Life Skills Development/Human Sexuality

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Concepts of Human Sexuality

A number of different classification schemes have been used to describe sexual orientation and several studies have found that much of the research about sexual orientation has failed to define the term at all. However, most definitions include a psychological component (such as the direction of an individual's erotic desire) and/or a behavioural component (which focuses on the sex of the individual's sexual partner/s). Some prefer simply to follow an individual's self-definition or identity.

The term sexual preference has a similar meaning, but is often used by those who believe that sexuality is fluid and incorporates an element of choice, as opposed to those who believe sexuality is fixed early in life. "Sexual identity" may be used as a synonym for sexual orientation. . In addition, "sexual identity" may be used to describe a person's perception of his or her own sex, rather than sexual orientation.

The term asexual can be used to describe people with no sexual interest at all, or those who have a sex drive, but not sexual attraction. The term celibacy or sexual abstinence is for a those who are not sexually active. Asexuality and celibacy are not compatible terms, as celibacy implies a deliberate effort to refrain from one's desire for sex. Autosexuality can be considered an orientation with a sexual focus on oneself. Monosexuality, a sexual orientation to only one sex/gender, is sometimes used to contrast with bisexuality.

The terms heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, monosexual, asexual and autosexual can all be used to describe phenomena unrelated to sexual orientation, for instance in phrases like "a homosexual act".

Now we will be looking at a few of the sexual orientations of people:

Homosexuality Etymologically, the word "homosexuality" is of Greek and Latin derivatives with the word "homo" meaning "same" and connotating sexual acts and affections between members of the same sex. The term refers to both sexual behavior and sexual attraction between people of the same gender or to a sexual orientation. When describing a sexual orientation, it refers to enduring sexual and romantic attraction toward others of the same sex. While the term gay often refers to a homosexual man, it sometimes refers to homosexual people of either gender. Lesbian denotes a homosexual woman.

Heterosexuality Heterosexuality also has Greek and Latin origins with "heteros" meaning "different" and the Latin for sex. It refers to sexual or romantic attraction between opposite sexes, and is the most common sexual orientation among humans. It can be used to describe individuals' sexual orientation, sexual history, or self-identification. The adjective heterosexual is used for intimate relationships and/or sexual relations between male and female individuals, who may or may not identify themselves as straight. Heterosexuality, as an identifier, is usually contrasted with homosexuality and bisexuality. The term straight is used predominantly to refer to self-identified heterosexuals of either sex. Unlike lesbian, there is no gender-specific term that is only used for self-identified heterosexual females.

Transvestite 'Transvestite' refers to someone who assumes the appearances and characteristics of the opposite sex; someone whose gender and sex do not match. This has been a long time phenomenon for example, some people have appearances looking like men and behave like men, but their biological make-up is female or vice versa.