Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Brian D. Earp
Neil Van Leeuwen
This work has been updated in a modified version in Vierra, Andrew. 2020. “Make Me Gay: What Neurointerventions Tell Us About Sexual Orientation and Why It Matters for the Law.” In Neurointerventions and the Law: Regulating Human Mental Capacity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
This thesis challenges the restrictive definition of ‘gay’ used in legal discourse, argues for the adoption of a broader definition that is inclusive of more gay individuals, and demonstrates that the adoption of a broader definition would help frame gay rights debates in a way that is more acceptable to both progressives and conservatives. Current legal arguments for gay rights use ‘gay’ to refer almost solely to individuals that have exclusively—largely immutable—same-sex erotic desires. However, ‘gay’ should be understood to include a more diverse group of individuals. Thus, the current restrictive use of the term ‘gay’ either captures too many people or too few. Too many people, for conservatives, because gay rights are extended to many gay individuals that are not included in the restrictive definition. Too few people, for progressives, because the restrictive use of the term ‘gay’ doesn’t capture the entire gay community.
Vierra, Andrew J., "Make Me Gay: What Neuro-interventions Tell us about Sexual Orientation and Why it Matters for Gay Rights." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2016.
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