Last updated on: 2/27/2008 | Author: ProCon.org

Rictor Norton, PhD Biography

Title:
Freelance writer and editor
Position:
Pro to the question "Is Sexual Orientation Determined at Birth?"
Reasoning:

“Although an individual’s sexuality is the subject of several constraining discourses of the law and religion, the body itself is the initial mediator of desire and the sex drive operates independently from social discourse. A homosexual is ‘born, not made;’ that is, an individual’s sexual orientation is hard-wired before birth, as the result of physiological, biological, hormonal, and genetic factors that could not have been shaped by social, environmental, cultural or ideological factors. Homosexual desire is innate, congenital, constitutional, stable and fixed rather than fluid in its basic pattern. Scientific research into the psychobiology of sexual orientation has found, e.g., that sexual orientation is taxonomic, not semantic; that it is categorical rather than strung along a continuum, that it is bimodal for men and that there are clear non-sexual differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals, e.g. lesbians are more likely than straight women to have a finger-length ratio similar to that of men; homosexuals are much more likely to be left-handed than heterosexuals, and so on. Gay men and lesbians have statistically significant ‘sex atypical’ characteristics, and a significant degree of gender nonconformity during childhood. (See Born Gay: The Psychobiology of Sexual Orientation by Glenn Wilson and Qazi Rahman (2005)).”

Email to ProCon.org, Mar. 19, 2012

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with PhDs or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to human sexuality. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to human sexuality.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Freelance writer and editor, 1995-present
  • Foreign Rights Manager, Western Publishing Co., 1979-1990
  • Research Editor, Gay News, London, 1974-1979
  • Co-editor of the first all-gay issue of an academic journal, College English, 1974
  • Member, Gay Liberation Front, Florida, 1971-1972
  • Instructor, Florida State University, 1970-1972
Education:
  • PhD, Florida State University, 1972
  • MA, Florida State University
  • BA, Florida Southern College, 1967
Other:
  • In 2005, he formed a civil partnership with his partner of nearly 30 years
  • Emigrated from Florida to London in 1973