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Homosexuality and bisexuality

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Definitions & interpretations
of the term "sexual orientation"

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About "sexual orientation:"

The term "sexual orientation" is embraced by some groups, and rejected by others.

It is interpreted in terms of feelings of "emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectional attraction" 1 by some groups, and in terms of actual sexual behavior by others.

Groups cannot even agree on the number of actual sexual orientations:

bulletSome religious and social conservatives imply that there are two;
 
bulletSome conservatives list as many as 30.
 
bulletThe vast majority of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT), sexologists, religious liberals, therapists, legislators etc. have reached a consensus that there are three: heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality.

Confusion reigns. Discussion, debate and dialogue is essentially impossible.

Topics discussed in this section:

bulletThe American Psychological Association (APA) definition and its interpretation by various groups
 
bulletDefinitions by other groups
 
bulletMore information on conflicts over definitions
 
bulletDefinitions by most religious and social conservatives
bulletA unique definition created by fundamentalist Christian groups
 
bulletDefinitions in federal legislation and by other groups

Related essay:

bulletMeaning of the terms "homophobia" and "homophobic"

Site navigation: Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Basic data > here

References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality," APA Help Center, at: http://www.apahelpcenter.org/

Copyright © 2007 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2007-JUN-05
Latest update: 2009-JUN-30
Author: B.A. Robinson

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