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Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW Answer Executive Director 2011 Understanding the OBI: Sexual Orientation, Behavior, and Identity.

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Presentation on theme: "Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW Answer Executive Director 2011 Understanding the OBI: Sexual Orientation, Behavior, and Identity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW Answer Executive Director 2011 Understanding the OBI: Sexual Orientation, Behavior, and Identity

2 What is “Sexual Orientation”? “The gender(s) of the people to whom we are attracted, physically and romantically”

3 What is “Sexual Orientation”? “The gender(s) of the people to whom we are attracted, physically and romantically.” Two things of note: Includes more than one gender Includes romantic love: can know one’s orientation without necessarily doing something sexual with another person

4 Current Categories for Sexual Orientation Heterosexual Heterosexual Lesbian or Gay Lesbian or Gay Bisexual Bisexual Queer Others???

5 Understanding Bisexuality What is often said about bisexual people? Are confused Want the best of both worlds Are greedy Always have a date on a Saturday night Can’t make up their minds Have to date someone male and someone female at the same time Are really gay, just don’t want to admit it

6 Bisexual: A person for whom, when it comes to sexual attraction, gender is not necessarily the defining factor

7 For Example… A heterosexual man walks into a room full of people seeking a partner: Rules out men instantly A heterosexual man walks into a room full of people seeking a partner: Rules out men instantly A heterosexual woman walks into a room full of people seeking a partner: Rules out women instantly A heterosexual woman walks into a room full of people seeking a partner: Rules out women instantly Bisexual person walks into a room full of people seeking a partner: Doesn’t rule out anyone instantly based on gender Bisexual person walks into a room full of people seeking a partner: Doesn’t rule out anyone instantly based on gender

8 This is important because… Many people identify as bisexual before accepting being gay/lesbian. Bisexuality most misunderstood – and least often mentioned – orientation. Bisexual youth often underestimate HIV/STD risk because have “one foot in” heterosexuality.

9 And you may ask yourself… well, how did I get here? Kinsey and the Kinsey Scale… | | | | | | | = Exclusively Heterosexual 6 = Exclusively Lesbian or Gay 3 = Bisexual

10 What Kinsey Found Was… Most people were: | | | | | | | HERE or HERE

11 How We Use This Info Today… | | | | | | | Orientation = to whom are we attracted? Behavior = with whom are we engaging in sexual acts? Identity = what do we call ourselves?

12 | | | | | | | OBI A woman who is attracted (orientation) exclusively to men: 0 A woman who is attracted (orientation) exclusively to men: 0 Will likely be sexual (behavior) only with men: 0 Will likely be sexual (behavior) only with men: 0 Will likely call herself (identity) heterosexual: 0 Will likely call herself (identity) heterosexual: 0

13 But it’s not always that clear cut…

14 Example One Woman who has always identified as lesbian – only ever been attracted to women, only ever been sexual with women; Kinsey 6. Woman who has always identified as lesbian – only ever been attracted to women, only ever been sexual with women; Kinsey 6. A few years ago, met, fell in love with, and married a man with whom she is monogamous. A few years ago, met, fell in love with, and married a man with whom she is monogamous. Where are her O, B and I? Where are her O, B and I?

15 Mapping Example One | | | | | |------| OB Attracted primarily to this ONE man: Very close to 6 Attracted primarily to this ONE man: Very close to 6 She is currently only sexual with this one man: 0 She is currently only sexual with this one man: 0 What does she call herself? What does she call herself?

16 Trick Question! When it comes to identity (what one calls oneself) we have to ASK the person. Is an INSIDE  OUT process

17 Mapping Example One | | | | | | | OB I I She identifies as “lesbian” (We asked!)

18 Example Two Teen male who has always identified as heterosexual and has always been only with girls. Clear Kinsey 0. Teen male who has always identified as heterosexual and has always been only with girls. Clear Kinsey 0. Was arrested and placed into juvenile detention for two years, where he had sexual relationships with several males. Was arrested and placed into juvenile detention for two years, where he had sexual relationships with several males. Where are his O, B and I? Where are his O, B and I?

19 Remember – it’s a trick question! We have to ask him. But let’s map it out on the Kinsey Scale…

20 Mapping Example Two | | | | | | | O B B Don’t know whether attracted to men – but if asked? Don’t know whether attracted to men – but if asked? Is currently sexual only with guys -- circumstantial: 6 Is currently sexual only with guys -- circumstantial: 6 What does he call himself? (Ask him!) What does he call himself? (Ask him!)

21 Example Three: “The Down Low” Adult male who has a female partner/spouse. Identifies as heterosexual. Adult male who has a female partner/spouse. Identifies as heterosexual. When he goes to play card with his male friends, two of the guys, including him, will disappear into bedroom and have sex. When he goes to play card with his male friends, two of the guys, including him, will disappear into bedroom and have sex. Where are his O, B and I? Where are his O, B and I?

22 Remember – it’s a trick question! We have to ask him. But let’s map it out on the Kinsey Scale…

23 Mapping Example Three | | | | | | | O B His “O” is hard to graph: could be anywhere His “O” is hard to graph: could be anywhere Is currently sexual with several guys, one woman: B? Is currently sexual with several guys, one woman: B? What does he call himself? (Ask him!) What does he call himself? (Ask him!)

24 Remember… Identity trumps Behavior and Orientation Is an inside  out process, NOT outside  in What you do sexually does not necessarily define who you are

25 Public Health Implications Closeted identity leads to unsafe/ closeted behaviors: Safer sex issues Double standard: Gender Screening through the OBI: BEHAVIOR is focus

26 National Sexuality Education Training Initiative: In-person/Online National sex ed resources National Teen-to-Teen Sexuality Education Initiative

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29 For More Information about LGBTQ Youth: Answer/Sex, Etc.: Answer/Sex, Etc.: Advocates for Youth: Advocates for Youth: Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network: Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network: ACT for Youth, Growing Up Transgender: 0Up%20Transgender ACT for Youth, Growing Up Transgender: 0Up%20Transgender 0Up%20Transgender 0Up%20Transgender

30 ACT for Youth Center of Excellence The ACT for Youth Center of Excellence connects positive youth development resources and research to practice in New York State and beyond. The Center provides: Support for youth-serving programs funded by the New York State Department of Health. Support for youth-serving programs funded by the New York State Department of Health. Youth Development resources: publications, narrated presentations, and the e-letter ACT for Youth Update. Subscribe at Youth Development resources: publications, narrated presentations, and the e-letter ACT for Youth Update. Subscribe at A home base for the ACT Youth Network. Visit the network at A home base for the ACT Youth Network. Visit the network at Was this presentation useful? Please give us your feedback:


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