The Missing Myth:
A New Vision of Same-Sex Love
by Gilles Herrada
Select Books (US)
February 26, 2013
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gay Studies
Buy on Amazon.com
< photo credit: Barbara Witas
WHY IS HOMOSEXUALITY AN ISSUE?
If homosexual behavior is an aberration from the standpoint of reproduction, why is it widespread among humans, primates, and a myriad of other animal species, and why has it been favored by evolution? And if homosexuality is considered a moral problem based on religious beliefs, why were more homosexuals exterminated under the brief reigns of such secular regimes as the Communists and the Nazis than during the entire Christian Inquisition? Why is homosexuality always a paradox?
In The Missing Myth, author Gilles Herrada tackles the many questions about the role of homosexuality in the evolution of the human race and its meaning in the development of civilization, answering, among many, the fascinating questions: What evolutionary edge same-sex relationships have given our species? What biological mechanisms generate the sexual diversity that we observe? What lead to homosexual behavior being prohibited worldwide? Why has homophobia has persisted throughout history? Why–after millennia of oppression–did the homosexual community resurface in post-World War II America? ...
Throughout this heartfelt, thought-provoking, and meticulously researched book, Herrada sculpts a coherent and deeply humanistic vision of homosexuality that integrates its biological, sociocultural, ethical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions. Emphasizing the historical connection between the social status of homosexuality and how same-sex love is depicted in the myths of a particular culture, the author advocates the creation of a new mythos, informed by all fields of knowledge, that will convey the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness of same-sex love.
• Biological and anthropological data do not support the existence of a single “gay” gene.
• Homosexual behavior has provided a startling evolutionary advantage.
• The claim that homosexual can’t or don’t reproduce is inaccurate.
• Modern homosexuality has evolved so as to largely embody the modern Christian relational ideal.
• Judeo-Christianity made modern homosexuality possible.
• The greatest evolutionary puzzle about the human species is not homosexuality, but menopause.
Click here for expanded explanations of these and 3 other points.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gilles Herrada, PhD, worked as a research scientist at Columbia and Harvard universities in the fields of reproductive biology and neuroscience. He now dedicates his time to understanding human sexuality and the evolution of symbolic realities in human cultures.
"Herrada writes in a style that is both effective and relatively easy to digest. "Missing Myth" is simple enough for the Westboro Baptist Church to read while still suiting those in search of intellectual pursuits. This is not light reading and may be best relegated to social science graduate students. The text can be dry but the delicious fact nuggets embedded in the text are well worth the attention. This volume belongs in the library of any self-respecting gender science nerd of any proclivity." – Kitty Drexel, EdgeNewYork.com*, April 4, 2013. *+20 other US city portals. (Edge is the #1 gay entertainment app)
"The Missing Myth, then, sets itself a near impossible task, but the journey looking for the answers is provocative and interesting. Hopefully it will stimulate more work on the narratives that queer people, over time, may be weaving into new visions of same-sex love." – Barry Adam, Xtra Magazine, Canada, April 2013
It is a dense book full of much information, but it will open your mind to a variety of new concepts. – Tracy Baim, Editor, Windy City Times, May 15, 2013
"So you’re looking for something a little bit different? Then look for “The Missing Myth: A New Vision of Same-Sex Love” by Gilles Herrada. This book examines homosexuality in the context of psychology, history, mythology, culture, spirituality, and meaning through human experience. It’s deep, it’s thought-provoking." – Terry Schlichenmeyer, The Book Worm (syndicated, freelance), April 2013
"Herrada uses a holistic, interdisciplinary approach that unites science, history and philosophy to gives new ideas about homosexuality and with the potential to give new strength to the field of LGBT studies and to bring about a new understanding of LGBT people. Herrada says that while modern homosexuality exists in both body and mind, it has no soul. It is from this point that he uses his approach to restore that soul. While it is necessary to agree with what he says totally, we cannot ignore his evidence as he discusses what it means today to be a homosexual in light of what he has found. Every sentence here is fascinating and food for thought." – Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen, January 30, 2013
"With astounding scholarship, Gilles Herrada provides a panoramic view on the myths and mysteries of same-sex love. It will be a key work, for sure, in the coming decades as society's understanding of LGBT people deepens and evolves." – Mark Thompson, author of the Gay Spirit, Gay Soul, Gay Body trilogy
“You don't need to agree with Gilles Herrada's conclusions to enjoy and learn from this extraordinary book. The thoughtful and measured use of knowledge—ranging from classical texts to genetic studies —provides an exciting model for how to conduct the trans-disciplinary scholarship needed to do justice to this complex and contested topic.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management, Claremont Graduate University, Author of Flow and Creativity
“Herrada’s breathtaking survey of the history and science of homosexuality tackles nothing less than the meaning of homosexuality, its persecution, and its growing social acceptance in Western societies. It’s a Herculean task that he achieves with erudition, intellect, and heart. His review of recent scientific research on the biology of homosexuality and the ethology of primate sexuality is informed and balanced. By not adopting the reflexive anti-science phobia of most queer scholars, he is able to offer a compelling reinterpretation of this scientific work and integrate it into a broad cultural valorization of gay existence.” – Vernon A. Rosario, MD, PhD, Associate Clinical Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Editor of Science and Homosexualities
“Herrada offers us a deeply articulate and comprehensive text, written with equal parts care and passion. Moreover, he achieves what he sets out to do: to reframe the discussion of same-sex sexuality and relationships in a way that redeems the full humanity of a group so often reduced and diminished. Along the way, he presents a wide array of novel and compelling arguments concerning the origins and importance of same-sex relations in the successful evolution of the human species. This book deserves to be read widely by academics, mental health professionals, and by all those with a humanistic sensibility, regardless of their sexual orientation.” – Mark Forman, PhD, Clinical Director of Life Design Center, West Los Angeles, CA., Author of A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy
“As Gilles Herrada observes, despite a century and half of scientific, historical, and culture research, and the dramatic emergence of lesbian and gay identities, the central questions surrounding the origins, purpose, and meaning of homosexuality remain unanswered. By adopting a holistic, interdisciplinary approach that integrates science, history, and philosophy, Herrada achieves a breakthrough in thinking about homosexuality with the potential to reinvigorate LGBT studies and deepen our understanding of LBGT people.” – Will Roscoe, PhD, Scholar, anthropologist, and activist, Author of Changing Ones and Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same-Sex Love
“‘Modern homosexuality,’ according to Gilles Herrada's fascinating book, ‘exists in body and mind but has no soul.’ Thus begins the challenge of a deep and subtle meditation on the meaning of LGBTQ lives and identities and communities. You do not have to agree with Dr. Herrada’s analysis in whole to appreciate the scholarship, policy nuances, and multidisciplinary integration invested in this very intriguing effort at renewing the collective heart and soul of the gay movement in our time.” – Gilbert Herdt, PhD, Professor and Director of Human Sexuality Studies at the California Institute for Integral Studies, Founder of the Department of Sexuality and National Sexuality Resource Center, San Francisco State University, Author of The Sambia: Ritual, Sexuality, and Change in Papua New Guinea
“In masterly fashion, Gilles Herrada takes on the courageous task of integrating the major discourses on homosexuality, weaving together scientific and historical evidence from diverse areas of the literature with professional curiosity and personal perspective as he deftly builds a theoretical case for what is missing in regard to our present discourse and experiencing of same-sex love—a powerful resource that is sure to ignite discussion and controversy.” – Vivienne Cass, PhD, Clinical psychologist and sexual therapist, Adjunct Associate Professor, Curtin University, Western Australia, Author of Theory of Homosexual Identity Formation
“More than a little lip-service is paid to interdisciplinary research within the ivory tower, but Herrada embraces this approach and in doing so takes on the Herculean task of addressing big picture topics like: What does it mean to be homosexual? The resulting perspectives will challenge scholars across many entrenched academic borders.” – Paul Vasey, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Lethbridge, Editor of Homosexual Behaviour in Animals: An Evolutionary Perspective
“In a time of fast-changing cultural norms around the issue of homosexuality, Herrada provides an erudite, informative, trans-disciplinary guide to this delicate subject. His comprehensive yet readable book is a courageous attempt to imagine an authentic new vision of homosexuality, one deeply informed but unencumbered by the painful and poignant historical context ofthis important topic. Amidst the ongoing struggle for rights and freedoms long denied and richly deserved, Herrada is a voice above the clamor, and his impressive work reaches out to the frontiers of our knowledge of the homosexual experience, working at the borders of this personal and cultural identity, building the structures that will help determine not just what it means today, but what it should and could mean in a more enlightened future.” – Carter Phipps, Author of Evolutionaries
9 CONTROVERSIAL CLAIMS IN
THE MISSING MYTH
1 Biological and anthropological data do not support the existence of a “gay” gene but are consistent with the existence of a complex biological mechanism (the “loose switch”) responsible for generating the spectrum of sexual preferences that we observe among people.
2 Homosexual behavior has provided a startling evolutionary advantage by reinforcing social bonds and strengthening the coherence of the group.
3 The claim that homosexual can’t or don’t reproduce is inaccurate: historically speaking homosexual desire never was regarded as incompatible with the duty of reproduction; and even today many homosexuals would reproduce if only society would let them invent a new kind of family that is not based on the heterosexual model.
4 The way homosexual acts, love, and desire are represented in the myths of a particular culture constitutes the only trustworthy indicator of whether homosexual relationships are integrated or not in this culture.
5 Diverging from all other religious traditions, Judeo-Christianity is singularized by the total lack of positive depiction of homosexual love and desire in its mythos.
6 Today homosexual love still lacks a connection to the “sacred”
7 Modern homosexuality, which differs dramatically from all ancient forms of homosexual relationships, has evolved so as to largely embodies the modern Christian relational ideal, a fact that neither the Church nor gay theorists appear willing to acknowledge.
8 Ironically the strong homophobic character of Judeo-Christian culture created the evolutionary context that made the emergence of modern homosexuality possible.
9 The greatest evolutionary puzzle about the human species is not homosexuality but menopause: most women past 50—nearly a quarter of the female population—cannot reproduce.
Baltimore OUTloud | 4/19/13
Bay Area Reporter | 4/4/13
Blufton Today (South Carolina) | 5/1/13
Book News | April 2013
Central Kentucky News | 4/7/13
EdgeNewYork.com (+ 20 city portals) | 4/4/13
FrontiersLA Magazine | 4/2/13
Green Bay Press Gazette | 4/17/13
Herald Times Reporter News | 4/17/13
Houston Style Magazine | 4/4/13
Lavender Magazine | 5/2/13
OUT.com | Author Essay: Same-Sex Marriage: The Invisible War
PGB (Palm Beach Gardens) Lifestyle Magazine | April 2013
ReviewsByAmosLassen | 1/3/013
Toledo Reads | April 2013
Windy City Times | 5/15/13
Watermark (Orlando) | 3/29/13
Xtra (Canada) | 4/49/13
GILLES HERRADA'S BLOGS
ON HUFFINGTON POST
Homosexuals Don't Reproduce: False! | 3/4/13
Leave The Pope Alone | 4/5/13