Editors: Charlotte J. Patterson, PhD; and Anthony R. D’Augelli, PhD
: Oxford University Press – 320 pages
Book Review by
: Sonu Chandiram

A lot of research has been conducted in recent decades on sexual orientation and much has been written on it: discussions of data gathered and how they to theories. So much new material has been published on this hot topic.

Forty-one specialists in different areas of the psychology of sexual orientation present their theories and results of research in this unique, single volume on this growing new field of knowledge and understanding of our sexuality.

They present the known concepts in this field, the theories behind lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) peoples’ attraction and predisposition towards others like them, or different from them, e.g. homosexual males attracted to other homosexuals and to women as well.

The contributors also discuss how sexual attitudes and behaviors of LGBTs change and develop over their lifetimes; the range of experiences they gather in the course of their personal, social and work lives; and what happens (how they interact) in communities of such people. It is an extensive range of subjects the authors cover in the 21 chapters of this book, detailed below:

Part One: Concepts, Theories, and Perspectives

  1. Concepts of Female Sexual Orientation
  2. Gay Male Identities, Desires, and Sexual Behaviors
  3. Bisexual Identities
  4. Transgender Identities: Research and Controversies
  5. Biological Foundations of Sexual Orientation
  6. Demographic Perspectives on Sexual Orientation

Part Two: Development Over the Life Course

  1. The Sexual Identity, Development and Health of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adolescents: An Ecological Perspective
  2. Emergent Adulthood in Lesbian and Gay Lives: Individual Development, Life Course, and Social Change
  3. Sexual Orientation, Middle Adulthood, and Narratives of Transition and Change
  4. Sexual Orientation and Aging in Western Society

Part Three: Domains of Experience

  1. Work, Career, and Sexual Orientation
  2. Same-Sex Romantic Relationships
  3. Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Physical Health
  4. Gay Men’s Health and the Theory of Cultural Resilience
  5. Sexual Orientation and Mental Health
  6. Sexual Orientation and Family Lives

Part Four: Communities and Contextual Issues

  1. Attitudes About Sexual Orientation
  2. Minority Stress and Health of Sexual Minorities
  3. Sexual Orientation, Victimization, and Hate Crimes
  4. Race and Ethnicity Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Communities
  5. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Communities

This book provides evidence-based information on an extensive range of topics on sexual orientation, which includes:

  • Attitudes and behaviors relating to sex
  • Career, developmental and work issues
  • Ethnicity, race, family and health issues
  • Identities of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people
  • Relationships within and among different sets of LGBTs

This is an authoritative text on the subject by experts and will be useful to students, educators, clinicians, and researchers. We congratulate Drs. Patterson and D’Augelli, and all contributors of material.


Charlotte J. Patterson, PhD is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Studies in Women and Gender program at the University of Virginia. Her recent work has focused on sexual orientation, human development, and family lives, especially on the development of children with gay and lesbian parents/ Dr. Patterson is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) as well as of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a past president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues.

Anthony R. D’Augelli, PhD is Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Outreach in the College of Health and Human Development and Professor of Human Development at The Pennsylvania State University. His work has focused on the development of sexual orientation, especially during adolescence and late adulthood. Dr. D’Augelli is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and an Editorial Board Member for several journals, including the Journal of GLBT Family Studies, the Journal of GLBT Youth, and Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.

Kimberly Balsam –
Palo Alto University;  
Susan D. Cochran
– UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Bertam J. Cohler
– University of Chicago
Khytam Dawood
– Penn State University
Lisa M. Diamond
– University of Utah
Sara H. Dworkin
– California State University at Fresno
Ruth E. Fassinger
– JFK University
Adam W. Fingerhut
– Loyola Marymount University  
John A. Frank
– New York University
Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen
– University of Washington
Mark S. Friedman
– University of Pittsburgh
David M. Frost
– Columbia University
Gary J. Gates
– Williams Institute, UCLA
Arnold H. Grossman
– New York University
Christian Grov
– Brooklyn College
Gary W. Harper
– University of Michigan
Amy L. Herrick
– University of Pittsburgh
Alexander K. Hill
– Penn State University
Stacey S. Horn
– University of Illinois at Chicago 
Andrew J. Hostetler
– University of Massachusetts at Lowell
Tonda Hughes
– University of Illinois
Keren Lehavot
– University of Washington
Vickie M. Mays
Michael J. McCutcheon
– New York University
Ilan H. Meyer
Stuart Michaels
– NORC at the University of Chicago
Jonathan J. Mohr
– University of Maryland
Jeffrey T. Parsons
– Hunter College
Charlotte J. Patterson
– University of Virginia
Letitia Ann Peplau
David A. Puts
– Penn State University
Margaret Rosario
– The City University of New York – City College and Graduate Center
Esther D. Rothblum
– San Diego State University
Francisco J. Sanchez
– UCLA School of Medicine
Eric W. Scrimshaw
– Columbia University
Jane M. Simoni
– University of Washington
Laramie Smith
– University of Connecticut
Ron Stall
– University of Pittsburgh
Eric Vilain
– UCLA School of Medicine
Karina L. Walters
– University of Washington
Bianca D.M. Wilson