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Sexual identification terms

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

These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexualityhomosexualityand bisexuality[1] [2] while asexuality the lack of sexual attraction to others is sometimes identified as the fourth category.

These categories are aspects of the more nuanced nature of sexual identity and terminology. Androphilia describes sexual attraction to masculinity ; gynephilia describes the sexual attraction to femininity.

Scientists do not know the exact cause of sexual orientation, but they theorize that it is caused Sexual identification terms a complex interplay of genetic Sexual identification terms, hormonaland environmental influences. Sexual orientation is reported primarily within biology and psychology including sexologySexual identification terms it is also a subject area in anthropologyhistory including social constructionismand law[19] and there are other explanations that relate to sexual orientation and culture.

Sexual orientation is traditionally defined as including heterosexualitybisexualityand homosexualitywhile asexuality is considered the fourth category of sexual orientation by some researchers and has been defined as the absence of a traditional sexual orientation. An asexual has little to no sexual attraction to people. Some people prefer simply to follow an individual's self-definition or identity.

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

In the United States, the most frequent labels are lesbians women attracted to womengay men men attracted to menand bisexual people men or women attracted to both sexes. However, some people Sexual identification terms use different labels or none at all". 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 femalegender identity the psychological sense of being male or femaleand social gender role the cultural norms that define feminine and masculine behavior ".

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.

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

Other Terminology:

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

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 identity may also be used to describe a person's perception of his or her own sexrather than sexual orientation. The term sexual preference has a similar meaning to sexual orientationand the two terms are often used interchangeably, but sexual preference suggests a degree of voluntary choice. Androphilia and gynephilia or gynecophilia are terms used in behavioral science Sexual identification terms describe sexual attraction, as an alternative to a homosexual and heterosexual conceptualization.

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

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Related terms such as pansexual and Sexual identification terms do not make any such assignations to the subject. Same Sexual identification terms loving SGL is considered to be more than a different term for gay; it introduces the concept of love into the discussion.

The complexity of transgender orientation is also more completely understood within this perspective. 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. 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. 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.

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

This usage is particularly advantageous when discussing the partners of transsexual or intersexed individuals. These newer terms also do not carry the social weight of the former ones. Sexual identification terms researchers advocate use of the terminology to avoid bias inherent in Western conceptualizations of human sexuality. 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.

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Some researchers, such as Bruce Bagemihlhave criticized the labels "heterosexual" and "homosexual" as confusing and degrading. These labels thereby ignore the individual's personal sense of gender identity taking precedence over biological sex, rather than the other way around. The earliest writers on sexual orientation usually understood it to be intrinsically linked to the subject's own sex. 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.

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

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

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Nevertheless, studies by J. 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. 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.

A trans man solely attracted to women would be a straight man. Sexual orientation sees greater intricacy when non-binary understandings of both sex male, female, or intersex and gender man, woman, transgender, third genderetc. Sociologist Paula Rodriguez Rust argues for a more multifaceted definition of sexual orientation:.

Most alternative models of sexuality 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 Sexual identification terms concerns of discrimination and religious ostracism.

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 Sexual identification terms identity can change throughout an individual's life, and may or may not align with biological sex, sexual behavior or actual sexual orientation.

Some research suggests that "[f]or some [people] the focus of sexual interest will shift at various points through the life span Innate bisexuality is an idea introduced by Sigmund Freud. According to this theory, all humans are born bisexual in a very broad sense of the term, that of incorporating general aspects of both sexes.

In Freud's view, this was true anatomically and therefore also psychologically, with sexual attraction to both sexes being one part of this psychological bisexuality. Freud believed that in the course of sexual development the masculine side would normally become dominant in men and the feminine side in women, but that as adults everyone still has desires derived from both the masculine and the feminine sides of their natures.

Freud did not claim that everyone is bisexual in the sense of feeling the same level of sexual attraction to Sexual identification terms genders. The exact causes for the development of a particular sexual orientation have yet to be established. 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.

It was once thought that homosexuality was the result of faulty psychological development, resulting from childhood experiences and troubled relationships, including childhood sexual abuse. It has been found that this was based on prejudice and misinformation. Research has identified several biological factors which may be related to the development of sexual orientation, including genesprenatal hormonesand brain structure. No single controlling cause has been "Sexual identification terms," and research is continuing in this area.

Though Sexual identification terms generally believe that sexual orientation is not determined by any one factor but by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences, [12] [14] [15] with biological factors involving a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment, [14] [16] they favor biological models for the cause.

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