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…

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The concepts of sex, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity are commonly confused, but there are important distinctions between these ideas that can be vital parts of a person’s identity. Sexual Identity vs. Sexual Orientation Sex Sex is a term used to describe the biological status of a person. Sex is determined by one’s anatomy,…

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…

Sex Education Within Schools

Opinions regarding what constitutes an effective and appropriate sex education vary between countries, nations, cultures, and even among families. The sex education curriculum of any given society typically reflects the dominant cultural values and norms of the greater community. There has yet to be a nation today to achieve comprehensive standards. In past decades, “abstinence-only” sex education programs dominated…

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…

Polyamory

Polyamory (“poly” meaning many, and “amory” meaning “love” or “lovers”) is the practice of being open to multiple sexual or emotional relationships at once. There is a common misconception that polyamory is mainly about promiscuity.1 However, many polyamorous people engage in long-term relationships with multiple partners in which they are emotionally invested.2 Polyamory not cheating,…

An Overview of Sex and Sexuality

The topic of sex and sexuality is incorporated into nearly every culture around the world; however, many people are unfamiliar with the appropriate words used to define sexual expression and interactions, often using these terms interchangeably. While sex is the act of engaging in sexual behaviors, sexuality describes how an individual chooses to express themselves as a sexual being….