Sexual Orientation

A person's sexual orientation refers to a lasting pattern of emotional, cognitive, psychological, romantic and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes simultaneously. It is generally agreed that sexual orientation exists along a continuum, ranging from exclusive heterosexuality (i.e. straight) on one end to exclusive homosexuality (i.e. gay) on the opposite end, with varying degrees of bisexuality between these two points. Most people are believed to be situated somewhere along this continuum. While a minority of people are considered to be either exclusively straight or gay, the majority of people are believed to be moving somewhere in-between these opposite ends, although demonstrating a preference for or tendency towards either end. It is generally agreed that one's sexual orientation is not a choice but is determined by approximately age 4, which is well before the age at which conscious choice would indicate.

It is important to note here that one's sexual orientation is not necessarily associated with one's biological sex, gender identity, gender role, or even sexual practice. One's sexual orientation is not so clear-cut. For example: Paul is a biological male, with the conviction that he is male, but assume a more feminine gender role, yet self-identify as being heterosexual and attracted to women only. Mel, on the other hand, is a biological male, with the firm conviction that she is female, assume a feminine gender role, and self identify as lesbian, despite attractions to the opposite sex. These are generic examples, but they illustrate that you can NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!

Lastly, it is important to state that being bisexual is in no way related to being intersex or transgender.

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