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Sexual Orientation and Identity Ch 14.docx

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Psychology 2075
Corey Isaacs

Sexual Orientation and Identity 4/14/2013 7:18:00 PM Chapter 14 Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Straight or Asexual?  Sexual identity – one’s self identity as gay, heterosexual, bisexual or asexual  Sexual orientation – a person’s erotic and emotional orientation toward members of their own gender or members of the other gender  Homosexual – a person whose sexual orientation is toward members of the same gender (gay or lesbian)  Heterosexual – a person whose sexual orientation is toward members of the opposite gender (straight)  Bisexual – a person whose sexual orientation is toward both men and women  Asexual – a person who is not attracted to either men or women  Pansexual – open to relationships with people of any sex, gender or gender identity How Many People are Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Straight or Asexual?  Many people’s identities change over time  Typological conceptualization – where heterosexual and homosexual are seen as completely different, black and white  Kinsey – conceptualized different behaviours not as two separate categories, but on a continuum o 0 – exclusive heterosexual experience o 6 – exclusive homosexual experience o The problem with this scale is that it only refers to behaviour and not attraction  A solution is a 2D scale with variations of homoeroticism and heteroeroticism  High on homoeroticism and low on heteroeroticism is gay  High on both is bisexual  High on heteroeroticism and low on homoeroticism is straight  Low on both is asexual  Roughly about 90% of men and women are exclusively heterosexual  About 10% of men and women have had at least one same-sex experience in adulthood  About 2% of men and 1% of women exclusively engage in same- sex behaviour Attitudes  Attitudes towards gay men and lesbians o The attitudes of Canadians towards gay men and lesbians are becoming more accepting  More than 2/3 of Canadians approve of homosexuality  Only 38% of Americans approve  61% of Canadians are in favour of same-sex marriage  Only 33% of Americans are in favour o Homophobia – a strong, irrational fear of gay men and lesbians expressed as negative attitudes towards them o Homonegativity – negative attitudes and behaviours toward gay men and lesbians, anti-gay prejudice or sexual prejudice  Old fashioned homonegativity – based on religious beliefs that homosexuality is not “normal”  Modern homonegativity – reflects beliefs that gay men and lesbians exaggerate the importance of their sexual orientation or make unnecessary demands for social change o Heterosexism – the belief that everyone is heterosexual and heterosexuality is the only legitimate, acceptable and healthy way for people to be o There is a high rate of violence among Canadian LGBs o 1995 – Parliament passed a hate crime sentencing bill which specifies longer sentences for hate-motivated crimes o 2004 – Parliament passed a private member’s bill banning hate propaganda that targets gay men and lesbians  Attitudes toward bisexuals o Bisexuals are often thought of as internally conflicted or psychologically immature o Stereotyped as non-monogamous, needing both same-sex and other sex partners  Research has found that bisexuals rarely have a male and female partner at the same time o Often told they are denying their true identity – which is either gay, lesbian or heterosexual  Gay men, lesbians and bisexuals as a minority group o Same-sex activity was decriminalized in 1969 in Pierre Trudeau o Before the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, no human rights complaints by gay men and lesbians were successful o 1992 – LGBs can no longer be denied the right to join the military or serve in the military o 2003 – courts in Ontario and BC were the first to legalize same-sex marriage, ruling that federal laws federal laws restricting marriage to one man and one woman violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms  2004 – courts in Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and the Yukon made the same ruling  2005 – House of Commons passed a bill ensuring that marriage is a right for all Canadians regardless of sexual orientation o How can this prejudice be changed?  Workshops for university students  The media can play a less comedic role  A strong sex education across all grade levels Life Experiences of LGB Individuals  Covert – a gay man or lesbian who is “in the closet”, keeps their sexual orientation a secret  Overt – a gay man or lesbian who is “out of the closet”, is open about their sexual orientation  Coming out – the process of acknowledging to oneself, and the to others that one is gay or lesbian  Identity development: o Identity confusion – am I gay? o Identity comparison – I may be gay o Identity tolerance – I probably am gay o Identity acceptance – I am gay o Identity pride – gay vs. straight view, strong identification with the gay group o Identity synthesis – person no longer holds an us vs. them point of view o Criticisms:  Some don’t go through these stages and some don’t go through
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