John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Is Sexual Orientation Determined at Birth?"
"Although some scientists believe they have isolated a 'gay gene' that causes or contributes to a homosexual orientation, they have not offered strong evidence to support this view. Many Americans have been persuaded that sexual orientation must be hereditary, because so many identical twins share a homosexual orientation. This kind of 'evidence' is far from conclusive, especially in light of the fact that many identical twins have different sexual orientations; this remains a mystery for various theories that sexual orientation is hard-wired into each of us.
Let me be clear: it is possible that sexual orientation is determined at birth. It is more likely that sexual orientation, or orientational possibilities, become firm early in life. But it is also possible that sexual orientation is more malleable. It also strikes me as reasonable, but also unproven, that the genesis of one’s sexual orientation might be different for the average man than for the average woman.
The one thing that respected scientists tend to agree on is that sexual orientation is not a 'choice,' like selecting a pair of jeans at Walmart. One’s sexual orientation comes from deep within each of us, more like our taste for certain foods or our religious faith."
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:
John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School, 1998-present
Scholar in Residence, Columbia, 2011 and 2005
Scholar in Residence, Fordham, 2008
Simon A. Guggenheim Fellow, 1995
Full Professor, Georgetown University, 1990-1998
Associate Professor, Georgetown University, 1987-1990
Attorney, Shea & Gardner, 1979-1982
Law Clerk, The Honorable Edward Weinfeld, Southern District of New York, 1978-1979
Note & Topics Editor, The Yale Law Journal, 1977-1978
Coauthored with John FerejohnA Republic of Statutes: The New American Constitution, 2010
‘Dishonorable Passions’: Sodomy Laws in America, 1861-2003, 2008
Coauthored with Darren Spedale, Gay Marriage: For Better or For Worse? What We Have Learned from the Evidence, 2006
“Body Politics: Lawrence v. Texas and the Constitution of Disgust and Contagion,” Florida Law Review, 2005
Coauthored with Nan Hunter, Sexuality, Gender, and the Law, 2005
“Lawrence v. Texas and the Imperative of Comparative Constitutionalism,” International Journal of Constitutional Law, 2004
Equality Practice: Civil Unions and the Future of Gay Rights, 2002
"January 27, 1961: The Birth of Gaylegal Equality Arguments,” New York University Annual Survey of American Law, 2001
“No Promo Homo: The Sedimentation of Antigay Discourse and the Channeling Effect of Judicial Review,” New York University Law Review, 2000
Gaylaw: Challenging the Apartheid of the Closet, 1999
According to Eskridge's webpage, "The historical materials in his book on Gaylaw formed the basis for an amicus brief he drafted for the Cato Institute and for much of the Court’s (and the dissenting opinion’s) analysis in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which invalidated consensual sodomy laws."
From 1990-1995, he represented a gay couple suing for recognition of their same-sex marriage.