Biology of Human SexualityDr. Martha RosenthalSexual OrientationDefinitions:GayLesbianBisexualQueerTranssexualTransvestiteDrag queenButchFemmeIncidence of homosexuality: What percentage of the population is gay?Very different estimates of incidence in American population. Range from 1% - 37%There is a perception that 10% of the population is gay. This number is not based on any research. It may have been extrapolated from Kinsey’s data, which was based on non-random samples. What is the definition of homosexuality?oSexual attractionThis yields the highest numbers—higher than same-sex behaviors or gay identityoSexual behavior? What constitutes sexual behavior? The frequency of sexual acts? The number of partners? oSexual identityShould both physical and psychological factors be considered?What time frame should be considered? Who are the subjects?How was the study conducted?1
Sexual orientation case studies (from Janell Carroll, Sexuality Now)Susan, 45 years old: I have been in an exclusive, monogamous lesbian relationship with Michele for 21 years. After 8 years with Michele, I decided I wanted a child and had sex a few times with a friend of mine, Jonathan. I now have a 13 year old son. Seeing how much I enjoyed having a child, my partner decided she wanted done, too, but because she had no desire to have intercourse with a man she had herself artificially inseminated. GAYAllie, 25 years old: I had my first sexual experience with a guy when I was 16 years old. I loved sex and enjoyed being with guys. However, I fell madly in love with a woman during my junior year of college. Our sex life was awesome. We drifted apart after college, and now I am sleeping only with men again.BISEXUALBill, 21 years old: When I was in my teens, a friend of mine and myself stroked each other to orgasm on three occasions. Although I now date only women, every so often while masturbating I fantasize about those experiences, which enhances my orgasm. I consider myself heterosexual and feel a bit uneasy about my fantasies. BISEXUALAnthony, 31 years old: I have been married for 15 years, and I have 2 children. My wife and I have a healthy sexual life, and I love her very much. I have never had sex with another woman since my marriage. However, about once every 2 or 3 months, I drive to a town about 2 hours away from where I live and pick up a man for quick, anonymous sex. I find these encounters to be the most exciting part of my sex life. BISEXUALPeter, 26 years old:I have been in prison for five years for dealing drugs. While in prison, I’ve engaged in anal and oral sex with other men, usually fantasizing that they were women. I longfor my scheduled release a few months from now when I plan to resume having sex exclusively with women, as I did before being sent to prison.