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…

LGBTQ Rights in the U.S.

Legislation specifically designed to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) population are relatively new. Historically, the Supreme Court has overwhelmingly chosen to limit the rights of the LGBTQ community. In the 1973 court case Baker V. Nelson, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no guarantee of marriage for same-sex couples in…

Sodomy Laws in the U.S.

  Perhaps the most difficult laws to define regarding sexual behavior are sodomy laws. The most widely used definition of sodomy is “crimes against nature,” meaning that any non-penile/vaginal intercourse, such as oral and anal sex, is considered illegal.1 However, sodomy laws can vary from state to state. Though some states target both homosexual and…

Cross-dressing

Fetishistic Transvestism Transvestism, most commonly referred to as “cross-dressing,” refers to the act of experiencing sexual arousal from wearing clothes typically associated with the opposite gender. For example, a man may become sexually aroused by wearing a bra and skirt while a woman may become aroused by wearing a jock strap. Cross-dressing is typically a brief,…

Homosexuality and Religion

Disclaimer: In this article, for the sake of simplicity and consistency, we will be using the term “homosexual” as a blanket term to represent all queer, bisexual, pansexual, questioning, and other non-heterosexual orientations. If you would like to learn more, you can read our Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity article. If you need resources or…

Genderqueer

The word “genderqueer” is a term used to describe one whose gender identity does not necessarily fit within the male/female gender binary. Gender identity is an inner sense and experience of one’s gender, whether male-identifying, female-identifying, trans*, or non-binary.1 Though many individuals identify with the male or female labels, others reject this strict gender binary. Some identify with specific labels on the spectrum of…

The Legalities Shaping Same-Sex Marriage

  The issue of marriage has long been debated. For centuries, religion and tradition have constantly tried to control who gets married and to whom. Western society has always assumed that marriage should be between one man and one woman; in our ever-progressing society, however, our understanding of the love associated with the bond of…

The Process Of Coming Out

Disclaimer: In this article, for the sake of simplicity and consistency, we will be using the term “queer” as an umbrella term to represent all gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, questioning, and other non-heterosexual orientations. If you would like to learn more, you can read our Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity article. If you need resources…

Transgender

Sex vs. Gender In order to understand someone who identifies as transgender, it is important to understand the distinction between sex and gender. Sex refers to a person’s biological and anatomical traits: their hormones (androgens and estrogens level), chromosomes (XX or XY, etc), and their genitalia.4 An individual is typically assigned to a category of…