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For the past century, part of what sociologists have studied is how social forces affect
sexuality, something that is often considered to be largely natural, taken for granted and
in the biological arena. While biology no doubt has an effect on sexual identities and
behaviors, sociologists have shown that our sexualities are also social. For example
many societies put restrictions on sexual behaviors, and other studies have shown that
what is considered attractive also varies across societies. Sexual orientation refers to
whether individuals are attracted to the other sex, the same sex, or both. While we have
categories for each of these states research has shown that most people do not fit
neatly into any one category and that sexuality can be thought of as a continuum rather
than separate categories. Importantly, many societies today are what sociologists call ‘hetero-normative.’ This is
one possible reason that sexual minorities may be secretive or delay squaring one's
identity (with self and others). Empirical evidence around public attitudes and
institutional stances related to sexual minorities has shown shifts in the historic hetero-
normativity of society. Write an essay that shows your ability to think critically about the changing experience
of sexual minorities, using evidence from the chapter and from your life on campus. In
the essay, consider whether we still live in a hetero-normative world. In the essay

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