sexual orientation

Topics: Homosexuality, Sexual orientation, Gender Pages: 6 (1739 words) Published: September 23, 2013
This essay will look into sexual orientation. This essay will identify and define sexual orientation focusing on homosexuality. It will further provide an overview of homosexuality and a summary. I will discuss my initial opinions, attitudes, biases and assumptions about sexual orientation and demonstrate how my awareness of this element of diversity increased throughout the module. I will further address how this awareness will impact my ability to counsel more competently, followed by a conclusion of all the issues covered.

Sexual orientation is distinct from other components of sex and gender, including biological sex which is the anatomical, physiological, and genetic characteristics associated with being male or female, gender identity which is the psychological sense of being male or female, and social gender role which is the cultural norms that define feminine and masculine behaviour. Reference People express their sexual orientation through behaviours with others, including such simple actions as holding hands or kissing. The American Psychological Association (2008) notices that sexual orientation is closely tied to the intimate personal relationships that meet deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy. In addition to sexual behaviours, these bonds include nonsexual physical affection between partners, shared goals and values, mutual support, and on-going commitment. According to the American Psychological Association (2008) sexual orientation is not merely a personal characteristic within an individual. Rather, one’s sexual orientation defines the group of people in which one is likely to find the satisfying and fulfilling romantic relationships that are an essential component even though the definitions of homosexuality generally refer to both men and women (American Psychological Association, 2008). According to Head (2013) a person's sexual orientation is defined by the gender to which he or she is sexually attracted. I disagree according to the definition of gender! Someone who is attracted to members of the same gender is characterized as gay or homosexual, someone who is attracted to members of the opposite gender is characterized as straight or heterosexual. Someone who has strong, viable attraction for people of both genders is characterized as bisexual or pansexual. Ellis (1901) argued that homosexuality was inborn and therefore not immoral, that it was not a disease, and that many homosexuals made outstanding contributions to society (Robinson, 1976). Sigmund Freud's basic theory of human sexuality was different from that of Ellis. He believed all human beings were innately bisexual, and that they become heterosexual or homosexual as a result of their experiences with parents and others (Freud, 1905). Nevertheless, Freud agreed with Ellis that a homosexual orientation should not be viewed as a form of pathology. Gonsiorek (1982) found that, although some differences have been observed in test results between homosexuals and heterosexuals, both groups consistently score within the normal range. Gonsiorek (1982) concluded that homosexuality in and of itself is unrelated to psychological disturbance or maladjustment. Good research! Some psychologists and psychiatrists still hold negative personal attitudes toward homosexuality. However, empirical evidence and professional norms do not support the idea that homosexuality is a form of mental illness or is inherently linked to psychopathology. Wells (2004) noticed that in the African oral history documents the presence of same-sex sexual relationships long before white people ever came to Africa. However, black community believes that being homosexual is Western. They even introduced corrective rape. This is a phenomenon in which men rape people they presume or know to be lesbians in order to convert them to heterosexuality. Such violence is often perpetrated by men who are complete strangers keen to establish what they view to be the...
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