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Chapter Eleven Sexual Orientation. Agenda  Clarify Terms.  Discuss Facts/Trends Associated with Sexual Orientation  Why Are There Different Sexual.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter Eleven Sexual Orientation. Agenda  Clarify Terms.  Discuss Facts/Trends Associated with Sexual Orientation  Why Are There Different Sexual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter Eleven Sexual Orientation

2 Agenda  Clarify Terms.  Discuss Facts/Trends Associated with Sexual Orientation  Why Are There Different Sexual Orientations?  Homosexuality & Heterosexuality in Other Times & Places  Gays, Lesbians, & Bisexuals Throughout the Life Cycle  Homophobia and Heterosexism  Differences Among Homosexual Groups  Homosexuality in Religion and the Law

3 Video: Trying Not to Be Gay

4 Discuss Video  Did this man want to be gay?  Discuss the negative attitudes he experienced about being gay.

5 Terms/Definitions

6 Concepts Associated with Sexual Orientation  Sexual orientation – the gender(s) that a person is attracted to emotionally, physically, sexually, and romantically  Heterosexual – predominantly attracted to members of the other sex  Homosexual – predominantly attracted to members of the same sex  Bisexual – attracted to both men and women Continued …

7 More Terms Associated with Sexual Orientation  Gay – typically a homosexual male  Lesbian – homosexual female  GLBTQ – gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning

8 Other Relevant Terms  Homophobia – strongly negative attitudes toward homosexuals and homosexuality  Heterosexism – a presumption of heterosexuality in society  A lack of awareness, not necessarily active discrimination

9 Facts/Trends Associated with Sexual Orientation

10 Distinguishing Between Experimentation and Orientation  People vary greatly in sexual behavior, fantasies, self-concepts, and emotional attachments – each contributes to sexual orientation  Sexual experimentation and sexual orientation are two different things

11 Conceptualizing Sexual Orientation  Kinsey continuum: 7-point scale from exclusively heterosexual behavior to exclusively homosexual behavior  First scale to suggest sexual orientation is a continuous variable  It emphasized behavior  It is static in time  Klein sexual orientation grid (KSOG) – expanded Kinsey’s continuum  7 dimensions: attraction, behavior, fantasy, emotional preference, social preference, self- identification, lifestyle  Each dimension is measured for the past, present, and ideal

12 Trends: Historical Perspective  Kinsey et al’s statistics (1948):  37% men, 13% women had at least one adult homosexual experience  4% men, 3% women were lifelong homosexuals  10% of white men were mostly homosexual for at least 3 years between 16 & 55

13 Contemporary Trends  Laumann et al’s statistics (1994):  4% of women had sex with a woman as an adult  Less than 2% of women had sex with another woman within a year  9% of men had sex with a man since puberty  5% of men had sex with a man as an adult  2% had sex with a man within a year

14 International Trends  Internationally, same-sex behavior has been found in 1-3% of men, and slightly lower rates in women  Same-sex behavior has remained constant in the U.S. over the years  Most believe 3-4% of males and 1.5-2% of females are predominantly homosexual, and 2-5% of the population are bisexual

15 Why Are There Different Sexual Orientations?

16 Overview  Current research has not found any significant nonneurological physical differences related to sexual orientation  2 types of theories:  Essentialism – homosexuality is due to biological or developmental processes  Constructionism – homosexuality is a social role  Most theories neglect bisexuality

17 Theoretical Approaches  Biological Theories: Differences Are Innate  Developmental Theories: Differences Are Learned  Sociological Theories: Social Forces at Work  Interactional Theory: Biology and Sociology

18 Biological Theories: Differences Are Innate  Genetics  Homosexual males: 52% of identical twins, 22% of fraternal twins, 11% of adoptive brothers were also homosexuals  Homosexual females: 48% of identical twins, 16% of fraternal twins, 6% of adoptive siblings were also lesbians  Closer genetic relatedness in siblings, the more likely they shared sexual orientation

19 Biological Theories: Differences Are Innate  Genetics  Homosexual males tend to have more maternal homosexual relatives  Gay men have more gay brothers than lesbian sisters  Lesbian sisters have more lesbian sisters than gay brothers  Some evidence of “gay” gene on the X chromosome, but no “lesbian” gene

20 Biological Theories: Differences Are Innate  Hormones  Prenatal Factors  Stress during pregnancy increased chances of homosexual children  Evidence of prenatal hormones influencing homosexuality is weak  Adult Hormone Levels  Current research does not support an effect of adult hormone levels

21 Biological Theories: Differences Are Innate  Birth Order  Gay men  tend to be born later than siblings  have older brothers, but not older sisters  Placental cells may influence later pregnancies; later borns could develop an immune response that influences gene expression during brain development  No related finding for lesbians

22 Biological Theories: Differences Are Innate  Physiology  Portion of the hypothalamus may be larger or smaller in homosexual men, compared to heterosexual men  Some differences in auditory brain regions related to sexual orientation in women  Findings are inconsistent and often weak  Sexual orientation is due to a combination of genetics, biology, and social influences

23 Developmental Theories: Differences Are Learned  Freud and the Psychoanalytic School  All of us are naturally bisexual  Male homosexuality is from an unresolved Oedipal complex; after puberty, desire for mother becomes identification with her  Lesbians cannot have their father & reject him & all men; less understood than males  Bieber – gay men had intimate & seductive mothers, and absent or hostile fathers

24 Developmental Theories: Differences Are Learned  Gender-Role Nonconformity  Boys who have cross-gender traits are more likely to be gay as an adult  Girls who display male-typical behaviors are more likely to be lesbians as an adult  These are correlational findings  Many gay men were not effeminate children, & not all effeminate boys are gay as adults

25 Developmental Theories: Differences Are Learned  Peer Group Interaction  Children who develop early become sexually aroused while still primarily with same-sex peers  Homosexuals tend to report earlier sexual contacts than heterosexuals  However, Sambian boys, who live with other boys and have sex with them until adults, are primarily heterosexual

26 Developmental Theories: Differences Are Learned  Behaviorist Theories  Homosexuality is due to reinforcement of homosexual tendencies and/or punishing of heterosexual tendencies  However, society does not provide reinforcement for homosexual behavior

27 Sociological Theories: Social Forces at Work  We learn how our culture thinks about sexuality, and apply it to ourselves  The idea of homosexuality differs in time and culture  Individuals come to identify with one type of model  Effeminate boys may be labeled homosexual as children and adopt that role

28 Interactional Theory: Biology and Sociology  Biology (genetics, hormones, neuroanatomy) create childhood temperaments that influence preferences for sex-typical or atypical behaviors  Gender conforming kids prefer the other sex  Non-conforming children prefer the same sex  “Exotic-becomes-erotic” – more arousal with the sex viewed as more different than the self  Not a lot of empirical support

29 Homosexuality and Heterosexuality in Other Times and Places Homosexuality in History Homosexuality in Other Cultures

30 Homosexuality in History  Views of homosexuality have differed throughout history  The Ancient World  Homosexuality was common  Sodomy & buggery were considered crimes  Lesbianism was a mystery  Little religious concern over homosexuality

31 Homosexuality in History  The Middle Ages  Little Church interest through the 13 th century  After the 13 th century, homosexuality was punishable by death  This view has influenced the western view of homosexuality to the present day

32 Homosexuality in History  The Modern Era  Many periods of tolerance, & many of harsh oppression  The U.S., of Puritan origins, is more disapproving than Europe  In the 19 th & early 20 th centuries, passing women operated as men in U.S. society  Physicians viewed homosexuality as an illness until 1973

33 Homosexuality in Other Cultures  In many societies, same-sex sexual activity is a normal part of life  Same-sex sexual behavior is in every culture and in the same prevalence rate, regardless of the society’s tolerance  In the U.S., Hispanic & Asian homosexuals are more likely to cross gender boundaries

34 Homosexuality in Other Cultures  Latin American Countries  Thoughts are focused on masculinity & femininity, not homosexuality & heterosexuality  Not homosexual if taking the active, penetrating role, regardless of who is being penetrated  Men that allow themselves to be penetrated are looked down upon

35 Homosexuality in Other Cultures  Arabic Cultures  Sex is based on power & dominance  Male homosexuality is taboo  Little is known about Arabic lesbians  Asian Countries  China viewed homosexuality as a “western social disease”  Buddhism does not condemn homosexuality

36 Homosexuality in Other Cultures  Sambia, of Papua New Guinea  Mother’s milk is replaced by man’s milk (semen) to aid a boy in reaching puberty  At 7, Sambian boys move to a communal hut where they perform oral sex on postpubescent boys & swallow the semen  After puberty, the boy changes roles and provides the semen to the younger boys  After 18 years, marries & is heterosexual

37 Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals Throughout the Life Cycle Growing Up Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Coming Out to Self and Others Life Issues: Partnering, Sexuality, Parenthood, and Aging Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Organizations

38 Growing Up Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual  Few models are applicable to homosexual youth  The societal message is a negative one  Atypical gender behavior, especially in boys, can create anxiety in family, school, & peers  This anxiety may lead them to pressure the child that can cause psychosocial problems

39 Coming Out to Self and Others  Coming out – establishing a personal identity and communicating that to others  First need to recognize sexual orientation within oneself, then tell family, friends, public  Sexual orientation awareness usually occurs between 8 and 9, although coming out to others is typically at 18 for women & men Continued …

40 Coming Out to Self and Others  Coming out is difficult & there is a lot of anxiety over possible rejection  Many have positive coming out experiences  Positive coming out experiences are related to higher self-concepts, lower depression rates, and healthier psychological adjustment  Families also have a coming out process Continued …

41 Coming Out to Self and Others  Parental rejection increases isolation, loneliness, depression, suicide, homelessness, prostitution, and STIs among non-heterosexual youth  About 26% are forced to leave home  25%+ of street youth are not heterosexual  29-42% of non-heterosexual youth have attempted suicide, 48-76% have suicidal thoughts, much higher than heterosexuals Continued …

42 Coming Out to Self and Others  About 14-25% of gay men and about 33% of lesbians marry the other sex at some point  May be before they recognize their sexual orientation, or because they want to try to fit in as heterosexual

43 Discuss “Coming Out” and Identity Development  Identity development is an important task for adolescents.  How would the coming out process influence identity development?  Discuss family reactions  Discuss reactions from close friends  Discuss peer homophobia  GLBT youth who are out of the closet experience harassment and assault. What can be done to protect them?

44 Coming Out in the Workplace

45 Life Issues: Partnering, Sexuality, Parenthood, and Aging  Looking for Partners  Many use the internet to search for a partner  Clubs, support groups, organizations, & meeting areas are ways to meet people  Gay magazines contain personal ads and other services  Partners are often introduced by mutual friends

46 Life Issues: Partnering, Sexuality, Parenthood, and Aging  Same-Sex Couples  Often homosexual couples are as satisfied as heterosexual couples, although they face some intolerance from society  Homosexual couples tend to have greater flexibility in their roles, more equal partnerships, less sexual jealousy  Higher satisfaction among lesbian couple  Gay couples have more harmful behaviors

47 Gays, Lesbians, & Bisexuals Throughout the Life Cycle

48 Life Issues: Partnering, Sexuality, Parenthood, and Aging  Same-Sex Couples  Limited number of partners available  Homosexuals are more connected to ex- partners than heterosexuals after a break up  Most Americans support some same-sex relationship recognition  American Psychiatric Association supports legal recognition of same-sex marriage

49 Life Issues: Partnering, Sexuality, Parenthood, and Aging  Gay and Lesbian Sexuality  No physiological differences in arousal or orgasm based on sexual orientation  Homosexuals tend to have slower, more relaxed, less demanding sexual sessions  More time is spent caressing and sexually teasing each other

50 Life Issues: Partnering, Sexuality, Parenthood, and Aging  Gay and Lesbian Parents  Many gay and lesbian couples want to become parents, and for the same reasons as heterosexual parents  No significant differences in sexual orientation for the offspring of homosexual and heterosexual mothers  Lesbians may find sperm donors

51 Life Issues: Partnering, Sexuality, Parenthood, and Aging  Gay and Lesbian Parents  Homosexuals can’t adopt in FL, MS, & UT  Other states make adoption difficult for homosexuals  Some gay men find surrogate mothers

52 Same Sex Marriage

53 Discuss Video  What are your reactions to this video?

54 Life Issues: Partnering, Sexuality, Parenthood, and Aging  Gay and Lesbian Seniors  1-3 million of U.S. seniors are not heterosexual  They face a number of issues: survivor benefits, lack of health insurance, Social Security, assisted living needs  Specialized retirement homes are being formed for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered seniors

55 Life Issues: Partnering, Sexuality, Parenthood, and Aging  Gay, Lesbian, & Bisexual – Specific Problems  Pressures of living in a discriminating society lead to a number of problems for non- heterosexual youth and adults:  substance abuse  truancy  homelessness  sexual abuse  lower earning wages

56 Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Organizations  Social services, political, medical, entertainment, and religious organizations have been formed to meet the needs of the homosexual and bisexual population  Harvey Milk School in NYC is the first public school for GLBTQ youth  Gay, lesbian, and bisexual media includes magazines (The Advocate) and newspapers

57 Homophobia & Heterosexism

58 Hate Crimes against Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Persons  Hate crimes are motivated by hatred of someone’s religion, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, or ethnic group  The most socially acceptable form of hate crime is against homosexuals  Homosexuals are victims 4x more than the average American  Verbal and physical abuse may create psychological distress

59 Why Are People Homophobic?  May be due to  personality type; anything that is not “correct” is not tolerated  Suppressed homosexual desires  Insecurity about own masculinity or femininity  ignorance

60 Hating People for the People They Love

61 How Can We Combat Homophobia and Heterosexism?  Laws  22 states and DC punish hate crimes against sexual orientation  Punishment varies according to state  Some states may monitor hate crimes, but lack efforts to enforce or prevent

62 How Can We Combat Homophobia and Heterosexism?  The Media  Gay, lesbian, and bisexual media representation is increasing  TV shows portray positive characters  Movies/Plays  Fiction and nonfiction works  Education  Much opposition to teaching sexuality, including homosexuality, in schools

63 Differences Among Homosexual Groups Lesbians: Sexism Plus Homophobia Bisexuals: Just a Trendy Myth? Minority Homosexuals: Culture Shock? Same-Sex Behavior in Prison

64 Lesbians: Sexism Plus Homophobia  Lack lesbian research, compared to gay men  Lesbian & bisexual women tend to have poorer health conditions than heterosexual women  Parental acceptance is very important; its lack is implicated in the poorer health conditions  Lesbian workers earn more than heterosexual women in comparable careers

65 Bisexual  Often first identified as heterosexuals; self- identification as bisexual usually occurs later in life than gay or lesbian identification  Viewed by homosexuals as becoming homosexual or playing both sides  Viewed by heterosexuals as homosexuals  Some claim it is a myth, denial of homosexuality, identity confusion, or an attempt to be trendy

66 Bisexual  Biphobia – suggested to exist in straight, gay, and lesbian communities  Sequential bisexuality – sex solely with one gender, followed by sex solely with the other  Contemporaneous bisexuality – having sexual partners of both sexes during the same period

67 Minority Homosexuals: Culture Shock?  Many ethnic groups don’t accept homosexuality  The homosexual community doesn’t readily accommodate expressions of ethnic identity  Can create a feeling of being between two communities, rather than part of any one

68 Same-Sex Behavior in Prison  Sexual contact between inmates is prohibited in prisons  Majority of inmate sexual contact is consensual; few men are raped in prison  Majority are not homosexuals and return to heterosexuality upon release  Situational homosexuality – found when men spend long periods of time together

69 Homosexuality in Religion and the Law Homosexuality and Religions Homosexuality and the Law

70 Homosexuality and Religions  Historically, Judaism and Christianity have opposed homosexuality  Welcoming Christian religions: United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist Association  Liberal & conservative views are in Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian churches  The more conservative views tend to be from older members, southern churches

71 Homosexuality and Religions  Homosexuality is a sin in Catholic, Southern Baptist, and Assembly of God churches  Reform Jews are most accepting in Judaism  Orthodox Jews see homosexuality as forbidden  No concrete stance in Buddhism

72 Homosexuality and the Law  All 50 states outlawed homosexual behaviors until 1961  Homosexuals face discrimination on the job, in housing, health care benefits, tax breaks, Social Security, benefits, rights of inheritance  Some have legally adopted their partners in order to procure some of these legal rights


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