Bailey’s publisher Joseph Henry Press has been using an excerpt of this review in its publicity, including an ad that ran in The Advocate. The bold part is the selective quotation they use, wisely avoiding the critical part after.
An associate professor of psychology at Northwestern University, Bailey writes with assuredness that often makes difficult, abstract material-the relationship between sexual orientation and gender affect, the origins of homosexuality and the theoretical basis of how we discuss sexuality-comprehensible. He also, especially in his portraits of the women and men he writes about, displays a deep empathy that is frequently missing from scientific studies of sexuality. But Bailey’s scope is so broad that when he gets down to pivotal constructs, as in detailing the data of scientific studies such as Richard Green’s about “feminine boys” or Dean Hamer’s work on the so-called “gay gene,” the material is vague, and not cohesive. Bailey tends towards overreaching, unsupported generalizations, such his claim that “regardless of marital laws there will always be fewer gay men who are romantically attached” or that the African-American community is “a relatively anti-gay ethnic minority.” Add to this the debatable supposition that innate “masculine” and “feminine” traits, in the most general sense of the words, decidedly exist, and his account as a whole loses force.