Last updated on: 1/31/2008 | Author:

Daryl J. Bem, PhD Biography

Professor of Psychology at Cornell University
Con to the question "Is Sexual Orientation Determined at Birth?"

“The question ‘What causes homosexuality’ is both politically suspect and scientifically misconceived. Politically suspect because it is so frequently motivated by an agenda of prevention and cure. Scientifically misconceived because it presumes that heterosexuality is so well understood, so obviously the ‘natural’ evolutionary consequence of reproductive advantage, that only deviations from it are theoretically problematic. …Experience-based theories of sexual orientation have not fared well empirically in recent years…. But before we all become geneticists, biopsychologists, or neuroanatomists, it seemed to me worth another try. In particular, I believed that the theoretical and empirical building blocks for a coherent, experience-based developmental theory of sexual orientation were already scattered about in the literature.”

“Exotic Becomes Erotic: Explaining the Enigma of Sexual Orientation,” 1997

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of Psychology, Cornell University, 1978-present
  • Visiting Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, 1987-1988
  • Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, 1971-1978
  • Assistant Professor to Professor of Psychology & Industrial Administration, Carnegie-Mellon University, 1964-1971
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Fellow, American Psychological Association
  • Charter Fellow, American Psychological Society
  • PhD, Social Psychology, University of Michigan, 1964
  • BA, Physics, Reed College, 1960
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Is Gender Nonconforming Behavior in Children Indicative of Adult Homosexual Orientation?