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Sexual Orientation : Sex And Gender

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Today I will be weighing in on the essentialism vs constructioni^^^sm debate on sexual orientation. Before I proceed further I must define sexual orientation which in turn needs me to define sex and gender.

What is sexual orientation?

There is the behavioral where one’s sexual orientation is defined by the sex of the person that he or she has sex with. If one has sex with a person of the same sex then they are homosexual and if they have sex with someone from the different sex then they are heterosexual. The problem with this view is that someone who grew up in a culture where homosexuality is not allowed might repress their homosexual thoughts and get married and have sex with someone from the opposite sex. By this definition they would be heterosexual but intuitively we’ll know that they are homosexual.

A second definition lets a person identify their sexual orientation. This has the advantage that a person has more knowledge about themselves than other people and should know where his sexual desires lie. The problem with this definition however is that in a repressive culture a person may convince themselves that they are indeed heterosexual and push down their homosexual feelings.

The way I’ll define sexual orientation is how a person would react in an ideal scenario if he had sexual freedom and could have sex with anyone he likes. Although this is a better definition there is a slight problem in the fact that sometimes it is not possible to imagine ideal scenarios
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