FRHD 2100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Sexual Orientation, Sexual Stimulation, Sexual Dysfunction

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Chapter 9 – Sexual Orientation
Coming to Terms with Terms
Sexual orientation: The directionality of one’s erotic attraction that is to member of
the same sex, the other sex, or both
Heterosexual orientation: Erotic attraction to-and preference for romantic relationship
with members of the other sex.
Homosexual orientation: Erotic attraction to-and preference for romantic relationships
with-members of your own sex.
Bisexual orientation: Erotic attraction to-and interest in romantic relationship with-
members of both sexes.
Classifying Sexual Orientation
Heteroerotic: Of an erotic nature and involving members of the other sex.
Homoerotic: Of an erotic nature and involving members of one’s own sex.
Chivers and Bailey (2005) – Exposed men and women to visual male and female
sexual stimuli and measured both their genital responses and their self-reports of
sexual arousal.
-Male heterosexuals responded genitally to female stimuli; gay males showed
the reverse pattern.
-Women, both heterosexual and lesbian, were more likely to be aroused by
both male and female stimuli.
The Kinsey Continuum – Kinsey and his colleagues (1948, 1953) found evidence of a
continuum of sexual orientation among the people they surveyed, with bisexuality
representing a mid-point between exclusively heterosexual and exclusively
homosexual orientations. Kinsey’s data suggested that close to 10% of the United
States population was gay or predominantly gay.
Kinsey’s research also showed that sexual behavior patterns can change dramatically
over time. Sexual experiences or feelings involving people of the same sex are
common, especially in adolescence, and don’t necessarily mean these individuals will
engage in sexual activity exclusively with people of their own sex in adulthood.
Challenges to the Kinsey Continuum: Storm (1980) found evidence that there are
separate dimensions of responsiveness to male-female sexual stimulation and same
sex stimulation. Bisexuals were found to be high in both dimensions and Asexuals
were found to be low in both dimensions.
Bisexuality –
Bixsexual people are sexually attracted to both males and females. Many have what
stronger attractions to one sex than the other. Weinrich and Klein (2002) speak of
bisexuals as being bi-gay, bi-straight, or bi-bi, meaning some have stronger leanings
toward people of their own sex (bi-gays), some toward people of the other sex (bi-
straights) and some to people of both sexes equally (bi-bis). Many have a stronger
attraction to one sex over the other. Some believe claims to bisexuality are “a cop
out” used by some to deny they are gay or lesbian. Others view it as a form of
experimentation.
Biphobia: Negative attitudes and feelings toward bisexual people, including
intolerance, hatred, and fear.
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Asexuality – Low sexual attraction to both sexes. Low interest in any kind of sexual
stimulation, including masturbation.
-Anthony Bogaert (2006) argues that asexuality should be considered a sexual
orientation.
-Research has been conducted in the past that suggests that asexuality isn’t
pathological and shouldn’t be seen as a sexual dysfunction.
Queer, Questioning, Transgendered, and two-spirited
Queer –
A positive, self-a?rming term for people who don’t see themselves @tting into
standard classi@cations of sexual orientation. Some lesbians are uncomfortable with
the term because it may hide some of the issues they face.
Questioning: A term often used by youth when they are in the process of discovering
their sexual identities.
Transgendered: Some argue that transgendered people should be included in
discussion of sexual orientation because they are the most visible minority of people
engaged in same-sex practices.
Two Spirited – Among aboriginal communities, refers to gender or social identity and
in many cases includes same-sex behavior.
A World of Diversity
The New Gay Teenager – Book written by American researcher Rich Savin-Williams,
arguing that today’s urban teenagers no longer accept traditional gender and sexual
orientations. Williams is critical of researchers who force participants to put
themselves into traditional categories, and of those who oversample troubled teens
giving an inaccurate picture of gay teens today.
Perspectives on Gay and Lesbian Sexual Orientations
Historical and Religious Perspectives –
Both Jews and Christians have referred to male-male sexual activity as the sin of
Sodom.
- Despite this, some churches marry gay couples
- Some churches allow gay and lesbian clergy to be ordained, if they remain
celibate.
- Struggles over gay rights occur internationally
Cross-Cultural perspectives
- Male-male sexual behaviours have been engaged in across cultures and history
Viewed as normal in 49 of 76 preliterate societies
- Has been considered a rite that marks initiation into manhood.
Perspectives on Gay and Lesbian Sexual Orientations
Cross-Species Perspectives
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