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Chapter 10 Sexual Orientations

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1 Chapter 10 Sexual Orientations

2 A Continuum of Sexual Orientations
Terminology homosexual orientation: primary erotic psychological emotional and social orientation is to same sex gay males lesbian females

3 A Continuum of Sexual Orientations (cont.)
Terminology bisexual orientation: attraction to both same- & opposite sex partners heterosexual orientation: attraction to opposite sex partner (aka straight)

4 A Continuum of Sexual Orientations (cont.)
Kinsey's 7-point continuum men are more likely to fall at the extremes may depend on how question is asked

5 A Continuum of Sexual Orientations (cont.)
Fig Kinsey’s continuum of sexual orientation (adapted from Kinsey et al., 1948, p. 638).

6 A Continuum of Sexual Orientations (cont.)
Bisexuality context matters more than contact categories: real, transitory, transitional, or denial of gayness

7 Real Orientation

8 Real Orientation Capable of feeling attracted to both sexes.
Might or night not be sexually active with more than one partner at a time.

9 Transitory Orientation

10 Transitory Orientation
A temporary involvement by people who are actually heterosexual or homosexual

11 Transitory Orientation
A temporary involvement by people who are actually heterosexual or homosexual Examples: single-sex boarding schools, prisons The people involved consider themselves heterosexual even when involved in same-sex behavior, and they resume heterosexual relationships when opportunities present themselves again. Some prostitutes and male hustlers may do business with either sex and yet be exclusively heterosexual or queer in their personal lives.

12 Transitional Orientation

13 Transitional Orientation
A person is changing from one orientation to another

14 Transitional Orientation
A person is changing from one orientation to another Example: A man who has been married with children for many years in an effort to fit in with social norms. He then meets a male co-worker and decides to leave his wife for him. The transition from bisexuality to homosexuality may be most common during adolescence (Social pressures to conform may have one identify initially as bisexual. As one grows more comfortable with oneself, may accept orientation as completely homosexual).

15 Asexuality

16 Asexuality Feeling no sexual attraction to either sex
Is a sexual orientation NOT a choice According to a study in Britain: 1% of individuals are asexual Possible Factors: Women more than men Late menstruation Lower education level and socioeconomic status Short statue and health problems

17 A Continuum of Sexual Orientations (cont.)
Table 10.1 Who’s Straight, Gay or Bi? How Do You Measure?

18 What Determines Sexual Orientation?
Psychosocial Theories “By Default” Theory The Seduction Myth Freud’s Theory

19 Psychosocial theories

20 Psychosocial theories
Relate to life incidents, parenting patterns, or psychological attributes of the individual vs. biological theories

21 The “By Default” Myth

22 The “By Default” Myth Unhappy heterosexual experiences cause a person to become homosexual. “All a lesbian needs is a good lay” or “He just needs to find the right woman” reflect that homosexuality is a lack of positive heterosexual experience. Contrary Evidence?

23 The Seduction Myth

24 The Seduction Myth The belief that young women and men become homosexual because they have been seduced by older homosexual people or because they have “caught” it from someone else – particularly a well-liked and respected teacher who is homosexual. Contrary Evidence?

25 Freud’s Theory Psychoanalysis

26 Freud’s Theory Psychoanalysis: child’s relationship with primary caregivers is primarily responsible for adult’s life. In “normal development” we all pass through “homoerotic” phase. Boys could become fixated at this homosexual phase if they had a poor relationship with their father and an overly close relationship with their mother. Girls could become lesbians if they had poor relationships with their mothers and overly close relationships with their fathers. Contrary Evidence?

27 What Determines Sexual Orientation? (cont.)
The influence of choice may be more important for women than men men are more likely to be categorical in sexual orientation

28 What Determines Sexual Orientation? (cont.)
Biological theories adult hormone levels do not differ prenatal hormone levels Relationship between index and ring finger length correlation of handedness with homosexuality Homosexuals have 39% greater chance of being left handed than heterosexuals birth order and sex of siblings Homosexual men have more older brothers than heterosexual men

29 What Determines Sexual Orientation? (cont.)
Genetic factors homosexuality strongly familial identical twins > than fraternal twins, but problems with volunteer bias genetic marker research is ongoing gender nonconformity?

30 Gender Nonconformity

31 Gender Nonconformity Shows link between lack of conformity to stereotypical masculine and feminine behaviors and homosexuality. Research shows homosexuals experienced greater gender nonconformity than heterosexuals.

32 What Determines Sexual Orientation? (cont.)
Implications if biology is destiny may result in more acceptance genetic engineering, tolerance for “defective” orientation, and intolerance for behavioral choices

33 Societal Attitudes Cross-cultural attitudes vary greatly
Greece, Native America & Cuba Table 10.2 Fourteen countries with National Laws that Protect Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals from Discrimination.

34 Societal Attitudes (cont.)
Early to mid-1900s societal shift: from sinner to sickness 1973 APA removed homosexuality from list of mental disorders

35 Societal Attitudes (cont.)
Homophobia anti-homosexual attitudes, irrational fears or self-loathing may legitimize hate crimes directed at gays Hate Crimes Statistics Act causes of homophobia and hate crimes Lack of acceptance Traditional gender role stereotypes Extreme manifestation of cultural norms Denial of homosexual feelings

36 Societal Attitudes (cont.)
Fig Hate-crime laws expand across the nation.

37 Lifestyles Homosexual “lifestyle” is as varied as heterosexual
Coming out self-acknowledgment of orientation self-acceptance of orientation

38 Lifestyles (cont.) Fig Mean Age of Lesbian Identity Developmental Events by Age Group.

39 Lifestyles (cont.) Disclosure passing - risks & benefits
telling family can be most difficult PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), has over 400 chapters in U.S. to help parents and others develop understanding, acceptance and support. double minority: homosexuality & ethnicity involvement in the gay community

40 Lifestyles (cont.) Table 10.4 When did You Know? (When Gay or Bisexual College Students Say They Became Aware of Their Sexual Orientation)

41 Lifestyles (cont.) Family life
variations: gay couple, gay couple with children, single gay with children new reproductive technologies children raised by gays do not differ from those raised by straights

42 The Gay Rights Movement
Began in 1969 with the Stonewall incident Goals decriminalization of private sexual behavior end discrimination against homosexuals

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