Sexual Orientation

Sexual Orientation

Sexual Orientation

How a person characterizes their sexuality. "There are three distinct components of sexual orientation," said Ryan Watson, a professor of Human Development & Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. "It’s comprised of identity (I’m gay), behavior (I have sex with the same gender) and attraction (I'm sexually attracted to the same gender), and all three might not line up for all people." (Don't say "sexual preference," which implies it's a choice and easily changed.)

Gay

A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally or sexually attracted to people of their own gender; commonly used to describe men..

Lesbian

A woman who is emotionally or sexually attracted to other women.

Bisexual

A person who is emotionally or sexually attracted to more than one sex or gender.

Pansexual

A person who can be attracted to all different kinds of people, regardless of their biological sex or gender identity. Miley Cyrus opened up last year about identifying as pansexual.

Asexual

A person who experiences no sexual attraction to other people.

Demisexual

Someone who doesn't develop sexual attraction to anyone until they have a strong emotional connection.

Same-gender loving

A term some in the African-American community use instead of lesbian, gay or bisexual to express sexual attraction to people of the same gender.

Aromantic

A person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others.

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