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Sexual Orientation

By seabug Jul 07, 2008 272 Words
Sexual orientation is defined as any emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectionate attraction to another person. Sexual orientation ranges from homosexuality, same sex couples, heterosexual, opposite sex couples, and bisexual, where people experience emotions for either sex. A person’s sexual orientation is not a choice. People are not born gay or straight, for most people their sexual orientation does not emerge untill early adolescence, before any sexual experience has even occurred. Although people can choose to act upon their feelings, most psychologists do not consider a person’s sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that is voluntarily changed. In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the official manual that lists mental and emotional disorders. Many religious groups criticized this as no more than a political decision unsupported by any advances in psychological research. One advocate the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, still believe they can “cure” homosexuality through reparative therapy. Still many western mental health organizations have concluded that reparative therapy is completely ineffective and potentially harmful, and that a person's sexual orientation remains unchanged. However in many non-western post colonial colonies homosexual orientation is still considered a mental defect. Beginning in the twentieth century gay rights movements have led to changes in social acceptance and media portrayal. The legality of same sex marriage and non-gender-specific civil unions is one of the biggest goals for homosexual activists. Twenty seven states have amended their constitutions to limit marriage to same sex couples, some states going so far as to use language that forbids same sex domestic partnerships and civil unions as well.

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