Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Chapter 10
Sexual Orientations
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
A Continuum of Sexual Orientations
• Terminology
– homosexual orientation: primary erotic psychological
emotional and social orientation is to same sex
• gay males
• lesbian females
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
A Continuum of Sexual Orientations (cont.)
• Terminology
– bisexual orientation: attraction to both same- &
opposite sex partners
– heterosexual orientation: attraction to opposite sex
partner (aka straight)
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
A Continuum of Sexual Orientations (cont.)
• Kinsey's 7-point continuum
– men are more likely to fall at the extremes
– may depend on how question is asked
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
A Continuum of Sexual Orientations (cont.)
Fig. 10.1 Kinsey’s continuum of sexual orientation (adapted from Kinsey et al., 1948,
p. 638).
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
A Continuum of Sexual Orientations (cont.)
• Bisexuality
– context matters more than contact
– categories: real, transitory, transitional, or denial of
gayness
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Real Orientation
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Real Orientation
• Capable of feeling attracted to both sexes.
• Might or night not be sexually active with more than one
partner at a time.
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Transitory Orientation
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Transitory Orientation
• A temporary involvement by people who are actually
heterosexual or homosexual
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Transitory Orientation
• A temporary involvement by people who are actually
heterosexual or homosexual
• Examples: single-sex boarding schools, prisons
• The people involved consider themselves heterosexual
even when involved in same-sex behavior, and they
resume heterosexual relationships when opportunities
present themselves again.
• Some prostitutes and male hustlers may do business
with either sex and yet be exclusively heterosexual or
queer in their personal lives.
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Transitional Orientation
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Transitional Orientation
• A person is changing from one orientation to another
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Transitional Orientation
• A person is changing from one orientation to another
• Example: A man who has been married with children for
many years in an effort to fit in with social norms. He
then meets a male co-worker and decides to leave his
wife for him.
• The transition from bisexuality to homosexuality may be
most common during adolescence (Social pressures to
conform may have one identify initially as bisexual. As
one grows more comfortable with oneself, may accept
orientation as completely homosexual).
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Asexuality
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Asexuality
• Feeling no sexual attraction to either sex
• Is a sexual orientation NOT a choice
• According to a study in Britain: 1% of individuals are
asexual
• Possible Factors:
– Women more than men
– Late menstruation
– Lower education level and socioeconomic status
– Short statue and health problems
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
A Continuum of Sexual Orientations (cont.)
Table 10.1 Who’s Straight, Gay or Bi? How Do You Measure?
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
What Determines Sexual Orientation?
Psychosocial Theories
• “By Default” Theory
• The Seduction Myth
• Freud’s Theory
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Psychosocial theories
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Psychosocial theories
• Relate to life incidents, parenting patterns, or
psychological attributes of the individual vs. biological
theories
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
The “By Default” Myth
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
The “By Default” Myth
• Unhappy heterosexual experiences cause a person to
become homosexual.
• “All a lesbian needs is a good lay” or “He just needs to
find the right woman” reflect that homosexuality is a lack
of positive heterosexual experience.
• Contrary Evidence?
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
The Seduction Myth
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
The Seduction Myth
• The belief that young women and men become
homosexual because they have been seduced by older
homosexual people or because they have “caught” it
from someone else – particularly a well-liked and
respected teacher who is homosexual.
• Contrary Evidence?
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Freud’s Theory
• Psychoanalysis
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Freud’s Theory
• Psychoanalysis: child’s relationship with primary
caregivers is primarily responsible for adult’s life.
• In “normal development” we all pass through
“homoerotic” phase.
• Boys could become fixated at this homosexual phase if
they had a poor relationship with their father and an
overly close relationship with their mother.
• Girls could become lesbians if they had poor
relationships with their mothers and overly close
relationships with their fathers.
• Contrary Evidence?
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
What Determines Sexual Orientation? (cont.)
• The influence of choice
– may be more important for women than men
– men are more likely to be categorical in sexual
orientation
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
What Determines Sexual Orientation? (cont.)
• Biological theories
– adult hormone levels do not differ
– prenatal hormone levels
• Relationship between index and ring finger length
• correlation of handedness with homosexuality
– Homosexuals have 39% greater chance of
being left handed than heterosexuals
• birth order and sex of siblings
– Homosexual men have more older brothers
than heterosexual men
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
What Determines Sexual Orientation? (cont.)
• Genetic factors
– homosexuality strongly familial
– identical twins > than fraternal twins, but problems
with volunteer bias
– genetic marker research is ongoing
– gender nonconformity?
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Gender Nonconformity
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Gender Nonconformity
• Shows link between lack of conformity to stereotypical
masculine and feminine behaviors and homosexuality.
• Research shows homosexuals experienced greater
gender nonconformity than heterosexuals.
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
What Determines Sexual Orientation? (cont.)
• Implications if biology is destiny
– may result in more acceptance
– genetic engineering, tolerance for “defective”
orientation, and intolerance for behavioral choices
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Societal Attitudes
• Cross-cultural attitudes vary greatly
– Greece, Native America & Cuba
Table 10.2 Fourteen countries with National Laws that Protect Gays, Lesbians and
Bisexuals from Discrimination.
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Societal Attitudes (cont.)
• Early to mid-1900s societal shift: from sinner to sickness
– 1973 APA removed homosexuality from list of mental
disorders
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Societal Attitudes (cont.)
• Homophobia
– anti-homosexual attitudes, irrational fears or selfloathing
– may legitimize hate crimes directed at gays
– Hate Crimes Statistics Act
– causes of homophobia and hate crimes
• Lack of acceptance
• Traditional gender role stereotypes
• Extreme manifestation of cultural norms
• Denial of homosexual feelings
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Societal Attitudes (cont.)
Fig. 10.2 Hate-crime laws expand across the nation.
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Lifestyles
• Homosexual “lifestyle” is as varied as heterosexual
• Coming out
– self-acknowledgment of orientation
– self-acceptance of orientation
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Lifestyles (cont.)
Fig. 10.3 Mean Age of Lesbian Identity Developmental Events by Age Group.
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Lifestyles (cont.)
• Disclosure
– passing - risks & benefits
– telling family can be most difficult
• PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of
Lesbians and Gays), has over 400 chapters in U.S.
to help parents and others develop understanding,
acceptance and support.
– double minority: homosexuality & ethnicity
– involvement in the gay community
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Lifestyles (cont.)
Table 10.4 When did You Know? (When Gay or Bisexual College Students Say They
Became Aware of Their Sexual Orientation)
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
Lifestyles (cont.)
• Family life
– variations: gay couple, gay couple with children,
single gay with children
• new reproductive technologies
– children raised by gays do not differ from those raised
by straights
Our Sexuality, 9th Edition, Robert L. Crooks
Chapter 10: Sexual Orientations
The Gay Rights Movement
• Began in 1969 with the Stonewall incident
• Goals
– decriminalization of private sexual behavior
– end discrimination against homosexuals
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