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Psychology 2075 Study Guide - Heterosexism, Homoeroticism, World Health Organization

Course Code
PSYCH 2075
Corey Isaacs

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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
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

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Roughly about 90% of men and women are exclusively
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 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
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
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