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Scores on exam 2. Bio 27 October 29th Chapter 9: Sexual Orientation.

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Presentation on theme: "Scores on exam 2. Bio 27 October 29th Chapter 9: Sexual Orientation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scores on exam 2

2 Bio 27 October 29th Chapter 9: Sexual Orientation

3 Some terminology Heterosexual: also known as “straight.” Attraction is to other-sex partners Homosexual: also known as “lesbian” for women and “gay” for men. Attraction is to same sex partners Bisexual: attraction is to both sexes Asexual: lack of attraction to either sex

4 Sexual orientation exists as a continuum Kinsey’s Continuum of Sexual Orientation (1948)

5 Asexuality Not part of Kinsey’s scale, although he acknowledged its existence Different from celibacy in that asexuality is innate, whereas celibacy is a choice About 1% of the population is believed to be asexual – 73% of asexuals have never had intercourse – 80% of asexual makes and 77% of asexual females do masturbate – Most do not feel distressed about their asexuality Usually lifelong

6 Bisexuality No consensus about what makes an individual bisexual (or gay or lesbian) Many people have same-sex sexual fantasies or experiences, but identify as heterosexual rather than bisexual Women who identify as heterosexual are 27 times more likely than heterosexual men to express moderate or more same sex attraction

7 Study showed males and females of different sexual orientations videos of bonobos mating and masturbating and measured sexual arousal Gay and straight women experienced arousal from both gay and straight videos but only reported arousal consistent with sexual orientation Arousal in males was more consistent with sexual orientation

8 Sexual Fluidity Some people change their sexual orientation at different times in their lives More common among women; this may be influenced by the greater social stigma against male homosexuality Believed to have a biological basis

9 What Determines Sexual Orientation? Psychosocial Hypotheses Focus on role of life experiences, parenting patterns, or psychological attributes of individual Theories: –The “By Default” Theory: homosexuality is chosen by people who have negative experiences with the opposite sex; not supported by data –The Seduction Myth: homosexuality is caused by homosexual experience with an older person; in actuality, most gays have their first sexual experiences with someone of a similar age –Freud’s Theory: poor relationship with father or overly close relationship with mother can lead to male homosexuality; not supported by data

10 What Determines Sexual Orientation? Biological Hypotheses Genetic factors –Homosexuality is heritable –Identical twin studies show this –Patterns of finger length suggest that prenatal testosterone exposure may contribute to male homosexuality –Gay men also much more likely to be left-handed and have more older brothers Implications if biology is destiny –May lead to greater acceptance –75% of gays and 49% of the general population currently say they think homosexuality is innate

11 Societal attitudes towards homosexuality

12 Societal attitudes have changed Before 1900s: homosexual behavior is sinful Early 1900s: homosexuality is a mental illness –Lobotomy, castration, drugs, and shock treatments have been used as “cures” 1974 APA removed homosexuality from list of mental disorders No differences in psychological adjustment across sexual orientation “Conversion” therapy does not work but gay affirmative therapy is helpful –“Gay cures” will be illegal in CA as of January 1, 2013!

13 Homophobia Homophobia: Anti- homosexual attitudes, irrational fear of homosexual people, or loathing of homosexual tendencies in oneself –Homophobes more likely to respond sexually to homosexual imagery

14 Hate Crimes Hate Crimes Laws provide more severe penalties for crimes motivated by race, color, national origin, religion, or, as of 2009, sexual orientation Prior to 2009, many states either had no hate crime laws or had hate crime laws that did not include sexual orientation

15 Causes of Homophobia and Hate Crimes Lack of acceptance and valuing Traditional gender role stereotypes Extreme manifestation of cultural norms –Threatened by challenges to traditional gender roles Denial of homosexual feelings

16 High profile anti-gay hate crimes Brandon Teena, a 21-year-old transgendered man, was sexually assaulted and murdered in 1993 (subject of the movie Boys Don’t Cry) Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay college student was beaten and tied to a fence on a cold night where he was left to die in 1998 (subject of the movie The Laramie Project) Barry Winchell, a 21-year-old male soldier, was murdered by a fellow soldier in 1999 because he was dating a transgendered woman (subject of the movie Soldier’s Girl) Gwen Araujo, a 17-year-old transgendered girl, was murdered by four men in Newark in 2002. She had had sex with two of the men, and their lawyers tried the “gay panic” defense

17 Sexual Minorities and the Media: changing attitudes Philadelphia in 1993 the first major Hollywood film to examine the topic of homophobia Gay characters are now common in TV shows and movies BUT many actors still do not feel like they can “come out” as gay Portrayal of gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals as “regular folks” has contributed to acceptance

18 Coming Out and Disclosure Coming Out –Self-acknowledgement is the first step –Self-acceptance is next Disclosure –“Passing” as straight has risks and benefits –Telling family can be difficult Some may be disowned –Involvement in the LGBT community –Individuals who are both sexual and racial minorities are less likely to come out and more likely to face alienation if they do “On the DL”

19 Same-Sex Relationships Similar challenges and concerns as with heterosexual couples More egalitarian than other-sex relationships Differences: –Gay couples found to use more humor and affection during disagreements –More likely to remain positive after a disagreement –Displayed less domineering behavior with one another

20 Gay & Lesbian family life 33% of lesbian couples and 22% of gay male couples are raising children – Some are children from previous relationships – Some are born through assisted fertility techniques – Some are adopted (laws on gay adoption vary) Study found that children of lesbian mothers have no difference in general development, self-esteem, gender role issues or sexual orientation American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed gay adoption

21 Gay Rights Movement Began in 1969 with the Stonewall Rebellion Goals: –Decriminalization of private sexual behavior Texas sodomy law overturned in 2003 –Legal protection from discrimination Still no federal law against employment discrimination, although many companies have policies and states have laws Military “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” –Legal protection for same-sex families Health care Marriage Adoption

22 There is still much progress to be made No federal protection against workplace discrimination No federal guarantee of hospital visitation for partners No federal right to marry or adopt

23 “Sexual orientation is a choice.” How strongly do you agree or disagree with this statement? Support your answer using specific evidence.


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