The Concept Of Sexual Orientation

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Abstract The purpose of the study was to synthesize and critically evaluate the concept of sexual orientation, especially as it is studied and presented in large, population-based and school-based adolescent survey literature. Specifically, the study examined methodology and instrumentation used for the assessment and measurement of youth sexual orientation present in refereed literature. Of the forty-eight empirical studies, five included items that assessed all three dimensions of sexual orientation. The majority of studies used surveys that exclusively assessed sexual orientation identity (n = 30; 63%). The majority of those surveys provided between four and six identity response options with parenthetical descriptions, including the…show more content…
(World Health Organization, 2006) Sexual orientation involves an individual’s sexual attraction, identity, arousals, fantasies, and behaviors towards persons of the same sex, other sex, or both sexes (Bell, Weinberg, & Hammersmith, 1981; LeVay & Valente, 2006; LeVay & Baldwin, 2012), and is dynamic (not static) in nature (Klein, Sepekoff, & Wolf, 1985; Berkey, Perelman-Hall, & Kurdek, 1990). Health researchers have proposed that sexual orientation is a multi-dimensional aspect of a person’s identity that consists of at least three dimensions existing on a continuum (Sell, 1997): sexual orientation identity, sexual attraction, and sexual behavior (Sell & Petrulio, 1996; Laumann et al., 1994; Hughes & Eliason, 2002; Solarz, 1999; Savin-Williams, 2006). Sexual Orientation Identity. One of the earliest sexual orientation identity classification schemes proposed in the 1860s (Sell, 2007) consisted of three categories: Dionings (heterosexual), Urnings (homosexual), and Uranodionings (bisexual). Homosexual women (Urningins) and heterosexual women (Dioningins) maintained separate categories from men (Sell, 2007). Sexual orientation identity can be described as an individual’s conception of his or her own sexuality (Cass, 1984; Coker, Austin, & Schuster, 2010). Heterosexual (straight), homosexual (gay and lesbian), and

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