Sexual orientation

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"Sexual preference" redirects here. Sexual orientation_sentence_0

For the book, see Sexual Preference (book). Sexual orientation_sentence_1

Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender. Sexual orientation_sentence_2

These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, while asexuality (the lack of sexual attraction to others) is sometimes identified as the fourth category. Sexual orientation_sentence_3

These categories are aspects of the more nuanced nature of sexual identity and terminology. Sexual orientation_sentence_4

For example, people may use other labels, such as pansexual or polysexual, or none at all. Sexual orientation_sentence_5

According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions". Sexual orientation_sentence_6

Androphilia and gynephilia are terms used in behavioral science to describe sexual orientation as an alternative to a gender binary conceptualization. Sexual orientation_sentence_7

Androphilia describes sexual attraction to masculinity; gynephilia describes the sexual attraction to femininity. Sexual orientation_sentence_8

The term sexual preference largely overlaps with sexual orientation, but is generally distinguished in psychological research. Sexual orientation_sentence_9

A person who identifies as bisexual, for example, may sexually prefer one sex over the other. Sexual orientation_sentence_10

Sexual preference may also suggest a degree of voluntary choice, whereas the scientific consensus is that sexual orientation is not a choice. Sexual orientation_sentence_11

Scientists do not know the exact cause of sexual orientation, but they theorize that it is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences. Sexual orientation_sentence_12

Although no single theory on the cause of sexual orientation has yet gained widespread support, scientists favor biologically-based theories. Sexual orientation_sentence_13

There is considerably more evidence supporting nonsocial, biological causes of sexual orientation than social ones, especially for males. Sexual orientation_sentence_14

There is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role with regard to sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_15

Across cultures, most people are heterosexual, with a minority of people reporting a homosexual or bisexual sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_16

A person's sexual orientation can be anywhere on a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the opposite sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex. Sexual orientation_sentence_17

Sexual orientation is studied primarily within biology, neuroscience, and psychology (including sexology), but it is also a subject area in sociology, history (including social constructionist perspectives), and law. Sexual orientation_sentence_18

Definitions and distinguishing from sexual identity and behavior Sexual orientation_section_0

General Sexual orientation_section_1

See also: Sexual identity, Human sexual activity, and Situational sexual behavior Sexual orientation_sentence_19

Sexual orientation is traditionally defined as including heterosexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality, while asexuality is considered the fourth category of sexual orientation by some researchers and has been defined as the absence of a traditional sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_20

An asexual has little to no sexual attraction to people. Sexual orientation_sentence_21

It may be considered a lack of a sexual orientation, and there is significant debate over whether or not it is a sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_22

Most definitions of sexual orientation include a psychological component, such as the direction of an individual's erotic desires, or a behavioral component, which focuses on the sex of the individual's sexual partner/s. Sexual orientation_sentence_23

Some people prefer simply to follow an individual's self-definition or identity. Sexual orientation_sentence_24

Scientific and professional understanding is that "the core attractions that form the basis for adult sexual orientation typically emerge between middle childhood and early adolescence". Sexual orientation_sentence_25

Sexual orientation differs from sexual identity in that it encompasses relationships with others, while sexual identity is a concept of self. Sexual orientation_sentence_26

The American Psychological Association states that "[s]exual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes" and that "[t]his range of behaviors and attractions has been described in various cultures and nations throughout the world. Sexual orientation_sentence_27

Many cultures use identity labels to describe people who express these attractions. Sexual orientation_sentence_28

In the United States, the most frequent labels are lesbians (women attracted to women), gay men (men attracted to men), and bisexual people (men or women attracted to both sexes). Sexual orientation_sentence_29

However, some people may use different labels or none at all". Sexual orientation_sentence_30

They additionally state that sexual orientation "is distinct from other components of sex and gender, including biological sex (the anatomical, physiological, and genetic characteristics associated with being male or female), gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female), and social gender role (the cultural norms that define feminine and masculine behavior)". Sexual orientation_sentence_31

Sexual identity and sexual behavior are closely related to sexual orientation, but they are distinguished, with sexual identity referring to an individual's conception of themselves, behavior referring to actual sexual acts performed by the individual, and orientation referring to "fantasies, attachments and longings." Sexual orientation_sentence_32

Individuals may or may not express their sexual orientation in their behaviors. Sexual orientation_sentence_33

People who have a non-heterosexual sexual orientation that does not align with their sexual identity are sometimes referred to as 'closeted'. Sexual orientation_sentence_34

The term may, however, reflect a certain cultural context and particular stage of transition in societies which are gradually dealing with integrating sexual minorities. Sexual orientation_sentence_35

In studies related to sexual orientation, when dealing with the degree to which a person's sexual attractions, behaviors and identity match, scientists usually use the terms concordance or discordance. Sexual orientation_sentence_36

Thus, a woman who is attracted to other women, but calls herself heterosexual and only has sexual relations with men, can be said to experience discordance between her sexual orientation (homosexual or lesbian) and her sexual identity and behaviors (heterosexual). Sexual orientation_sentence_37

Sexual identity may also be used to describe a person's perception of his or her own sex, rather than sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_38

The term sexual preference has a similar meaning to sexual orientation, and the two terms are often used interchangeably, but the American Psychological Association states sexual preference suggests a degree of voluntary choice. Sexual orientation_sentence_39

The term has been listed by the American Psychological Association's Committee on Gay and Lesbian Concerns as a wording that advances a "heterosexual bias". Sexual orientation_sentence_40

The term sexual orientation was introduced by sexologist John Money in place of sexual preference, arguing that attraction is not necessarily a matter of free choice. Sexual orientation_sentence_41

Androphilia, gynephilia and other terms Sexual orientation_section_2

Main article: Androphilia and gynephilia Sexual orientation_sentence_42

Androphilia and gynephilia (or gynecophilia) are terms used in behavioral science to describe sexual attraction, as an alternative to a homosexual and heterosexual conceptualization. Sexual orientation_sentence_43

They are used for identifying a subject's object of attraction without attributing a sex assignment or gender identity to the subject. Sexual orientation_sentence_44

Related terms such as pansexual and polysexual do not make any such assignations to the subject. Sexual orientation_sentence_45

People may also use terms such as queer, pansensual, polyfidelitous, ambisexual, or personalized identities such as byke or biphilic. Sexual orientation_sentence_46

Using androphilia and gynephilia can avoid confusion and offense when describing people in non-western cultures, as well as when describing intersex and transgender people. Sexual orientation_sentence_47

Psychiatrist Anil Aggrawal explains that androphilia, along with gynephilia, "is needed to overcome immense difficulties in characterizing the sexual orientation of trans men and trans women. Sexual orientation_sentence_48

For instance, it is difficult to decide whether a trans man erotically attracted to males is a heterosexual female or a homosexual male; or a trans woman erotically attracted to females is a heterosexual male or a lesbian female. Sexual orientation_sentence_49

Any attempt to classify them may not only cause confusion but arouse offense among the affected subjects. Sexual orientation_sentence_50

In such cases, while defining sexual attraction, it is best to focus on the object of their attraction rather than on the sex or gender of the subject." Sexual orientation_sentence_51

Sexologist Milton Diamond writes, "The terms heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual are better used as adjectives, not nouns, and are better applied to behaviors, not people. Sexual orientation_sentence_52

This usage is particularly advantageous when discussing the partners of transsexual or intersexed individuals. Sexual orientation_sentence_53

These newer terms also do not carry the social weight of the former ones." Sexual orientation_sentence_54

Some researchers advocate use of the terminology to avoid bias inherent in Western conceptualizations of human sexuality. Sexual orientation_sentence_55

Writing about the Samoan fa'afafine demographic, sociologist Johanna Schmidt writes that in cultures where a third gender is recognized, a term like "homosexual transsexual" does not align with cultural categories. Sexual orientation_sentence_56

Same gender loving, or SGL, is a term adopted by some African-Americans, meant as a culturally affirming homosexual identity. Sexual orientation_sentence_57

Some researchers, such as Bruce Bagemihl, have criticized the labels "heterosexual" and "homosexual" as confusing and degrading. Sexual orientation_sentence_58

Bagemihl writes, "...the point of reference for 'heterosexual' or 'homosexual' orientation in this nomenclature is solely the individual's genetic sex prior to reassignment (see for example, Blanchard et al. Sexual orientation_sentence_59

1987, Coleman and Bockting, 1988, Blanchard, 1989). Sexual orientation_sentence_60

These labels thereby ignore the individual's personal sense of gender identity taking precedence over biological sex, rather than the other way around." Sexual orientation_sentence_61

Bagemihl goes on to take issue with the way this terminology makes it easy to claim transsexuals are really homosexual males seeking to escape from stigma. Sexual orientation_sentence_62

Gender, transgender, cisgender, and conformance Sexual orientation_section_3

The earliest writers on sexual orientation usually understood it to be intrinsically linked to the subject's own sex. Sexual orientation_sentence_63

For example, it was thought that a typical female-bodied person who is attracted to female-bodied persons would have masculine attributes, and vice versa. Sexual orientation_sentence_64

This understanding was shared by most of the significant theorists of sexual orientation from the mid nineteenth to early twentieth century, such as Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Magnus Hirschfeld, Havelock Ellis, Carl Jung, and Sigmund Freud, as well as many gender-variant homosexual people themselves. Sexual orientation_sentence_65

However, this understanding of homosexuality as sexual inversion was disputed at the time, and, through the second half of the twentieth century, gender identity came to be increasingly seen as a phenomenon distinct from sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_66

Transgender and cisgender people may be attracted to men, women, or both, although the prevalence of different sexual orientations is quite different in these two populations. Sexual orientation_sentence_67

An individual homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual person may be masculine, feminine, or androgynous, and in addition, many members and supporters of lesbian and gay communities now see the "gender-conforming heterosexual" and the "gender-nonconforming homosexual" as negative stereotypes. Sexual orientation_sentence_68

Nevertheless, studies by J. Sexual orientation_sentence_69 Michael Bailey and Kenneth Zucker found a majority of the gay men and lesbians sampled reporting various degrees of gender-nonconformity during their childhood years. Sexual orientation_sentence_70

Transgender people today identify with the sexual orientation that corresponds with their gender; meaning that a trans woman who is solely attracted to women would often identify as a lesbian. Sexual orientation_sentence_71

A trans man solely attracted to women would be a straight man. Sexual orientation_sentence_72

Sexual orientation sees greater intricacy when non-binary understandings of both sex (male, female, or intersex) and gender (man, woman, transgender, third gender, etc.) are considered. Sexual orientation_sentence_73

Sociologist Paula Rodriguez Rust (2000) argues for a more multifaceted definition of sexual orientation: Sexual orientation_sentence_74

Relationships outside of orientation Sexual orientation_section_4

Gay and lesbian people can have sexual relationships with someone of the opposite sex for a variety of reasons, including the desire for a perceived traditional family and concerns of discrimination and religious ostracism. Sexual orientation_sentence_75

While some LGBT people hide their respective orientations from their spouses, others develop positive gay and lesbian identities while maintaining successful heterosexual marriages. Sexual orientation_sentence_76

Coming out of the closet to oneself, a spouse of the opposite sex, and children can present challenges that are not faced by gay and lesbian people who are not married to people of the opposite sex or do not have children. Sexual orientation_sentence_77

Fluidity Sexual orientation_section_5

Main article: Sexual fluidity Sexual orientation_sentence_78

Often, sexual orientation and sexual orientation identity are not distinguished, which can impact accurately assessing sexual identity and whether or not sexual orientation is able to change; sexual orientation identity can change throughout an individual's life, and may or may not align with biological sex, sexual behavior or actual sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_79

Sexual orientation is stable and unchanging for the vast majority of people, but some research indicates that some people may experience change in their sexual orientation, and this is more likely for women than for men. Sexual orientation_sentence_80

The American Psychological Association distinguishes between sexual orientation (an innate attraction) and sexual orientation identity (which may change at any point in a person's life). Sexual orientation_sentence_81

Causes Sexual orientation_section_6

The exact causes for the development of a particular sexual orientation have yet to be established. Sexual orientation_sentence_82

To date, a lot of research has been conducted to determine the influence of genetics, hormonal action, development dynamics, social and cultural influences—which has led many to think that biology and environment factors play a complex role in forming it. Sexual orientation_sentence_83

It was once thought that homosexuality was the result of faulty psychological development, resulting from childhood experiences and troubled relationships, including childhood sexual abuse. Sexual orientation_sentence_84

It has been found that this was based on prejudice and misinformation. Sexual orientation_sentence_85

Biology Sexual orientation_section_7

Main article: Biology and sexual orientation Sexual orientation_sentence_86

Research has identified several biological factors which may be related to the development of sexual orientation, including genes, prenatal hormones, and brain structure. Sexual orientation_sentence_87

No single controlling cause has been identified, and research is continuing in this area. Sexual orientation_sentence_88

Although researchers generally believe that sexual orientation is not determined by any one factor but by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences, with biological factors involving a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment, they favor biological models for the cause. Sexual orientation_sentence_89

There is considerably more evidence supporting nonsocial, biological causes of sexual orientation than social ones, especially for males. Sexual orientation_sentence_90

Scientists do not believe that sexual orientation is a choice, and some of them believe that it is established at conception. Sexual orientation_sentence_91

Current scientific investigation usually seeks to find biological explanations for the adoption of a particular sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_92

Scientific studies have found a number of statistical biological differences between gay people and heterosexuals, which may result from the same underlying cause as sexual orientation itself. Sexual orientation_sentence_93

Genetic factors Sexual orientation_section_8

Genes may be related to the development of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_94

A twin study from 2001 appears to exclude genes as a major factor, while a twin study from 2010 found that homosexuality was explained by both genes and environmental factors. Sexual orientation_sentence_95

However, experimental design of the available twin studies has made their interpretation difficult. Sexual orientation_sentence_96

In 2012, a large, comprehensive genome-wide linkage study of male sexual orientation was conducted by several independent groups of researchers. Sexual orientation_sentence_97

Significant linkage to homosexuality was found with genes on chromosome Xq28 and chromosome 8 in the pericentromeric region. Sexual orientation_sentence_98

The authors concluded that "our findings, taken in context with previous work, suggest that genetic variation in each of these regions contributes to development of the important psychological trait of male sexual orientation." Sexual orientation_sentence_99

It was the largest study of the genetic basis of homosexuality to date and was published online in November 2014. Sexual orientation_sentence_100

Hormones Sexual orientation_section_9

Main article: Prenatal hormones and sexual orientation Sexual orientation_sentence_101

The hormonal theory of sexuality holds that just as exposure to certain hormones plays a role in fetal sex differentiation, hormonal exposure also influences the sexual orientation that emerges later in the adult. Sexual orientation_sentence_102

Fetal hormones may be seen as either the primary influence upon adult sexual orientation or as a co-factor interacting with genes or environmental and social conditions. Sexual orientation_sentence_103

For humans, the norm is that females possess two X sex chromosomes, while males have one X and one Y. Sexual orientation_sentence_104

The default developmental pathway for a human fetus being female, the Y chromosome is what induces the changes necessary to shift to the male developmental pathway. Sexual orientation_sentence_105

This differentiation process is driven by androgen hormones, mainly testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Sexual orientation_sentence_106

The newly formed testicles in the fetus are responsible for the secretion of androgens, that will cooperate in driving the sexual differentiation of the developing fetus, including its brain. Sexual orientation_sentence_107

This results in sexual differences between males and females. Sexual orientation_sentence_108

This fact has led some scientists to test in various ways the result of modifying androgen exposure levels in mammals during fetus and early life. Sexual orientation_sentence_109

Birth order Sexual orientation_section_10

Main article: Fraternal birth order and sexual orientation Sexual orientation_sentence_110

A significant volume of research has demonstrated that the probability of a male growing up to be gay increases with each older brother he has from the same mother. Sexual orientation_sentence_111

Known as the fraternal birth order (FBO) effect, scientists attribute this to a prenatal biological mechanism – specifically a maternal immune response to male fetuses – since the effect is only present in men with older biological brothers, and not present among men with older step-brothers and adoptive brothers. Sexual orientation_sentence_112

This process, known as the maternal immunization hypothesis (MIH), would begin when cells from a male fetus enter the mother's circulation during pregnancy. Sexual orientation_sentence_113

These cells carry Y-proteins, which are thought to play a role in brain masculinisation (sex-differentiation) during fetal development. Sexual orientation_sentence_114

The mothers immune system builds antibodies to these Y-proteins. Sexual orientation_sentence_115

These antibodies are later released on future male fetuses and interfere with the masculinization role of Y-proteins. Sexual orientation_sentence_116

leaving regions of the brain responsible for sexual orientation in the 'default' female–typical arrangement, causing the exposed son to be more attracted to men over women. Sexual orientation_sentence_117

Biochemical evidence for this hypothesis was identified in 2017, finding that mothers with a gay son, especially those with older brothers, had significantly higher levels of anti-bodies to the NLGN4Y Y-protein than mothers with heterosexual sons. Sexual orientation_sentence_118

The effect becomes stronger with each successive male pregnancy, meaning the odds of the next son being gay increase by 38–48%. Sexual orientation_sentence_119

This does not mean that all or most sons will be gay after several male pregnancies, but rather, the odds of having a gay son increase from approximately 2% for the first born son, to 4% for the second, 6% for the third and so on. Sexual orientation_sentence_120

Scientists have estimated between 15% and 29% of gay men may owe their sexual orientation to this effect, but the number may be higher, as prior miscarriages and terminations of male pregnancies may have exposed their mothers to Y-linked antigens. Sexual orientation_sentence_121

The fraternal birth order effect would not likely apply to first born gay sons; instead, scientists say they may owe their orientation to genes, prenatal hormones and other maternal immune responses which also influence brain development. Sexual orientation_sentence_122

This effect is nullified if the man is left-handed. Sexual orientation_sentence_123

Ray Blanchard and Anthony Bogaert are credited with discovering the effect in the 1990s, and Blanchard describes it as "one of the most reliable epidemiological variables ever identified in the study of sexual orientation". Sexual orientation_sentence_124

J. Sexual orientation_sentence_125 Michael Bailey and Jacques Balthazart say the FBO effect demonstrates that sexual orientation is heavily influenced by prenatal biological mechanisms rather than unidentified factors in socialization. Sexual orientation_sentence_126

Environmental factors Sexual orientation_section_11

Main article: Environment and sexual orientation Sexual orientation_sentence_127

In the field of genetics, any factor which is non-genetic is considered an environmental influence. Sexual orientation_sentence_128

However, environmental influence does not automatically imply that the social environment influences or contributes to the development of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_129

There is a vast non-social environment that is non-genetic yet still biological, such as prenatal development, that likely helps shape sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_130

There is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that early childhood experiences, parenting, sexual abuse, or other adverse life events influence sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_131

Hypotheses for the impact of the post-natal social environment on sexual orientation are weak, especially for males. Sexual orientation_sentence_132

Parental attitudes may affect whether or not children openly identify with their sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_133

Influences: professional organizations' statements Sexual orientation_section_12

The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2004 stated: Sexual orientation_sentence_134

The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers in 2006 stated: Sexual orientation_sentence_135

The Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2007 stated: Sexual orientation_sentence_136

The American Psychiatric Association stated: Sexual orientation_sentence_137

A legal brief dated September 26, 2007, and presented on behalf of the American Psychological Association, California Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, National Association of Social Workers, and National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter, stated: Sexual orientation_sentence_138

Efforts to change sexual orientation Sexual orientation_section_13

Main articles: Sexual orientation change efforts and Conversion therapy Sexual orientation_sentence_139

Sexual orientation change efforts are methods that aim to change a same-sex sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_140

They may include behavioral techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, reparative therapy, psychoanalytic techniques, medical approaches, and religious and spiritual approaches. Sexual orientation_sentence_141

No major mental health professional organization sanctions efforts to change sexual orientation and virtually all of them have adopted policy statements cautioning the profession and the public about treatments that purport to change sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_142

These include the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, National Association of Social Workers in the US, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the Australian Psychological Society. Sexual orientation_sentence_143

In 2009, the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and concluded: Sexual orientation_sentence_144

In 2012, the Pan American Health Organization (the North and South American branch of the World Health Organization) released a statement cautioning against services that purport to "cure" people with non-heterosexual sexual orientations as they lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people, and noted that the global scientific and professional consensus is that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation of human sexuality and cannot be regarded as a pathological condition. Sexual orientation_sentence_145

The Pan American Health Organization further called on governments, academic institutions, professional associations and the media to expose these practices and to promote respect for diversity. Sexual orientation_sentence_146

The World Health Organization affiliate further noted that gay minors have sometimes been forced to attend these "therapies" involuntarily, being deprived of their liberty and sometimes kept in isolation for several months, and that these findings were reported by several United Nations bodies. Sexual orientation_sentence_147

Additionally, the Pan American Health Organization recommended that such malpractices be denounced and subject to sanctions and penalties under national legislation, as they constitute a violation of the ethical principles of health care and violate human rights that are protected by international and regional agreements. Sexual orientation_sentence_148

The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which described itself as a "professional, scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality," disagreed with the mainstream mental health community's position on conversion therapy, both on its effectiveness and by describing sexual orientation not as a binary immutable quality, or as a disease, but as a continuum of intensities of sexual attractions and emotional affect. Sexual orientation_sentence_149

The American Psychological Association and the Royal College of Psychiatrists expressed concerns that the positions espoused by NARTH are not supported by the science and create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish. Sexual orientation_sentence_150

Assessment and measurement Sexual orientation_section_14

Varying definitions and strong social norms about sexuality can make sexual orientation difficult to quantify. Sexual orientation_sentence_151

Early classification schemes Sexual orientation_section_15

One of the earliest sexual orientation classification schemes was proposed in the 1860s by Karl Heinrich Ulrichs in a series of pamphlets he published privately. Sexual orientation_sentence_152

The classification scheme, which was meant only to describe males, separated them into three basic categories: dionings, urnings and uranodionings. Sexual orientation_sentence_153

An urning can be further categorized by degree of effeminacy. Sexual orientation_sentence_154

These categories directly correspond with the categories of sexual orientation used today: heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. Sexual orientation_sentence_155

In the series of pamphlets, Ulrichs outlined a set of questions to determine if a man was an urning. Sexual orientation_sentence_156

The definitions of each category of Ulrichs' classification scheme are as follows: Sexual orientation_sentence_157

Sexual orientation_description_list_0

  • Sexual orientation_item_0_0
    • Dioning – Comparable to the modern term "heterosexual"Sexual orientation_item_0_1

Sexual orientation_description_list_1

  • Sexual orientation_item_1_2
    • Urning – Comparable to the modern term "homosexual"Sexual orientation_item_1_3

Sexual orientation_description_list_2

  • Sexual orientation_item_2_4
    • Urano-Dioning – Comparable to the modern term "bisexual"Sexual orientation_item_2_5

From at least the late nineteenth century in Europe, there was speculation that the range of human sexual response looked more like a continuum than two or three discrete categories. Sexual orientation_sentence_158

Berlin sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld published a scheme in 1896 that measured the strength of an individual's sexual desire on two independent 10-point scales, A (homosexual) and B (heterosexual). Sexual orientation_sentence_159

A heterosexual individual may be A0, B5; a homosexual individual may be A5, B0; an asexual would be A0, B0; and someone with an intense attraction to both sexes would be A9, B9. Sexual orientation_sentence_160

Kinsey scale Sexual orientation_section_16

The Kinsey scale, also called the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, was first published in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) by Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy, and Clyde Martin and also featured in Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953). Sexual orientation_sentence_161

The scale was developed to combat the assumption at the time that people are either heterosexual or homosexual and that these two types represent antitheses in the sexual world. Sexual orientation_sentence_162

Recognizing that a significant portion of the population is not completely heterosexual or homosexual and that such people can experience both heterosexual and homosexual behavior and psychic responses, Kinsey et al., stated: Sexual orientation_sentence_163

The Kinsey scale provides a classification of sexual orientation based on the relative amounts of heterosexual and homosexual experience or psychic response in one's history at a given time. Sexual orientation_sentence_164

The classification scheme works such that individuals in the same category show the same balance between the heterosexual and homosexual elements in their histories. Sexual orientation_sentence_165

The position on the scale is based on the relation of heterosexuality to homosexuality in one's history, rather than the actual amount of overt experience or psychic response. Sexual orientation_sentence_166

An individual can be assigned a position on the scale in accordance with the following definitions of the points of the scale: Sexual orientation_sentence_167

Sexual orientation_table_general_0

RatingSexual orientation_header_cell_0_0_0 DescriptionSexual orientation_header_cell_0_0_1
0Sexual orientation_cell_0_1_0 Exclusively heterosexual. Individuals make no physical contact which results in erotic arousal or orgasm and make no psychic responses to individuals of their own sex.Sexual orientation_cell_0_1_1
1Sexual orientation_cell_0_2_0 Predominantly heterosexual/incidentally homosexual. Individuals have only incidental homosexual contacts which have involved physical or psychic response or incidental psychic response without physical contact.Sexual orientation_cell_0_2_1
2Sexual orientation_cell_0_3_0 Predominantly heterosexual but more than incidentally homosexual. Individuals have more than incidental homosexual experience or respond rather definitely to homosexual stimuli.Sexual orientation_cell_0_3_1
3Sexual orientation_cell_0_4_0 Equally heterosexual and homosexual. Individuals are about equally homosexual and heterosexual in their experiences or psychic reactions.Sexual orientation_cell_0_4_1
4Sexual orientation_cell_0_5_0 Predominantly homosexual but more than incidentally heterosexual. Individuals have more overt activity or psychic reactions in the homosexual while still maintaining a fair amount of heterosexual activity or responding rather definitively to heterosexual contact.Sexual orientation_cell_0_5_1
5Sexual orientation_cell_0_6_0 Predominantly homosexual/only incidentally heterosexual. Individuals are almost entirely homosexual in their activities or reactions.Sexual orientation_cell_0_6_1
6Sexual orientation_cell_0_7_0 Exclusively homosexual. Individuals who are exclusively homosexual, both in regard to their overt experience and in regard to their psychic reactions.Sexual orientation_cell_0_7_1

The Kinsey scale has been praised for dismissing the dichotomous classification of sexual orientation and allowing for a new perspective on human sexuality. Sexual orientation_sentence_168

Despite seven categories being able to provide a more accurate description of sexual orientation than a dichotomous scale, it is still difficult to determine which category individuals should be assigned to. Sexual orientation_sentence_169

In a major study comparing sexual response in homosexual males and females, Masters and Johnson discuss the difficulty of assigning the Kinsey ratings to participants. Sexual orientation_sentence_170

Particularly, they found it difficult to determine the relative amount heterosexual and homosexual experience and response in a person's history when using the scale. Sexual orientation_sentence_171

They report finding it difficult to assign ratings 2–4 for individuals with a large number of heterosexual and homosexual experiences. Sexual orientation_sentence_172

When there are a substantial number of heterosexual and homosexual experiences in one's history, it becomes difficult for that individual to be fully objective in assessing the relative amount of each. Sexual orientation_sentence_173

Weinrich et al. Sexual orientation_sentence_174

(1993) and Weinberg et al. Sexual orientation_sentence_175

(1994) criticized the scale for lumping individuals who are different based on different dimensions of sexuality into the same categories. Sexual orientation_sentence_176

When applying the scale, Kinsey considered two dimensions of sexual orientation: overt sexual experience and psychosexual reactions. Sexual orientation_sentence_177

Valuable information was lost by collapsing the two values into one final score. Sexual orientation_sentence_178

A person who has only predominantly same sex reactions is different from someone with relatively little reaction but much same sex experience. Sexual orientation_sentence_179

It would have been quite simple for Kinsey to have measured the two dimensions separately and report scores independently to avoid loss of information. Sexual orientation_sentence_180

Furthermore, there are more than two dimensions of sexuality to be considered. Sexual orientation_sentence_181

Beyond behavior and reactions, one could also assess attraction, identification, lifestyle, etc. Sexual orientation_sentence_182

This is addressed by the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid. Sexual orientation_sentence_183

A third concern with the Kinsey scale is that it inappropriately measures heterosexuality and homosexuality on the same scale, making one a tradeoff of the other. Sexual orientation_sentence_184

Research in the 1970s on masculinity and femininity found that concepts of masculinity and femininity are more appropriately measured as independent concepts on a separate scale rather than as a single continuum, with each end representing opposite extremes. Sexual orientation_sentence_185

When compared on the same scale, they act as tradeoffs such, whereby to be more feminine one had to be less masculine and vice versa. Sexual orientation_sentence_186

However, if they are considered as separate dimensions one can be simultaneously very masculine and very feminine. Sexual orientation_sentence_187

Similarly, considering heterosexuality and homosexuality on separate scales would allow one to be both very heterosexual and very homosexual or not very much of either. Sexual orientation_sentence_188

When they are measured independently, the degree of heterosexual and homosexual can be independently determined, rather than the balance between heterosexual and homosexual as determined using the Kinsey Scale. Sexual orientation_sentence_189

Klein Sexual Orientation Grid Sexual orientation_section_17

Main article: Klein Sexual Orientation Grid Sexual orientation_sentence_190

In response to the criticism of the Kinsey scale only measuring two dimensions of sexual orientation, Fritz Klein developed the Klein sexual orientation grid (KSOG), a multidimensional scale for describing sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_191

Introduced in Klein's book The Bisexual Option (1978), the KSOG uses a 7-point scale to assess seven different dimensions of sexuality at three different points in an individual's life: past (from early adolescence up to one year ago), present (within the last 12 months), and ideal (what would you choose if it were completely your choice). Sexual orientation_sentence_192

The Sell Assessment of Sexual Orientation Sexual orientation_section_18

The Sell Assessment of Sexual Orientation (SASO) was developed to address the major concerns with the Kinsey Scale and Klein Sexual Orientation Grid and as such, measures sexual orientation on a continuum, considers various dimensions of sexual orientation, and considers homosexuality and heterosexuality separately. Sexual orientation_sentence_193

Rather than providing a final solution to the question of how to best measure sexual orientation, the SASO is meant to provoke discussion and debate about measurements of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_194

The SASO consists of 12 questions. Sexual orientation_sentence_195

Six of these questions assess sexual attraction, four assess sexual behavior, and two assess sexual orientation identity. Sexual orientation_sentence_196

For each question on the scale that measures homosexuality there is a corresponding question that measures heterosexuality giving six matching pairs of questions. Sexual orientation_sentence_197

Taken all together, the six pairs of questions and responses provide a profile of an individual's sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_198

However, results can be further simplified into four summaries that look specifically at responses that correspond to either homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality or asexuality. Sexual orientation_sentence_199

Of all the questions on the scale, Sell considered those assessing sexual attraction to be the most important as sexual attraction is a better reflection of the concept of sexual orientation which he defined as "extent of sexual attractions toward members of the other, same, both sexes or neither" than either sexual identity or sexual behavior. Sexual orientation_sentence_200

Identity and behavior are measured as supplemental information because they are both closely tied to sexual attraction and sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_201

Major criticisms of the SASO have not been established, but a concern is that the reliability and validity remains largely unexamined. Sexual orientation_sentence_202

Difficulties with assessment Sexual orientation_section_19

Research focusing on sexual orientation uses scales of assessment to identify who belongs in which sexual population group. Sexual orientation_sentence_203

It is assumed that these scales will be able to reliably identify and categorize people by their sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_204

However, it is difficult to determine an individual's sexual orientation through scales of assessment, due to ambiguity regarding the definition of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_205

Generally, there are three components of sexual orientation used in assessment. Sexual orientation_sentence_206

Their definitions and examples of how they may be assessed are as follows: Sexual orientation_sentence_207

Sexual orientation_table_general_1

ComponentSexual orientation_header_cell_1_0_0 DefinitionSexual orientation_header_cell_1_0_1 QuestionsSexual orientation_header_cell_1_0_2
Sexual attractionSexual orientation_cell_1_1_0 Attraction toward one sex or the desire to have sexual relations or to be in a primary loving, sexual relationship with one or both sexesSexual orientation_cell_1_1_1 "Have you ever had a romantic attraction to a male? Have you ever had a romantic attraction to a female?"Sexual orientation_cell_1_1_2
Sexual behaviorSexual orientation_cell_1_2_0 "Any mutually voluntary activity with another person that involves genital contact and sexual excitement or arousal, that is, feeling really turned on, even if intercourse or orgasm did not occur"Sexual orientation_cell_1_2_1 "Have you ever had a relationship with someone of your own sex which resulted in sexual orgasm?"Sexual orientation_cell_1_2_2
Sexual identitySexual orientation_cell_1_3_0 Personally selected, socially and historically bound labels attached to the perceptions and meaning individuals have about their sexual identity.Sexual orientation_cell_1_3_1 "Pick from these six option: gay or lesbian; bisexual, but mostly gay or lesbian; bisexual equally gay/lesbian and heterosexual; bisexual but mostly heterosexual; heterosexual; and uncertain, don't know for sure."Sexual orientation_cell_1_3_2

Though sexual attraction, behavior, and identity are all components of sexual orientation, if a person defined by one of these dimensions were congruent with those defined by another dimension it would not matter which was used in assessing orientation, but this is not the case. Sexual orientation_sentence_208

There is "little coherent relationship between the amount and mix of homosexual and heterosexual behavior in a person's biography and that person's choice to label himself or herself as bisexual, homosexual, or heterosexual". Sexual orientation_sentence_209

Individuals typically experience diverse attractions and behaviors that may reflect curiosity, experimentation, social pressure and is not necessarily indicative of an underlying sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_210

For example, a woman may have fantasies or thoughts about sex with other women but never act on these thoughts and only have sex with opposite gender partners. Sexual orientation_sentence_211

If sexual orientation was being assessed based on one's sexual attraction then this individual would be considered homosexual, but her behavior indicates heterosexuality. Sexual orientation_sentence_212

As there is no research indicating which of the three components is essential in defining sexual orientation, all three are used independently and provide different conclusions regarding sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_213

Savin Williams (2006) discusses this issue and notes that by basing findings regarding sexual orientation on a single component, researchers may not actually capture the intended population. Sexual orientation_sentence_214

For example, if homosexual is defined by same sex behavior, gay virgins are omitted, heterosexuals engaging in same sex behavior for other reasons than preferred sexual arousal are miscounted, and those with same sex attraction who only have opposite-sex relations are excluded. Sexual orientation_sentence_215

Because of the limited populations that each component captures, consumers of research should be cautious in generalizing these findings. Sexual orientation_sentence_216

One of the uses for scales that assess sexual orientation is determining what the prevalence of different sexual orientations are within a population. Sexual orientation_sentence_217

Depending on subject's age, culture and sex, the prevalence rates of homosexuality vary depending on which component of sexual orientation is being assessed: sexual attraction, sexual behavior, or sexual identity. Sexual orientation_sentence_218

Assessing sexual attraction will yield the greatest prevalence of homosexuality in a population whereby the proportion of individuals indicating they are same sex attracted is two to three times greater than the proportion reporting same sex behavior or identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Sexual orientation_sentence_219

Furthermore, reports of same sex behavior usually exceed those of gay, lesbian, or bisexual identification. Sexual orientation_sentence_220

The following chart demonstrates how widely the prevalence of homosexuality can vary depending on what age, location and component of sexual orientation is being assessed: Sexual orientation_sentence_221

Sexual orientation_table_general_2

Prevalence of homosexualitySexual orientation_table_caption_2
Sexual orientation_header_cell_2_0_0 AttractionSexual orientation_header_cell_2_0_1 BehaviourSexual orientation_header_cell_2_0_3 IdentitySexual orientation_header_cell_2_0_5
Country: Age groupSexual orientation_cell_2_1_0 FemaleSexual orientation_cell_2_1_1 MaleSexual orientation_cell_2_1_2 FemaleSexual orientation_cell_2_1_3 MaleSexual orientation_cell_2_1_4 FemaleSexual orientation_cell_2_1_5 MaleSexual orientation_cell_2_1_6
Sexual orientation_cell_2_2_0 6%Sexual orientation_cell_2_2_1 3%Sexual orientation_cell_2_2_2 11%Sexual orientation_cell_2_2_3 5%Sexual orientation_cell_2_2_4 8%Sexual orientation_cell_2_2_5 3%Sexual orientation_cell_2_2_6
Sexual orientation_cell_2_3_0 13%Sexual orientation_cell_2_3_1 5%Sexual orientation_cell_2_3_2 4%Sexual orientation_cell_2_3_3 3%Sexual orientation_cell_2_3_4 4%Sexual orientation_cell_2_3_5 3%Sexual orientation_cell_2_3_6
Sexual orientation_cell_2_4_0 8%Sexual orientation_cell_2_4_1 8%Sexual orientation_cell_2_4_2 4%Sexual orientation_cell_2_4_3 9%Sexual orientation_cell_2_4_4 1%Sexual orientation_cell_2_4_5 2%Sexual orientation_cell_2_4_6
Australia: AdultsSexual orientation_cell_2_5_0 17%Sexual orientation_cell_2_5_1 15%Sexual orientation_cell_2_5_2 8%Sexual orientation_cell_2_5_3 16%Sexual orientation_cell_2_5_4 4%Sexual orientation_cell_2_5_5 7%Sexual orientation_cell_2_5_6
Turkey: Young adultsSexual orientation_cell_2_6_0 7%Sexual orientation_cell_2_6_1 6%Sexual orientation_cell_2_6_2 4%Sexual orientation_cell_2_6_3 5%Sexual orientation_cell_2_6_4 2%Sexual orientation_cell_2_6_5 2%Sexual orientation_cell_2_6_6
Norway: AdolescentsSexual orientation_cell_2_7_0 21%Sexual orientation_cell_2_7_1 9%Sexual orientation_cell_2_7_2 7%Sexual orientation_cell_2_7_3 6%Sexual orientation_cell_2_7_4 5%Sexual orientation_cell_2_7_5 5%Sexual orientation_cell_2_7_6

The variance in prevalence rates is reflected in people's inconsistent responses to the different components of sexual orientation within a study and the instability of their responses over time. Sexual orientation_sentence_222

Laumann et al., (1994) found that among U.S. adults 20% of those who would be considered homosexual on one component of orientation were homosexual on the other two dimensions and 70% responded in a way that was consistent with homosexuality on only one of the three dimensions. Sexual orientation_sentence_223

Furthermore, sexuality may be fluid; for example, a person's sexual orientation identity is not necessarily stable or consistent over time but is subject to change throughout life. Sexual orientation_sentence_224

Diamond (2003) found that over 7 years 2/3 of the women changed their sexual identity at least once, with many reporting that the label was not adequate in capturing the diversity of their sexual or romantic feelings. Sexual orientation_sentence_225

Furthermore, women who relinquished bisexual and lesbian identification did not relinquish same sex sexuality and acknowledged the possibility for future same sex attractions or behaviour. Sexual orientation_sentence_226

One woman stated "I'm mainly straight but I'm one of those people who, if the right circumstance came along, would change my viewpoint". Sexual orientation_sentence_227

Therefore, individuals classified as homosexual in one study might not be identified the same way in another depending on which components are assessed and when the assessment is made making it difficult to pin point who is homosexual and who is not and what the overall prevalence within a population may be. Sexual orientation_sentence_228

Implications Sexual orientation_section_20

Depending on which component of sexual orientation is being assessed and referenced, different conclusions can be drawn about the prevalence rate of homosexuality which has real world consequences. Sexual orientation_sentence_229

Knowing how much of the population is made up of homosexual individuals influences how this population may be seen or treated by the public and government bodies. Sexual orientation_sentence_230

For example, if homosexual individuals constitute only 1% of the general population they are politically easier to ignore or than if they are known to be a constituency that surpasses most ethnic and minority groups. Sexual orientation_sentence_231

If the number is relatively minor then it is difficult to argue for community based same sex programs and services, mass media inclusion of gay role models, or Gay/Straight Alliances in schools. Sexual orientation_sentence_232

For this reason, in the 1970s Bruce Voeller, the chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force perpetuated a common myth that the prevalence of homosexuality is 10% for the whole population by averaging a 13% number for men and a 7% number for women. Sexual orientation_sentence_233

Voeller generalized this finding and used it as part of the modern gay rights movement to convince politicians and the public that "we [gays and lesbians] are everywhere". Sexual orientation_sentence_234

Proposed solutions Sexual orientation_section_21

In the paper "Who's Gay? Sexual orientation_sentence_235

Does It Matter? Sexual orientation_sentence_236

", psychologist Ritch Savin-Williams proposes two different approaches to assessing sexual orientation until well positioned and psychometrically sound and tested definitions are developed that would allow research to reliably identify the prevalence, causes, and consequences of homosexuality. Sexual orientation_sentence_237

He first suggests that greater priority should be given to sexual arousal and attraction over behaviour and identity because it is less prone to self- and other-deception, social conditions and variable meanings. Sexual orientation_sentence_238

To measure attraction and arousal he proposed that biological measures should be developed and used. Sexual orientation_sentence_239

There are numerous biological/physiological measures that exist that can measure sexual orientation such as sexual arousal, brain scans, eye tracking, body odour preference, and anatomical variations such as digit-length ratio and right or left-handedness. Sexual orientation_sentence_240

Secondly, Savin-Williams suggests that researchers should forsake the general notion of sexual orientation altogether and assess only those components that are relevant to the research question being investigated. Sexual orientation_sentence_241

For example: Sexual orientation_sentence_242

Sexual orientation_unordered_list_3

  • To assess STDs or HIV transmission, measure sexual behaviourSexual orientation_item_3_6
  • To assess interpersonal attachments, measure sexual/romantic attractionSexual orientation_item_3_7
  • To assess political ideology, measure sexual identitySexual orientation_item_3_8

Means of assessment Sexual orientation_section_22

Means typically used include surveys, interviews, cross-cultural studies, physical arousal measurements sexual behavior, sexual fantasy, or a pattern of erotic arousal. Sexual orientation_sentence_243

The most common is verbal self-reporting or self-labeling, which depend on respondents being accurate about themselves. Sexual orientation_sentence_244

Sexual arousal Sexual orientation_section_23

Studying human sexual arousal has proved a fruitful way of understanding how men and women differ as genders and in terms of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_245

A clinical measurement may use penile or vaginal photoplethysmography, where genital engorgement with blood is measured in response to exposure to different erotic material. Sexual orientation_sentence_246

Some researchers who study sexual orientation argue that the concept may apply differently for men and women. Sexual orientation_sentence_247

A study of sexual arousal patterns found that women, when viewing erotic films which show female-female, male-male and male-female sexual activity (oral sex or penetration), have patterns of arousal which do not match their declared sexual orientations as well as men's. Sexual orientation_sentence_248

That is, heterosexual and lesbian women's sexual arousal to erotic films do not differ significantly by the genders of the participants (male or female) or by the type of sexual activity (heterosexual or homosexual). Sexual orientation_sentence_249

Men's sexual arousal patterns tend to be more in line with their stated orientations, with heterosexual men showing more penis arousal to female-female sexual activity and less arousal to female-male and male-male sexual stimuli, and homosexual and bisexual men being more aroused by films depicting male-male intercourse and less aroused by other stimuli. Sexual orientation_sentence_250

Another study on men and women's patterns of sexual arousal confirmed that men and women have different patterns of arousal, independent of their sexual orientations. Sexual orientation_sentence_251

The study found that women's genitals become aroused to both human and nonhuman stimuli from movies showing humans of both genders having sex (heterosexual and homosexual) and from videos showing non-human primates (bonobos) having sex. Sexual orientation_sentence_252

Men did not show any sexual arousal to non-human visual stimuli, their arousal patterns being in line with their specific sexual interest (women for heterosexual men and men for homosexual men). Sexual orientation_sentence_253

These studies suggest that men and women are different in terms of sexual arousal patterns and that this is also reflected in how their genitals react to sexual stimuli of both genders or even to non-human stimuli. Sexual orientation_sentence_254

Sexual orientation has many dimensions (attractions, behavior, identity), of which sexual arousal is the only product of sexual attractions which can be measured at present with some degree of physical precision. Sexual orientation_sentence_255

Thus, the fact that women are aroused by seeing non-human primates having sex does not mean that women's sexual orientation includes this type of sexual interest. Sexual orientation_sentence_256

Some researchers argue that women's sexual orientation depends less on their patterns of sexual arousal than men's and that other components of sexual orientation (like emotional attachment) must be taken into account when describing women's sexual orientations. Sexual orientation_sentence_257

In contrast, men's sexual orientations tend to be primarily focused on the physical component of attractions and, thus, their sexual feelings are more exclusively oriented according to sex. Sexual orientation_sentence_258

More recently, scientists have started to focus on measuring changes in brain activity related to sexual arousal, by using brain-scanning techniques. Sexual orientation_sentence_259

A study on how heterosexual and homosexual men's brains react to seeing pictures of naked men and women has found that both hetero- and homosexual men react positively to seeing their preferred sex, using the same brain regions. Sexual orientation_sentence_260

The only significant group difference between these orientations was found in the amygdala, a brain region known to be involved in regulating fear. Sexual orientation_sentence_261

Culture Sexual orientation_section_24

See also: LGBT history, Societal attitudes toward homosexuality, and LGBT community and multiculturalism Sexual orientation_sentence_262

Research suggests that sexual orientation is independent of cultural and other social influences, but that open identification of one's sexual orientation may be hindered by homophobic/heterosexist settings. Sexual orientation_sentence_263

Social systems such as religion, language and ethnic traditions can have a powerful impact on realization of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_264

Influences of culture may complicate the process of measuring sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_265

The majority of empirical and clinical research on LGBT populations are done with largely white, middle-class, well-educated samples, however there are pockets of research that document various other cultural groups, although these are frequently limited in diversity of gender and sexual orientation of the subjects. Sexual orientation_sentence_266

Integration of sexual orientation with sociocultural identity may be a challenge for LGBT individuals. Sexual orientation_sentence_267

Individuals may or may not consider their sexual orientation to define their sexual identity, as they may experience various degrees of fluidity of sexuality, or may simply identify more strongly with another aspect of their identity such as family role. Sexual orientation_sentence_268

American culture puts a great emphasis on individual attributes, and views the self as unchangeable and constant. Sexual orientation_sentence_269

In contrast, East Asian cultures put a great emphasis on a person's social role within social hierarchies, and view the self as fluid and malleable. Sexual orientation_sentence_270

These differing cultural perspectives have many implications on cognition of the self, including perception of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_271

Language Sexual orientation_section_25

Translation is a major obstacle when comparing different cultures. Sexual orientation_sentence_272

Many English terms lack equivalents in other languages, while concepts and words from other languages fail to be reflected in the English language. Sexual orientation_sentence_273

Translation and vocabulary obstacles are not limited to the English language. Sexual orientation_sentence_274

Language can force individuals to identify with a label that may or may not accurately reflect their true sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_275

Language can also be used to signal sexual orientation to others. Sexual orientation_sentence_276

The meaning of words referencing categories of sexual orientation are negotiated in the mass media in relation to social organization. Sexual orientation_sentence_277

New words may be brought into use to describe new terms or better describe complex interpretations of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_278

Other words may pick up new layers or meaning. Sexual orientation_sentence_279

For example, the heterosexual Spanish terms marido and mujer for "husband" and "wife", respectively, have recently been replaced in Spain by the gender-neutral terms cónyuges or consortes meaning "spouses". Sexual orientation_sentence_280

Perceptions Sexual orientation_section_26

One person may presume knowledge of another person's sexual orientation based upon perceived characteristics, such as appearance, clothing, voice (c.f. Gay male speech), and accompaniment by and behavior with other people. Sexual orientation_sentence_281

The attempt to detect sexual orientation in social situations is sometimes colloquially known as gaydar; some studies have found that guesses based on face photos perform better than chance. Sexual orientation_sentence_282

2015 research suggests that "gaydar" is an alternate label for using LGBT stereotypes to infer orientation, and that face-shape is not an accurate indication of orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_283

Perceived sexual orientation may affect how a person is treated. Sexual orientation_sentence_284

For instance, in the United States, the FBI reported that 15.6% of hate crimes reported to police in 2004 were "because of a sexual-orientation bias". Sexual orientation_sentence_285

Under the UK Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, as explained by Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, "workers or job applicants must not be treated less favourably because of their sexual orientation, their perceived sexual orientation or because they associate with someone of a particular sexual orientation". Sexual orientation_sentence_286

In Euro-American cultures, sexual orientation is defined by the gender(s) of the people a person is romantically or sexually attracted to. Sexual orientation_sentence_287

Euro-American culture generally assumes heterosexuality, unless otherwise specified. Sexual orientation_sentence_288

Cultural norms, values, traditions and laws facilitate heterosexuality, including constructs of marriage and family. Sexual orientation_sentence_289

Efforts are being made to change these attitudes, and legislation is being passed to promote equality. Sexual orientation_sentence_290

Some other cultures do not recognize a homosexual/heterosexual/bisexual distinction. Sexual orientation_sentence_291

It is common to distinguish a person's sexuality according to their sexual role (active/passive; insertive/penetrated). Sexual orientation_sentence_292

In this distinction, the passive role is typically associated with femininity or inferiority, while the active role is typically associated with masculinity or superiority. Sexual orientation_sentence_293

For example, an investigation of a small Brazilian fishing village revealed three sexual categories for men: men who have sex only with men (consistently in a passive role), men who have sex only with women, and men who have sex with women and men (consistently in an active role). Sexual orientation_sentence_294

While men who consistently occupied the passive role were recognized as a distinct group by locals, men who have sex with only women, and men who have sex with women and men, were not differentiated. Sexual orientation_sentence_295

Little is known about same-sex attracted females, or sexual behavior between females in these cultures. Sexual orientation_sentence_296

Racism and ethnically relevant support Sexual orientation_section_27

See also: African-American culture and sexual orientation Sexual orientation_sentence_297

In the United States, non-Caucasian LGBT individuals may find themselves in a double minority, where they are neither fully accepted or understood by mainly Caucasian LGBT communities, nor are they accepted by their own ethnic group. Sexual orientation_sentence_298

Many people experience racism in the dominant LGBT community where racial stereotypes merge with gender stereotypes, such that Asian-American LGBTs are viewed as more passive and feminine, while African-American LGBTs are viewed as more masculine and aggressive. Sexual orientation_sentence_299

There are a number of culturally specific support networks for LGBT individuals active in the United States. Sexual orientation_sentence_300

For example, "Ô-Môi" for Vietnamese American queer females. Sexual orientation_sentence_301

Religion Sexual orientation_section_28

See also: LGBT matters and religion and Religion and homosexuality Sexual orientation_sentence_302

Sexuality in the context of religion is often a controversial subject, especially that of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_303

In the past, various sects have viewed homosexuality from a negative point of view and had punishments for same-sex relationships. Sexual orientation_sentence_304

In modern times, an increasing number of religions and religious denominations accept homosexuality. Sexual orientation_sentence_305

It is possible to integrate sexual identity and religious identity, depending on the interpretation of religious texts. Sexual orientation_sentence_306

Some religious organizations object to the concept of sexual orientation entirely. Sexual orientation_sentence_307

In the 2014 revision of the code of ethics of the American Association of Christian Counselors, members are forbidden to "describe or reduce human identity and nature to sexual orientation or reference," even while counselors must acknowledge the client's fundamental right to self-determination. Sexual orientation_sentence_308

Internet and media Sexual orientation_section_29

See also: LGBT stereotypes Sexual orientation_sentence_309

The Internet has influenced sexual orientation in two ways: it is a common mode of discourse on the subject of sexual orientation and sexual identity, and therefore shapes popular conceptions; and it allows anonymous attainment of sexual partners, as well as facilitates communication and connection between greater numbers of people. Sexual orientation_sentence_310

Demographics Sexual orientation_section_30

Main article: Demographics of sexual orientation Sexual orientation_sentence_311

Modern scientific surveys find that, across cultures, most people report a heterosexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_312

Bisexuality comes in varying degrees of relative attraction to the same or opposite sex. Sexual orientation_sentence_313

Men are more likely to be exclusively homosexual than to be equally attracted to both sexes, while the opposite is true for women. Sexual orientation_sentence_314

Surveys in Western cultures find, on average, that about 93% of men and 87% of women identify as completely heterosexual, 4% of men and 10% of women as mostly heterosexual, 0.5% of men and 1% of women as evenly bisexual, 0.5% of men and 0.5% of women as mostly homosexual, and 2% of men and 0.5% of women as completely homosexual. Sexual orientation_sentence_315

An analysis of 67 studies found that the lifetime prevalence of sex between men (regardless of orientation) was 3-5% for East Asia, 6-12% for South and South East Asia, 6-15% for Eastern Europe, and 6-20% for Latin America. Sexual orientation_sentence_316

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance estimates a worldwide prevalence of men who have sex with men between 3 and 16%. Sexual orientation_sentence_317

The relative percentage of the population that reports a homosexual or bisexual orientation can vary with different methodologies and selection criteria. Sexual orientation_sentence_318

A 1998 report stated that these statistical findings are in the range of 2.8 to 9% for males, and 1 to 5% for females for the United States – this figure can be as high as 12% for some large cities and as low as 1% for rural areas. Sexual orientation_sentence_319

A small percentage of people are not sexually attracted to anyone (asexuality). Sexual orientation_sentence_320

A study in 2004 placed the prevalence of asexuality at 1%. Sexual orientation_sentence_321

Kinsey data Sexual orientation_section_31

In Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953), by Alfred C. Kinsey et al., people were asked to rate themselves on a scale from completely heterosexual to completely homosexual. Sexual orientation_sentence_322

Kinsey reported that when the individuals' behavior, as well as their identity, are analyzed, a significant number of people appeared to be at least somewhat bisexual – i.e., they have some attraction to either sex, although usually one sex is preferred. Sexual orientation_sentence_323

However, only a small minority can be considered fully bisexual (with an equal attraction to both sexes). Sexual orientation_sentence_324

Kinsey's methods have been criticized as flawed, particularly with regard to the randomness of his sample population, which included prison inmates, male prostitutes and those who willingly participated in discussion of previously taboo sexual topics. Sexual orientation_sentence_325

Nevertheless, Paul Gebhard, subsequent director of the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research, reexamined the data in the Kinsey Reports and concluded that removing the prison inmates and prostitutes barely affected the results. Sexual orientation_sentence_326

More recent researchers believe that Kinsey overestimated the rate of same-sex attraction because of flaws in his sampling methods. Sexual orientation_sentence_327

Social constructionism Sexual orientation_section_32

See also: Queer theory Sexual orientation_sentence_328

Because sexual orientation is complex, some academics and researchers, especially in queer studies, have argued that it is a historical and social construction. Sexual orientation_sentence_329

In 1976, philosopher and historian Michel Foucault argued in The History of Sexuality that homosexuality as an identity did not exist in the eighteenth century; that people instead spoke of "sodomy," which referred to sexual acts. Sexual orientation_sentence_330

Sodomy was a crime that was often ignored, but sometimes punished severely under sodomy laws. Sexual orientation_sentence_331

He wrote, "'Sexuality' is an invention of the modern state, the industrial revolution, and capitalism." Sexual orientation_sentence_332

Other scholars argue that there are significant continuities between ancient and modern homosexuality. Sexual orientation_sentence_333

The philosopher of science Michael Ruse has stated that the social constructionist approach, which is influenced by Foucault, is based on a selective reading of the historical record that confuses the existence of homosexual people with the way in which they are labelled or treated. Sexual orientation_sentence_334

In much of the modern world, sexual identity is defined based on the sex of one's partner. Sexual orientation_sentence_335

In some parts of the world, however, sexuality is often socially defined based on sexual roles, whether one is a penetrator or is penetrated. Sexual orientation_sentence_336

In Western cultures, people speak meaningfully of gay, lesbian, and bisexual identities and communities. Sexual orientation_sentence_337

In some other cultures, homosexuality and heterosexual labels do not emphasize an entire social identity or indicate community affiliation based on sexual orientation. Sexual orientation_sentence_338

Some historians and researchers argue that the emotional and affectionate activities associated with sexual-orientation terms such as "gay" and "heterosexual" change significantly over time and across cultural boundaries. Sexual orientation_sentence_339

For example, in many English-speaking nations, it is assumed that same-sex kissing, particularly between men, is a sign of homosexuality, whereas various types of same-sex kissing are common expressions of friendship in other nations. Sexual orientation_sentence_340

Also, many modern and historic cultures have formal ceremonies expressing long-term commitment between same-sex friends, even though homosexuality itself is taboo within the cultures. Sexual orientation_sentence_341

Law, politics and theology Sexual orientation_section_33

Professor Michael King stated, "The conclusion reached by scientists who have investigated the origins and stability of sexual orientation is that it is a human characteristic that is formed early in life, and is resistant to change. Sexual orientation_sentence_342

Scientific evidence on the origins of homosexuality is considered relevant to theological and social debate because it undermines suggestions that sexual orientation is a choice." Sexual orientation_sentence_343

In 1999, law professor David Cruz wrote that "sexual orientation (and the related concept homosexuality) might plausibly refer to a variety of different attributes, singly or in combination. Sexual orientation_sentence_344

What is not immediately clear is whether one conception is most suited to all social, legal, and constitutional purposes." Sexual orientation_sentence_345

See also Sexual orientation_section_34

Sexual orientation_unordered_list_4

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: orientation.