Nov 202016

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No aspect of who we are generates more inner confusion, turmoil, and misunderstanding than sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination and persecution based upon homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgender is still rampant. We all live with our sexual orientation but no one really understands it, warranting the question, what is it all about? A key to this mystery is the so-called evolutionary paradox of how behavior that does not lead to reproduction could ever have evolved. Current theories fail to explain this paradox. As a researcher with several game changing theories, founder of the Centre For Theoretical Research In Psychiatry & Clinical Psychology, and psychiatrist having treated many people suffering from sexual orientation issues, Dr Bowins solves this paradox, and outs the truth about sexual orientation. As it turns out, we all have the capacity and motivation for both homoerotic and heteroerotic behavior, with dimension activation, erotic fantasy, and social construction playing key roles in how sexual orientation is expressed. The enlightened perspective presented offers the hope of much less discrimination and real self-acceptance.


Nov 262023

Discrimination and persecution of homosexual and transgender people continues to be a major problem, and appears to be on the rise in many areas. A key reason for this distressing occurrence resides in how sexual orientation and gender are understood—discrete homosexual, heterosexual, male, female, identities. To simplify information processing we have a strong tendency to put things in discrete categories, such as gay, straight. The drawback of this psychological predilection is that it sets up in-group and out-group distinctions, a tendency derived from our 200,000 to 300,000-year evolution in hunting-gathering groups. Members of one’s group were usually genetically related and hence more likely to assist, whereas those from other hunting-gathering groups were unrelated and more likely to harm. Research has revealed that people automatically apply more positive evaluations to their in-group and negative to the out-group (Brewer & Miller, 1996; Sherif, 1961). The combination of our strong desire to place things in discrete categories and apply in-group/out-group distinctions, almost ensures bias against homosexuals and transgender people.

Attempts to manage discrimination and persecution related to sexual orientation and gender, take the form of encouraging leniency towards those impacted. While noble in its goal, such a strategy is almost certain to have limited results, because it has to overcome the powerful psychological tendencies to cluster things in discrete categories and make in-group/out-group distinctions. If sexual orientation and gender are truly comprised of discrete categories then this is all we have to work with, but what if our understanding of sexual orientation and gender is flawed?

While the human brain likes to cluster information in discrete categories, natural occurrences are almost always structured in a continuous fashion, such as from low to high on a given trait. For example, height and weight occur along a spectrum, as opposed to only short, tall, light, and heavy people. Behaviors also show this continuous progression as with aggression and nurturance varying in degree. As natural occurrences might sexual orientation and gender occur on spectrums? The answer is that they almost certainly do, as recognized by Alfred Kinsey for sexual orientation back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The Kinsey Scale placed homosexuality at one pole and heterosexuality at the opposite pole. Although this continuous arrangement was revolutionary in import, it does not align with the realities of sexual orientation. Homosexuals and heterosexual must have a strong degree of the given sexual orientation, but varying levels occur within each type. Bisexuals must be placed in the middle, meaning less homosexual and heterosexual motivation than those with only one identity, however, many bisexuals have strong motivations of both forms. Then there are asexuals with little or no sexual motivation that cannot fit on the scale. Therefore, a bipolar continuous depiction of sexual orientation does not work.

What does work is separate homoerotic and heteroerotic dimensions of sexual attraction, motivation, and capacity. Each person has a level on both dimensions with “homosexuals” higher homoerotic than heteroerotic, “heterosexuals” higher heteroerotic than homoerotic, bisexuals equivalent levels on these dimensions, and asexuals very low homoerotic and heteroerotic motivation. Given its importance in reproduction the heteroerotic dimension is certain. A homoerotic dimension is equally likely based upon the presence of such behavior in numerous species of insects, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, mammals, and primates, serving diverse and important functions (Bagemihl, 1999).

Regarding gender, instead of discrete female and male categories, there are feminine and masculine dimensions of traits and behaviors. Those rating higher on feminine than masculine features tend to identify with female, while people rating higher on masculine than feminine features identify with male. Mostly this tendency aligns with biological sex and assigned sex at birth, but when it does not transgender feelings occur. This dimensional depiction of gender is consistent with how transgender people commonly describe themselves as non-binary or gender fluid, as opposed to just other sex.

From a perspective of discrimination and persecution, understanding sexual orientation and gender in dimensional terms will greatly reduce or even eliminate bias. This positive occurrence arises from how challenging it is to assign in-group and out-group designations when traits and behavior are shared. If we all have varying degrees of heteroerotic and homoerotic motivation, and male and female traits and behavior, then it is virtually impossible to make the in-group and out-group distinctions that underly discrimination and persecution. Bias is replaced by tolerance and compassion! Additionally, this revised understanding aligns with the apparent reality of sexual orientation and gender, and the truth often liberates us from bias.

In A New Perspective On Sexual Orientation: Theory Meets Reality (Cambridge Scholars, 2023), I present a perspective on sexual orientation based upon separate homoerotic and heteroerotic dimensions that we all have, essentially meaning that bisexuality is the norm. The dominant dimension in each person is preferentially active, but the non-dominant dimension can be activated by circumstances and internal states. Activation and deactivation of sexual orientation dimensions is consistent with how the brain largely works on the basis of activation and deactivation including to sexual stimuli, and how circumstances can trigger sexual orientation behavior. Erotic fantasy is a major activator of the homoerotic and heteroerotic dimensions, amplifying sexuality and sexual orientation behavior. The way that sexual orientation is understood—social construction—influences how it is expressed, with the current homosexual and heterosexual discrete categories tending to deactivate the non-dominant dimension, due to the psychological conflict that manifest with feelings and behavior conflicting with one’s sexual orientation identity. Of note, homosexuality and heterosexuality only arose in the nineteenth century, with sexual orientation understood in vastly different fashions prior to this.

The four-components consisting of homoerotic and heterotic dimensions, activation and deactivation of these dimensions, erotic fantasy, and social construction of sexual orientation, provides a comprehensive perspective on sexual orientation. The intersection of sexual orientation and transgender, understood as separate feminine and masculine dimensions, is also explored.

May 112018

We all love our identities, whether that be professions, race, the clubs we belong to, or political affiliations. These identities seem to be a source of pride and belonging. However, they come with a price tag in terms of in-group and out-group distinctions that frequently lead to discrimination and persecution, as we have seen all too often with race. What if the identities are not real, and yet still favor such behavior? As genetic research has progressed scientists are calling into question the notion of race identities, given that we all share the same genes with minor changes for skin pigmentation and some other features. There is no clearly distinct “race.”

Sexual orientation is an identity that even has the “pride” label associated with homosexuality. You might say, “Yes, but sexual orientation involves real identities.” But are they? These identities fuel massive amounts of in-group and out-group based discrimination against “homosexuals.” In addition, inner confusion and turmoil is common, and certainly in younger people, when fantasies and actions do not align with sexual orientation identity. A person who engages in a “homosexual” act or has fantasies of doing so, but identifies with being “heterosexual” often experiences a great deal of distress, that at times can even lead to suicide.

It turns out that these sexual orientation identities are not real, only “existing” for about 200 years! In OUTING THE TRUTH ABOUT SEXUAL ORIENTATION, I as a highly experience psychiatrist, psychotherapist, researcher, and founder of the Centre For Theoretical Research In Psychiatry & Clinical Psychology (, reveal what it is all about. The answer eliminates any in-group and out-group motivation for discrimination and persecution, and replaces inner confusion and turmoil with understanding.

This model of sexual orientation aligns with scientific evidence and encompasses 4 components: homoerotic and heteroerotic behavioral capacities, activation of these capacities by circumstances, erotic fantasy, and social construction showing how we create various understandings of sexual orientation. Learn how countless animal species from insects to primates engage in homoerotic and heteroerotic behavior, setting up both behavioral capacities within us. Circumstances greatly influence which capacity is activated at a given time, and erotic fantasy amplifies the strength. The perspective presented makes sense of puzzling aspects of sexual orientation behavior, such as the impact of sexual abuse, and explains why some individuals favor a “homosexual” identity, while most identify with being “heterosexual.” For an enlightening and informative take on sexual orientation read OUTING THE TRUTH ABOUT SEXUAL ORIENTATION (

May 112017

In Outing The TRUTH About Sexual Orientation I show why the sense of being male or female is not an either/or scenario, but instead occurs on a spectrum influenced by the separate dimensions of masculinity and femininity. For the most part, the sense of being male or female aligns with biological sex, due to a male hormone wash of the fetal brain guiding brain development in a male direction, and the absence of this event resulting in female brain development. For example, young boys in a playground are almost always more aggressive engaging in rough and tumble play, to the astonishment of many parents not believing in biological influences. However, this process does not always work perfectly, and the range of masculine and feminine traits a person has can influence their sense of being male or female. As transgender relates to sexual orientation, I suggest using gender identity as an anchor for homoerotic and heteroerotic behavior. For instance, a female gender identity and sexual fantasy or behavior focused on females equates with homoerotic, while sexual fantasy or behavior focused on males is heteroerotic. In the case of an individual feeling they are both gender identities, the term bi-erotic might apply.

May 042017

Homosexual and heterosexual categories seem real and we identify with one or the other, or both if bisexual. In Outing The TRUTH About Sexual Orientation it is revealed why these sexual orientation identities are false, only somewhat approximating what actually transpires. We have created homosexuality and heterosexuality as identities, and then wonder how homosexuality not leading to reproduction could ever have evolved, the evolutionary paradox. It turns out that our two favorite sexual orientation designations have only existed for a few hundred years or so! People prior to this time did not see sexual orientation in the same way. For example, the ancient Greeks and also Romans focused on the active and passive role pertaining to penetration, and also the value of beauty whether same-sex or other-sex. Considering that humans have existed for about 200,000 years, homosexuality and heterosexuality have only been around for a fraction of 1% of that time! Yes, that is the reality, and the reality in regards to sexual orientation is separate homoerotic and heteroerotic dimensions motivating distinct behaviors. We have incorrectly shifted sexual orientation from flexible behaviors to inflexible identities. By doing so we have created a massively neurotic scenario in terms of anxiety and self-loathing when fantasy or actual behavior contrasts with one’s sexual orientation identity, and fueled sexual orientation discrimination by creating clear out-group and in-group distinctions. Sexologists struggle and fail to explain how an entity we created—homosexuality—evolved, when separate homoerotic and hetereorotic dimensions eliminate the evolutionary paradox, given that homoerotic behavior does not impact on heteroerotic behavior, and the converse! Let’s start thinking then in terms of sexual orientation behaviors and not identities.

Apr 272017

It has been said that the mind is our main sexual organ, and this appears to transpire via erotic fantasy. In apparent contrast to all other species, erotic fantasy actually comprises an additional layer to human sexuality, beyond behavior. Research has found that people who engage in erotic fantasy, even during intercourse, tend to be healthier sexually! As pertains to sexual orientation, erotic fantasy is a major force activating the homoerotic and heteroerotic dimensions. When we fantasize about a sexual encounter, real or wished for, the relevant dimension is activated. For example, if a person who typically identifies with being “heterosexual” has a homoerotic fantasy, that sexual orientation dimension is activated. Read, Outing The TRUTH About Sexual Orientation, to learn why erotic fantasy is the main activator of sexual orientation dimensions, and discover the profound role that it plays in motivating a wide range of sexual behaviors.

Apr 192017

Homoerotic and heteroerotic sexual orientation dimensions are not static entities, but dynamic and fluid ones, aligning with how sexual orientation behavior can vary in any individual. A key to the dynamic nature is activation and deactivation of sexual orientation dimensions: Certain triggers and circumstances can activate either the homoerotic or heteroerotic dimension. For example, a person who identifies with being “homosexual” based on a high homoerotic motivation and significantly lower heteroerotic motivation, can be motivated to engage in heteroerotic behavior upon encountering an other-sex partner they really like and bond to, in part perhaps based on a desire to have children. Sexual orientation dimension activation can explain other puzzling behavior, such as why homoerotic behavior increases in same-sex settings: For purposes of alliance formation, tension reduction, reconciliation, and even just sexual pleasure, the presence of same-sex individuals only can activate the homoerotic dimension. Deactivation of sexual orientation dimensions can transpire in certain circumstances, as with sexual abuse, although ironically activation can also occur with sexual abuse, accounting for why sexualization of behavior is one of the most common outcomes in this scenario. Outing The TRUTH About Sexual Orientation is the first book to present the influence of activation and deactivation of sexual orientation dimensions by sexual abuse and other circumstances.

Apr 072017

Assuming that homoerotic behavior as a dimension characterizes humans and many animal species, there must be an evolutionary based reason for it: Nature does not waste resources, and hence if a template for a behavioral propensity has evolved in numerous species there must be benefits. Research presented in Outing The TRUTH About Sexual Orientation has shown multiple benefits for homoerotic behavior varying over different species including:

-Proceptivity enhancement, meaning that homoerotic stimulation assists the individual in heteroerotic sex.

-Receptivity reduction whereby the stimulated partner wastes sexual energy, leaving more reproductive opportunities for the initiator of this strategy.

-Greater success in defending a nest or territory, necessary for successful rearing of offspring.

-Expression of sexual receptivity in females.

-Dominance assertion involving the communicating of dominant-submissive relationship standing.

-Practice for heterosexual copulation.

-Tension reduction.


-Alliance formation.

Research focusing on primates reveals that alliance formation, tension reduction, and reconciliation stand out for these species, and presumably humans. For example, same-sex contact increases in same-sex settings such as prisons and boarding schools, to foster protective alliances, and also ease tensions and reconcile conflicts. Heteroerotic contact can also provide these benefits, and of course it fosters reproduction.

Mar 292017

We love to set up discrete categories to simplify information processing, whereas natural events tend to occur in a continuous fashion as a spectrum. Homosexuality and heterosexuality are yet another installment of our propensity to create discrete entities. Alfred Kinsey way back in the 1950’s accurately described how we set up sexual orientation as discrete entities, whereas it is a spectrum. He placed homosexuality and heterosexuality on opposite poles of the same spectrum, capturing the continuous nature. Unfortunately, this particular arrangement fails to capture the true nature of sexual orientation, because homosexuality and heterosexuality trade off against each other, meaning that bisexuals represented by the mid-section must be less hetero than heterosexuals and less homo than homosexuals, when bisexuals frequently have robust motivations of both forms. What makes sense and is described in the Dimensions Of Sexual Orientation chapter of Outing the TRUTH About Sexual Orientation, is separate homoerotic and heteroerotic dimensions: Bisexuals have robust motivations for both behavioral propensities, “heterosexuals” heteroerotic >> homoerotic motivation, and “homosexuals” homoerotic >> heteroerotic motivation. It makes sense and aligns with how nature favors continuums, but many still prefer to see discrete homosexual and heterosexual categories that really only contribute to the disorientation of sexual orientation!

Mar 222017

Can animals be “gay?” It probably would not make for a Disney movie, but indeed numerous species demonstrate homoerotic behavior. Insects, other invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, land and marine mammals, and primate species clearly engage in homoerotic behavior. A key here is the term “homoerotic behavior,” as opposed to a way of life or identity: These species also engage in heteroerotic behavior with almost no examples of strictly “gay” behavior (really only about 8% of domesticated male sheep). Even animals we consider very masculine, such as male lions, engage in homoerotic behavior; there goes our comfortable stereotypes. Indeed, the more that researchers look with an open mind, the more species they discover that engage in homoerotic behavior! What this means is that templates for homoerotic behavior were well established in the animal kingdom long before humans came along and invented “homosexuality.” Ah, maybe the issue is not homosexuality, but instead homoerotic behavior. See the Animal Homosexuality chapter of Outing The TRUTH About Sexual Orientation to learn more about homoerotic behavior in animals.

Mar 092017

Although seemingly more promising than psychological theories, biologically based ones struggle to explain sexual orientation. While hormones can influence masculine and feminine behavior, they do not show any clear impact on sexual orientation; it is important to appreciate that gender role inversion is not linked to homosexuality. Based on early research, brain structures and namely the hypothalamus, possibly underlie homosexuality, but none has stood up to repeated research. Then there is the possibility of “gay” genes that has also come up empty handed. Biological explanations have been proposed to explain the evolutionary paradox: How could homosexuality not leading to reproduction ever have evolved? These theories often take the perspective that even though the reproductive success of gay men (they do not consider gay females) is diminished, the reproductive success of relatives is enhanced. For example, gay men by being altruistic help relatives succeed. Really? There is absolutely no evidence that gay men are more altruistic than the average person, and we can all think of gay men we know who are as selfish as the rest of us. Another evolutionary perspective is that “gay” genes (recall none identified) assist the man in being a better parent, such as being more nurturing. Beyond diminishing the “masculine” father role, this approach entails gender role inversion found to be false. Biological perspectives then end up no better than psychological ones at explaining homosexuality (see the Biological Theories chapter of Outing The TRUTH About Sexual Orientation), strongly suggesting that we are way off the mark in assuming that homosexuality is a real entity.