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Chapter 14

PSY354H5 Chapter 14: Sexual Orientation

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Brett Beston

NotesFromReadingCHAPTER14SEXUALORIENTATIONPGS446481447457FORTESTThere Is a Spectrum of Sexual Orientations Sexual Orientation The direction of a persons sexual feelings toward persons of the same sex the other sex or both sexesHeterosexuality Sexual attraction only or predominantly to persons of the other sexHomosexuality Sexual attraction only or predominantly to persons of ones own sexBisexuality Sexual attraction to persons of both sexesStraight Colloquial term for heterosexualGay Colloquial term of homosexual Bi Colloquial term for bisexualLesbian Homosexualapplied to women onlyKinsey Scale A 7point scale of sexual orientation devised by Alfred KinseyoRanged from group 0 exclusively attracted to the opposite sex to group 6 exclusively attracted to the same sex with the intervening groups defining various degrees of bisexualityoResearchers instead use a 5point scaleAt least 8590 of en and women say that they are attracted sexually only to persons of the other sex and another several percent say that they are attracted mostly to the other sexLess than 2 of men and less than 1 of women say that they are attracted only to persons of the same sex as themselvesMore men than women are exclusively homosexual whereas more women than men fall in the intermediate group representing various degrees of bisexuality Sexual Orientation is Not an Isolated Trait GenderVariant Atypical in gender characteristicsGay peopleon averagedo differ in a number of genderrelated traits from straight people of the same sexDuring childhoodoBoys who later become gay men tend to engage less in roughandtumble play aggressive behaviour and athletics to be less focused on typical boys toys and boys activities to enjoy interacting with girls to have a social reputation as a sissy and to have less stereotypically male career plansoGirls who later become lesbians tend to be very active physically to be considered a tomboy to have maletypical career plans and so onIn adulthoodoGay men are on average genderatypical in some of the sexdifferentiated cognitive traits they are less aggressive than straight men perform less well on malefavouring tests such as mental rotation and target accuracy and perform better on some femalefavouring tests such as verbal fluency object location memory and face recognitionoLesbians also score in genderatypical fashion in some testsdoing better than heterosexual women in mental rotation and worse in objectlocation memory On averageoGay and bisexual men describe themselves as less masculine than do straight men and lesbians and bisexual women describe themselves as less feminine than do straight womenoGays and lesbians also tend to be gender nonconformatists in their choice of occupations and recreational interestGaydar The ability to recognize gay people on the basis of unconscious behaviours voice quality gait and so on
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