Heterosexuality

What is Heterosexuality? The term “heterosexuality” comes from the Greek affix “hetero,” meaning “different” or “other.” Heterosexuality is a sexual orientation in which a person is sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex. People who identify as heterosexual have emotional, sexual, and romantic relationships with people of the opposite sex. A common term for…

Homosexuality

What is homosexuality? Homosexuality (from the Greek affix “homo,” meaning “same”) is a sexual orientation in which a person, male or female, is sexually attracted to people of the same sex1. People who identify as homosexual may have emotional, sexual, and romantic relationships with people of the same sex3. Typically, a homosexual male identifies as…

Bisexuality

Bisexuality can be difficult to define, because it holds different meanings for different people. In its most basic definition, bisexuality is the ability to be sexually, emotionally, or romantically attracted to more than one sex or gender (bi often indicating two). The Bisexual Resource Center uses “bisexual” as an inclusive term for people who recognize…

Pansexuality

What is Pansexuality? Pansexuality is a sexual orientation describing a person who is attracted to all types of people, regardless of their sex or gender.1 The term “pansexuality,” sometimes referred to as omnisexuality, has its roots in the Greek prefix pan-, meaning “all” or “every” coming together as one.2 When combined with the suffix, –sexual, describing one’s…

Overview of Sexual Orientations

Sexual orientation is a term that describes a person’s sexual, emotional, or romantic attraction, as well as the gender(s) of the people they are attracted to.1, 2 Sexual orientation differs from gender identity in that gender identity describes a person’s psychological identification with a particular gender, rather than their attraction to people.  The Kinsey Scale—developed…

The Kinsey Scale

Contrary to popular belief, sexuality is not binary. Sexual orientation is not limited to the two categories of heterosexual and homosexual. Rather, there is a whole spectrum of sexuality and people may fall in between certain categories or change their minds over time. Biologist and sexologist Alfred C. Kinsey captures this idea with his seven-point…

Asexuality

Sexuality exists on a continuum, and not within a dichotomy of heterosexual and homosexual. Thus, there are many different types of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation describes a person’s preferences for whom they find emotionally, romantically, and sexually attractive. One type of sexual orientation is asexuality, or the lack of sexual attraction to individuals of any gender. For example, someone might…