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Chapter 14

Psychology 2075 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Sexual Orientation, Prejudice, Military Discharge

Course Code
PSYCH 2075

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Human Sexuality Chapter 14
Sexual Orientation and identity: Gay, lesbian, Bi, Straight, or Asexual?
Sexual Identity: one self-identity as gay, heterosexual, or a sexual
Sexual orientation: a person erotic and emotional orientation toward
members of his or her own gender or members of the other gender
Homosexual: a person whose sexual orientation is toward members of the
same gender. Use of the terms gay or lesbian to refer individuals is preferable
Heterosexual: a persons whose sexual orientation is toward members of the
other gender
Bisexual: a persons whose sexual orientation is toward both men and
Asexual: a person who is not attracted to men or women
Lesbian: a women whose sexual orientation is toward other women
A persons attraction may not match its behaviour
The term homosexual is problematic for three main reasons
o 1. In the past it has been used as a derogatory term
o 2. It emphasized sexual behaviour rather than sexual identity
o 3. It is ambiguous because even though it is a general term it often has
be used to refer to exclusively gay men
Straight: heterosexual
Pansexual individuals are open to relationships with people of any sex,
gender or gender identity
o Not everyone uses these terms because in the past they have been
used as derogatory
How many people are Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Straight or Asexual?
In 2003 and 2005 CCHS survey adults 18-59 and asked them if they
considered themselves heterosexual, homosexual or bi sexual
o 1.4 percent of people considered themselves homosexual
o 0.7 percent of people considered themselves bisexual
Women are more likely to describe there changes in there sexual orientation
The NFSG about 2 percent of men and 1 percent of women exclusively
According to the large British study; 1 percent of people think of themselves
as a sexual
o These people have less sexual desire but not necessarily no desire for
In a study including children, only about 3 percent of people believed
themselves to be homosexual
Its hard to split people into the categories like heterosexual and homosexual
groups because they are completely different
Kinsey put together a scale running from 0 (exclusively heterosexual
experience) to 6 (exclusively homosexual experience)

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o Problem because the scale only refers to behaviour and no attraction
o Others also say that this is to simple
You could also build a two layer schema which is better for people who are a
The majority of people are exclusively heterosexual, therefore there are
negative stereotypes against gays and lesbians resulting in discrimination
Attitudes toward gay men and lesbians
The attitudes of homosexuals in Canada are increasingly becoming positive
Canadians are more open to same sex marriage than Americans are
Homophobia: a strong, irrational fear of gay men and lesbians; negative
attitudes and reactions to gay men and lesbians
Some scholars prefer to use the term homonegativty: negative attitudes and
behaviours toward gay men and lesbians; sometimes called anti-gay
prejudice or sexual prejudice
Heterosexism: the belief that everyone is heterosexual and heterosexuality
Is the only legitimate, acceptable and healthy way for people to be;
homosexuality is denigrated
o This can have a serous negative affect on people, especially when they
are young and trying to figure out there sexual identity
Canadians over the age of 15 who identify themselves as gay or lesbian are
2.5 percent as likely to be victims of violent crime than heterosexuals
Media plays a big role; some find that they make gay or lesbians laughable, or
present them in unstable relationships, while others use humour which is
seen as helpful
Attitudes toward bisexuals
They are often thought of as internally conflicted
Research has found that few bisexuals actually have both sex partners at one
Bisexuality is some times seen as fence sitting, theta they haven’t really
decided who they are and what they prefer
Gay men, Lesbians, and bisexuals as a minority group
The criminal code says that people that want to engage in anal intercourse
must be at least 18 and must be done in private, this discriminated against
gay men as they can not experiment there are no similar rules for vaginal
Prior to 1992 homosexuality was grounds for dishonorable discharge from
the military
In 2003 British Columbia and Ontario were the first courts to legalize same
sex marriage
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