Queer Questions, Clear Answers
The Contemporary Debates on Sexual Orientation
by Thomas S. Serwatka
May 2010, 265pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38612-1
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38613-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Evidence tells us that same-sex behaviors in protohumans date as far back as five million years ago. Despite that longevity—and despite the fact that every tenth headline today seems to be linked to battles around sexual orientation—as a culture we remain ill informed about the topic. How can we go beyond the sound bites to deeper understanding?

This provocative book examines the important issues in contemporary debates on sexual orientation—from our various religious beliefs to our stereotypes about homosexuals, from questions about the origin of sexual orientation to the lessons we can learn from history.

Queer Questions, Clear Answers: The Contemporary Debates on Sexual Orientation offers an eye-opening conversation about questions, facts—and fears—relative to sexual orientation. The book is framed around a series of nine sets of “queer questions,” including, Who is queer and who is not? How do we interpret and use sacred scriptures to control behavior and set public policy? What lessons can we learn from history and psychology? and What is the homosexual agenda?

The author, himself a gay man and prominent academic, combines cross-disciplinary research and personal anecdotes in his intriguing search for answers to questions that are central to ongoing cultural and political debates. In discussing each set of questions, he examines perspectives and arguments from across the political spectrum. The clear, articulate, and wholly candid answers he offers will help readers get beyond the headlines—and the sound bites—to better understand many important arguments about homosexuality and human rights.


  • Presents nine sets of questions central to the ongoing cultural debates on sexual orientation
  • Includes personal anecdotes
  • Provides data drawn from cross-disciplinary research
Thomas S. Serwatka, PhD, is vice president and chief-of-staff at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, where he has held positions as associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school. Throughout his career as a professor and academic administrator, Dr. Serwatka has written on issues of social justice with a focus on race, disability, and sexual orientation, and has been active in the GLBTQ human rights movement.


Outstanding Academic Title, 2010—Choice, January 1, 2011


"This is a well-researched, superlatively written summary of the current state of knowledge about sexual orientation. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries."—Choice, October 1, 2010

"It never ceases to surprise me that at a time when our world faces massive problems such as war, disease, hunger and starvation some people should be spending so much time and energy on sexual orientation, determined to discriminate against others because of their sexual orientation. I believe that the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community has the same rights and freedom as anyone else in our world. We are not free until we are all free. In Queer Questions, Clear Answers, Tom Serwatka looks at the issues that keep dividing us on this topic. Throughout the pages of his book he  offers us the tools we need to carry on an open and honest dialogue -- a dialogue aimed at building understanding and respect for each other." —Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"If you are going to read just one book about our social struggle with sexual orientation and the heated arguments surrounding this topic, it needs to be Queer Questions, Clear Answers: The Contemporary Debates on Sexual Orientation. This user-friendly book will help us understand the issues from various perspectives--why we are fighting over the origins of homosexuality, how we have both accepted and rejected gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals throughout history, and where we are in the current battle for equal rights. Serwatka also provides us with direct answers about some of our society's often mentioned fears of sexual promiscuity, child molestation, and mental illness. In his unique informative and engaging style, Serwatka presents his case providing us with an intelligently written review of the research that's being used by both conservative and liberal voices, adding personal stories to help us understand how these facts affect our daily life decisions. STARS to Dr. Serwatka for taking on this challenge for ALL sides to consider."—Dr. Marilyn Volker, nationally known sexologist and former host of SIRIUS radio’s Sex with Marilyn
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