Professor of Social Work at New York University Silver School of Social Work
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Is Sexual Orientation Determined at Birth?"
"Gender and sexuality, and hence sexual orientation, are currently understood by scholars in two profoundly different ways. On one side of the contemporary debate are those who argue that such phenomena as gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation are 'based in deep-seated biological or psychological influences...' In contrast, others argue 'that sexual orientation is a creation of Western culture that can be traced back to the nineteenth century, when the terminology and supportive ideology of homosexuality as a pathology emerged...'
The emergent view of sexual orientation - of gay, lesbian, and bisexual identity - in fact draws upon understandings contributed by scholars from both points of view to develop a picture of sexual orientation that emphasizes 'the perspective that human lives are shaped by the interaction of both of these factors,' that is, by biology and society. Conversely, no line of research - to date - neither the biological nor the social/psychological - has adequately explained sexual orientation...
[T]here is currently no single 'truth' that experts agree on about sexual orientation and its origins..."
Cowritten with George A. Appleby, Not Just a Passing Phase: Social Work with Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People, 1998
Experts PhD's in psychology, without significant post-doctorate involvement in human sexuality issues, and PhD's in fields other than psychology, and MA's with significant post-graduate involvement in human sexuality issues. [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Registered Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), New York State, 2007-present
Research Consultant, Children’s Home Society, 2006-present
Member, International Advisory Committee to the Masters Program, School of Social Work, New York University, 2005-present
Professor, Silver School of Social Work, New York University, 1999-present
PhD Program Director, School of Social Work, New York University, 2002-2006
Visiting Professor, The Institute for Human Relations, New Bulgarian University (Sofia, Bulgaria), 2002, 2003, and 2005
Associate Academic Dean, School of Social Work, New York University, 1999-2002
Research Consultant, Committee to End Elder Homelessness, 1999-2000
Co-Director, Doctoral Program, Smith College School for Social Work, 1994-1999
Research Consultant, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, 1987-1991
Assistant Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, Simmons College, 1980-1983
Senior Lecturer in Sociology (Statistical Methods), Metropolitan College, Boston University, 1980-1983
Adjunct Assistant Professor (Research Methods), School of Social Work, Boston University, 1978-1980
PhD, Social Welfare Policy, Florence Heller Graduate School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare, Brandeis University, 1982
MSW (Master of Social Work), Research, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, 1978
BLS (Bachelor of Library Science), Social Work, Metropolitan College, Boston University, 1976