to define marriage. In some parts of the world, same-sex relationships are viewed as normal and accepted while in other parts of the world, they are outlawed. But this week’s Learning Resources have shown that reproductive behavior is just another example of the biology of the brain influencing behavior.

In this Assignment, you will synthesize the research that relates to the biological basis of sexual orientation (straight, lesbian, gay, and bisexual). You will describe the biological factors, including brain regions, neurotransmitters, and genes, as well as environmental factors experienced during development, that influence sexual orientation. With that in mind, you will then describe an educational presentation that could be addressed to a middle school biology class to educate the students about the biological basis of sexual orientation.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review the assigned chapters in Brain and Behavior and the other required Learning Resources.
  • Think about the biological basis of sexual orientation.
  • Choose ONE of these article options on the biological basis of sexual orientation:

“Neural Correlates of Sexual Orientation in Heterosexual, Bisexual, and Homosexual Men”

OR

“Perception of Sexual Orientation from Facial Structure: A Study with Artificial Face Models”

OR

“Prenatal Exposure to Progesterone Affects Sexual Orientation in Humans”

OR

You may choose your own article; however, it must be approved by your instructor by Thursday before the assignment is due.

The Assignment (2–4 pages):

  • First, summarize the material in the text and describe the biological basis of sexual orientation, including the brain regions, neurotransmitters, and hormones that may be associated with sexual orientation. Also consider any developmental factors that may influence later sexual orientation. Include any relevant anatomical or physiological markers that seem to be associated with a particular sexual orientation.
  • Summarize your article on the biological basis of sexual orientation in enough detail that your reader will understand what was done in the study and what the results of the study were (similar to the articles you found in BioPsychology.com in the first week).
  • Finally, develop and describe a high-level overview of an educational program about the biological basis of sexual orientation. This should be appropriate to present to a middle school biology class. What would you include in this educational program? What would you not include in the educational program? How would you convey the ideas you have described in this week’s Assignment in a way that would not offend your audience, but would also minimize the giggles of young teenagers?

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You should include in-text citations in the body of your Assignment as well as complete references in APA format at the end of your Assignment.

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment.

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK4Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 4 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 4 Assignment link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK4Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.