Simon LeVay's CV

Date of birth: August 28, 1943

Place of birth: Oxford, England

Citizenships: U.K., U.S.


University of Cambridge, England (B.A., Natural Sciences, 1966)

University of Göttingen, Germany (Ph.D., Neuroanatomy, 1971)

Harvard Medical School (Postdoctoral Reseach Fellow, 1972-1974)

Academic Appointments

1974-1974 Instructor, Dept. of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

1975-1980 Assistant Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

1980-1984 Associate Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

1983-1984 Affiliate and Member of Working Committee, Program in Neurosciences, Harvard University

1984-1993 Associate Professor, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA

1985-1993 Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology, University of California, San Diego.

2003 Lecturer, Stanford University

Service Positions

1992-1998 Co-founder and Chair of Board of Directors, Institute of Gay and Lesbian Education, West Hollywood, CA.

1996-1999 Member of Advisory Board, School's Out!, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

1998 Member, NASA Astrobiology Roadmap Committee


1976-1982 Research Career Development Award, National Institutes of Health

1993 Community Service Award, Southern California Physicians for Human Rights

1993 Howard Brown Award, Christopher Street West

2012 Bullough Book Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality

Teaching Experience

1970-1972 Instructor in Neuroanatomy, University of Göttingen

1972-1974 Lecturer in Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

1975-1984 Co-Director, Neurobiology 710: Introduction to the Nervous System, Harvard Medical School

1975-1984 Director, Neurobiology 208: Advanced Neurobiology: Physiology of the Central Nervous System, Harvard Medical School

1984-1992 Lecturer in Neurobiology courses at University of California, San Diego, (Co-Director: Biology 156; Guest lecturer, Biology 12, Biology 234; Neuroscience 256, Neuroscience 262) and at University of California, Irvine (Introductory Neurobiology: Neural Systems).

1992-1997 Instructor, Institute of Gay and Lesbian Education.

2003 Director, Human Biology 10: Human Sexuality, Stanford University.

2009 - present Guest Lecturer, SOC 152A: Sociology of Human Sexuality.

Books (more details)


LeVay, S. The Sexual Brain. MIT Press (1993). Also published in French (Flammarion), German (Spektrum), Spanish (Alianza), Italian (Laterza), Dutch (Bert Bakker), Japanese, Greek (Sunalma), and Portuguese (Institute Piaget) translations.

LeVay, S., and Nonas, E. City of Friends: A Protrait of the Gay and Lesbian Community in America. MIT Press (1995).

LeVay, S. Queer Science: The Use and Abuse of Research into Homosexuality. MIT Press (1996). Also published in Japanese (Keiso Shobo) translation.

Sieh, K., and LeVay, S. The Earth in Turmoil: Earthquakes and Volcanoes and their Impact on Humankind. W.H. Freeman (1998).

Koerner, D., and LeVay, S. Here Be Dragons: The Scientific Quest for Extraterrestrial Life. Oxford University Press (2000).

Freed, C., and LeVay, S. Healing the Brain: A Doctor’s Controversial Quest for a Cure for Parkinson’s Disease. Times Books (2002).

LeVay, S. (2008). When Science Goes Wrong: Twelve Tales from the Dark Side of Discovery. Plume. (Also published in UK edition, Monday Books (2009).

LeVay, S. (2011). Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation, First Edition. Oxford University Press. (2011); Second Edition (2017).


LeVay, S., and Valente, S.M. Human Sexuality, Sinauer Associates (2003); Second Edition (2006).

LeVay, S., and Baldwin, J. Human Sexuality, Third Edition, Sinauer Associates (2009); Fourth Edition (2012).

LeVay, S., Baldwin, J., and Baldwin, J. Discovering Human Sexuality, Sinauer Associates (2009). Second Edition (2012). Third Edition (2015); Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press (2019); Fifth Edition (2021).


LeVay, S. Albrick's Gold. New York: Richard Kasak Books (1997). Also published in UK edition (Hodder Headline, 1997).

LeVay, S. (2013). The Donation of Constantine. Los Angeles: Lambourn Books.

Scientific Papers:

Glees, P. and LeVay, S. Some electron microscopical observations on the ependymal cells of the chick embryo spinal cord. J Hirnforsch, 7, 355-360 (1964).

LeVay, S. Eine elektronenmikroskopische Untersuchung am Corpus geniculatum laterale des Affen: die synaptischen Verbindungen und die Effekte der Augenenukleation. Doctoral dissertation in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Göttingen, Germany, 1971.

LeVay, S. Meier, C. and Glees, P. Effects of tri-ortho-cresyl-phosphate on spinal ganglia and peripheral nerves of chicken. Acta Neuropathol. 17:103-113 (1971).

LeVay, S. On the neurons and synapses of the lateral geniculate nucleus of the monkey, and the effects of eye enucleation. Z. Zellforsch. 113:396-419 (1971).

LeVay, S. Synaptic patterns in the visual cortex of the cat and monkey. Electron microscopy of Golgi preparations. J. Comp. Neurol. 150:53-86 (1973).

LeVay, S. Hubel, D.H. and Wiesel, T.N., The pattern of ocular dominance columns in macaque visual cortex revealed by a reduced silver stain. J. Comp. Neurol. 159:559-576 (1975).

LeVay, S., Hubel, D.H. and Wiesel, T.N., Mode of termination of retinotectal fibers in macaque monkey: an autoradiographic study. Brain Res. 96:25-40 (1975).

Hubel, D.H., Wiesel. T.N. and LeVay, S. Functional architecture of area 17 in normal and monocularly deprived macaque monkey. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 40:581-589 (1975).

LeVay, S. and Gilbert, C.D. Laminar patterns of geniculocortical projection in the cat. Brain Res. 113:1-19 (1976).

LeVay, S., Effects of visual deprivation on polyribosome aggregation in visual cortex of the cat. Brain Res. 119:73-86 (1977).

LeVay, S., and Ferster, D., Relay cell classes in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat and the effects of visual deprivation. J. Comp. Neurol. 172:563-584 (1977).

Hubel, D.H., Wiesel, T.N. and LeVay, S., Plasticity of ocular dominance columns in monkey striate cortex. Phil. Trans, R. Soc. Lond. B, 278: 337-409 (1977).

Ferster, D. and LeVay, S., The axonal arborizations of lateral geniculate neurons in monkey striate cortex. J. Comp. Neurol. 182:923-944 (1978).

LeVay, S., Stryker, M.P. and Shatz, C.J. Ocular dominance columns and their development in layer IV of the cat's visual cortex: a quantitative study. J. Comp. Neurol. 182:923-944 (1978).

Shatz, C. and LeVay S., Siamese cat: altered connections of visual cortex. Science 204:328-330 (1979).

LeVay, S. and Ferster, D., Proportion of interneurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat. Brain Res. 164:304-308 (1979).

LeVay, S. and Stryker, M.P., The development of ocular dominance columns in the cat. Soc. Neurosci. Symp. 4:83-98 (1979).

LeVay, S., Wiesel, T.N., and Hubel, D.H. The postnatal development and plasticity of ocular-dominance columns in the monkey. In Schmitt, F.O. et al. (eds.), The Organization of the Cerebral Cortex (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1980).

LeVay, S., Wiesel, T.N. and Hubel, D.H. The development of ocular dominance columns in normal and visually deprived monkeys. J. Comp. Neurol. 191:1-53 (1980).

Sherk, H. and LeVay, S. Visual claustrum: topography and receptive field properties in the cat. Science 212:87-89 (1981).

LeVay, S. and Sherk, H., The visual claustrum of the cat. 1. Structure and connections. J. Neurosci. 1:956-980 (1981).

LeVay, S. and Sherk, H., The visual claustrum of the cat. 2. The visual field map. J. Neurosci. 1:981-992 (1981).

Sherk, H. and LeVay, S., The visual claustrum of the cat. 3. Receptive field properties. J. Neurosci. 1:993-1002 (1981).

LeVay, S. and McConell, S.K., ON and OFF layers in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the mink. Nature 300:350-351 (1982).

LeVay, S. and Sherk, H., Retrograde transport if [3H]proline: a widespread phenomenon in the central nervouos system. Brain Res. 271:131-134 (1983).

Sherk, H. and LeVay, S., Contribution of the cortico-claustral loop to receptive-field properties in area 17 of the cat. J. Neurosci. 3:2121-2127 (1983).

LeVay, S. , The development of ocular dominance columns. In: Kuno, M. (ed.), Neuronal Growth and Plasticity (Japan Scientific Societies Press, 1984), pp. 271-291.

McConnell, S.K. and LeVay, S., Segregation of on- and off-center afferents to mink visual cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 81:1590-1593 (1984).

Perkel, D.J. and LeVay, S., Effects of strabismus and monocular deprivation on the eye preference of neurons in the visual claustrum of the cat. J. Comp. Neurol. 240:322-330 (1985).

LeVay, S. Connolly, M., Houde, J. and Van Essen, D.C., The complete pattern of ocular dominance stripes in the striate cortex and visual field of the macaque monkey. J. Neurosci. 240:322-330 (1985).

LeVay S., Synaptic organization of claustral and geniculate and geniculate afferents to the visual cortex of the cat. J. Neurosci. 6:3564-3575 (1986).

Cunningham, Jr., E.T. and LeVay, S. Laminar and synaptic organization of the projection from the thalamic nucleus centralis to primary visual cortex in the cat. J. Comp. Neurol. 254:65-77 (1986).

McConnell, S.K.and LeVay, S., Anatomical organization of the visual system of the mink, Mustela vison. J. Comp. Neurol., 250:109-132 (1986).

LeVay, S., McConnell, S.K. and Luskin, M.B., Functional organization of primary visual cortex in the mink (Mustela vison), and a comparison with the cat. J. Comp. Neurol. 257:422-441 (1987).

LeVay, S., Patchy intrinsic projections in visual cortex, area 18, of the cat: morphological and immunocytochemical evidence for an excitatory function. J. Comp. Neurol. 269:265-274 (1988).

LeVay, S., The patchy intrinsic projections of visual cortex. Progr. Brain Res. 75:147-161 (1988).

LeVay, S. and Voigt, T. Ocular dominance columns and disparity coding in cat visual cortex. Visual Neurosci. 1:395-414 (1988).

Voigt, T., LeVay, S. and Stamnes, M., Morphological and immunocytochemical observations on the visual callosal projections in the cat. J. Comp. Neurol. 272:450-460 (1988).

LeVay, S. and Voigt, T., Retrograde transneuronal transport of wheat-germ agglutinin to the retina from visual cortex in the cat. Exp. Brain Res. 82:77-81 (1990).

LeVay, S, and Nelson, S.B., The columnar organization of visual cortex. In: Leventhal, A. (ed.), The Neural Basis of Visual Function (London: Macmillan Press, 1990), pp. 266-315.

LeVay, S., A difference in hypothalamic structure between homosexual and heterosexual men. Science 253:1034-1037 (1991).

LeVay, S., Aspectos biológicos de la orientación sexual. In: Llusiá, J.B., and de Molina, A.F. (eds.), La Evolución de la Sexualidad y los Estados Intersexuales (Madrid: Ediciones Díaz de Santos, 1998).

LeVay, S. From mice to men: Biological factors in the development of sexuality. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology 32: 110-113 (2011).

LeVay, S. Revisiting the Journal's past: A 1951 article about homosexuality that deserves to be retracted. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 208, 916-917 (2020).

Popular articles

Evidence for a biological influence in male homosexuality (with Dean H. Hamer). Scientific American (May, 1994).

Viewpoint: After the war is over. The Advocate (March 21, 1995).

Sex and the Single Gene. The Times Higher Education Supplement (May 3, 1996).

Queer in the Head. The Guardian (London) (December 7, 1996).

Why Am I Gay? XY Magazine (April, 1997).

Darwin's Children. The Advocate (October 14, 1997).

The Biology of Lust. XY Magazine (July, 1998).

Can Gays Become Straight? New Scientist (October 11, 2003).

Same Sex, Different Rules. New Scientist (April 29, 2006).

Sexual Orientation has a Biological Basis. Salt Lake Tribune (July 16, 2006).

Science journalism

Stress Test: The tragedy in Turkey may aid earthquake forecasting. Scientific American (December 1999)

The Brain Invaders: A new auditory prosthesis may restore hearing for some deaf people. Scientific American (March 2000).

Riding the Rumble: A $400,000 house is given a good shaking in the name of science. Scientific American (October 2000).

The Bionic Frontier. While actor Christopher Reeve has focused public attention on the distant potential of spinal cord regeneration, the less glamorous science of neuroprosthetics is quietly remaking broken lives. Los Angeles Times Magazine (March 14, 2004)

Conference and lecture engagements since 1994

Boston College (1/25/94)

Tufts Medical School (1/26/94)

Royal College of Psychiatry, London (2/02/04-2/04/94)

Cornell Medical School (3/05/94)

Pew Foundation, Annual Fellows' Meeting (3/06/94-3/09/94)

U.C.L.A. (2/25/94)

Michigan State University (3/22/94)

Laguna Outreach, Laguna Beach (4/13/94)

Wayne State University (4/29/94)

Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapists Association (5/4/94)

Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood (6/8/94)

Unity Expo, San Francisco (8/13/94)

Unity Expo, Los Angeles (9/10/94)

Rio Hondo College, Los Angeles (9/26/94)

Presbytery of San Fernando Conference, Los Angeles (10/1/94)

Washington University, St. Louis (10/6/94)

Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon (11/1/94)

Duke University (12/1/94)

University of California, Berkeley (1/28/95)

Loyola University, Chicago (3/1/95)

Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Western Division Meeting (4/28/95)

International Behavioral Development Symposium Minot State University (5/26/95)

Western New York AIDS Conference, Buffalo (10/5/95)

University of California, Davis (10/11/95)

Roman Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles, Gay and Lesbian Outreach (11/5/95)

Maranon Conference on Human Sexuality, Madrid, Spain (11/30/95).

San Diego Gay and Lesbian Weekend College (2/24/96)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (5/22/96)

Stanford University (5/30/96)

University of California, Berkeley (10/2/96)

University of California, San Francisco (10/4/96)

University of California, Berkeley (10/9/96)

Gay and Lesbian Physicians of Louisiana, New Orleans (11/2/96)

Ontario Science Centre, Toronto (1/24/97)

Scripps College, Claremont CA (2/24/97)

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, San Francisco (3/26/97)

Harvard University (4/19/97)

Medical Library Association Annual Meeting, Seattle (5/25/97)

Wake Forest University Medical School (10/7/97)

Triangle Business and Professional Guild, Raleigh-Durham (10/8/97)

University of Cluj, Romania, Conference on Sexuality (10/16/97)

California Lutheran University (11/24/97)

UCLA (2/5/98)

Princeton University (2/10/98)

Stanford University (2/25/98)

Johns Hopkins University (4/14/98)

UCLA Neuroscience Retreat (5/15/98)

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill(8/29/98)

Family Fellowship Conference, Salt Lake City (8/30/98)

Baylor College of Medicine(1/15/99)

Huntingdon College, Montgomery Alabama (2/15/99)

Marshall College, Huntington West Virginia (3/23/99)

Purdue University (3/30/99)

Central Michigan University (4/6/99)

University of Massachusetts, Amherst (4/12/99)

University of Connecticut, Storrs (4/13/99)

Bennington College (4/14/99)

Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (4/22/99)

Laguna Outreach, Laguna Beach, CA (7/14/99)

Salk Institute, San Diego (3/8/00)

Haverford College (4/5/00)

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo(5/3/00)

Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybenetik, Tübingen (9/24/01)

Skidmore College (3/26/02)

University College London (7/4/02)

Vaden Student Health Services, Stanford University (3/14/03)

California State University, Northridge (3/14/05)

California State University, Long Beach (3/16/05)

Middle Tennessee State University (4/7/05)

Family Fellowship, Utah (7/17/05)

Harvard Law School (4/9/06)

Syracuse Neuroscience Organization (9/29/06)

University of Redlands (10/30/06)

University of California, Los Angeles (3/15/07)

Wayne State College, Nebraska (4/19/07; 4/20/07)

Vanderbilt University (3/26/08)

Orange County Sigma Xi, Anaheim (9/16/08)

Loyola Marymount University (20/10/08)

UCLA (13/11/08)

California State University, Northridge (3/30/09)

California State University, Fullerton (4/7/09)

Mt. St. Mary's College, Los Angeles (5/30/09)

University of Lethbridge, Alberta (6/2/10)

University of Oxford, UK (Sept. 2010)

Los Angeles Central Library (10/5/10)

San Diego History Center (10/12/10)

Bookworks, Del Mar CA (10/13/10)

Texas Book Festival (10/16/10)

Seattle Town Hall (10/19/10)

Powell's Books, Portland OR (10/20/10)

Portland State University (10/21/10)

Georgetown University (11/9/10)

West Hollywood Library (12/4/10)

Woodbury University (2/4/11)

Caltech (4/26/11)

University of California, Santa Barbara (5/18/11)

Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut CA (5/19/11)

Johnson & Johnson Co., San Diego (10/11/11)

UCLA (11/1/11)

Pomona College (11/10/11)

Pacific University (3/5/12)

Tucson Book Festival (3/10/12)

Franklin and Marshall College (4/12/12)

Cedars Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles (4/27/12)

University of Zurich (9/10/12)

University of North Carolina, Charlotte (9/24/12)

Elmhurst College (10/9/12)

University of Chicago (1010/12)

Michigan State University (10/29/12)

Millersville University (11/13/12)

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (9/4/13)


Presenter for Born That Way?, a one-hour documentary film about the biology of sexual orientation, made by Windfall Films (Jeremy Taylor, producer) for Channel 4, U.K., and for The Learning Channel, U.S. (1992).

Appearances on MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour (twice), Prime Time Live, NightLine, Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey, The Daily Show, CNN International, and many other national and local TV and radio programs in the U.S., Canada and U.K.