English IV Period 6
18 November 2013
Homosexuality is the sexual orientation toward people of the same sex. Female homosexuals are referred to as Lesbians. Years ago, the term gay has been applied to both homosexual women and men. The potential for homosexual behavior appears to be a basic part of human sexuality, since many people experience homosexual interest, curiosity, or activity at some point in their lives. Homosexual behavior has also been observed in most animal species. Many homosexuals prefer to be called gay or, in the case of women, lesbian. When individuals engage in both heterosexual and homosexual behaviors, they are called bisexual. Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and sexual attractions to men, women or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. However, sexual orientation is usually discussed in terms of three categories: heterosexual, gay/lesbian, and bisexual. This range of behaviors and attractions has been described in various cultures and nations throughout the world. Many cultures use identity labels to describe people who express these attractions.
Sexual orientation is distinct from other components of sex and gender, including biological sex, gender identity, and social gender role (the cultural norms that define feminine and masculine behavior). Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as if it were solely a characteristic of an individual, like biological sex, gender identity or age. This perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is defined in terms of relationships with others. People express their sexual orientation through behaviors with others, including such simple actions as holding hands or kissing. Thus, sexual orientation is closely tied to the intimate personal relationships that...
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