Sexual orientation

sexualitysexual preferenceorientationsexual orientationsHeterosexual–homosexual continuumperceived sexual orientationa continuumorientationsheterosexual-homosexual continuumhomosexuality
Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender.wikipedia
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Bisexuality

bisexualbisexualsbi
These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, while asexuality (the lack of sexual attraction to others) is sometimes identified as the fourth category.
The term bisexuality is mainly used in the context of human attraction to denote romantic or sexual feelings toward both men and women, and the concept is one of the three main classifications of sexual orientation along with heterosexuality and homosexuality, all of which exist on the heterosexual–homosexual continuum.

Heterosexuality

heterosexualstraightheterosexuals
These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, while asexuality (the lack of sexual attraction to others) is sometimes identified as the fourth category.
As a sexual orientation, heterosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions" to persons of the opposite sex; it "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions."

Asexuality

asexualAsexual Visibility and Education NetworkAsexual Awareness Week
These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, while asexuality (the lack of sexual attraction to others) is sometimes identified as the fourth category.
It may be considered a sexual orientation or the lack thereof.

Androphilia and gynephilia

androphilicgynephiliaandrophilia
Androphilia and gynephilia are terms used in behavioral science to describe sexual orientation as an alternative to a gender binary conceptualization.
Androphilia and gynephilia are terms used in behavioral science to describe sexual orientation, as an alternative to a gender binary homosexual and heterosexual conceptualization.

Sexual attraction

sex appealsexual attractivenesssexual interest
Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender.
Though attempts have been made to devise objective criteria of sexual attractiveness and measure it as one of several bodily forms of capital asset (see erotic capital), a person's sexual attractiveness is to a large extent a subjective measure dependent on another person's interest, perception, and sexual orientation.

Environment and sexual orientation

environmental influencesenvironmentenvironment rather than an inborn trait
Scientists do not know the exact cause of sexual orientation, but they theorize that it is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences.
In the study of sexual orientation, some researchers distinguish environmental influences from hormonal influences, while other researchers include biological influences such as prenatal hormones as part of environmental influences.

Biology and sexual orientation

gay genebiologically-based theoriesbiology of sexual orientation
Although no single theory on the cause of sexual orientation has yet gained widespread support, scientists favor biologically-based theories.
While scientists do not know what determines an individual's sexual orientation, they theorize that it is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences.

Pansexuality

pansexualomnisexualall-sexual
For example, people may use other labels, such as pansexual or polysexual, or none at all.
Pansexuality may be considered a sexual orientation in its own right or a branch of bisexuality, to indicate an alternative sexual identity.

Homosexuality

homosexualgayhomosexuals
These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, while asexuality (the lack of sexual attraction to others) is sometimes identified as the fourth category.
As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions" to people of the same sex.

Lesbian

lesbianismlesbiansSapphic
The American Psychological Association states that "[s]exual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes" and that "[t]his range of behaviors and attractions has been described in various cultures and nations throughout the world. Many cultures use identity labels to describe people who express these attractions. In the United States, the most frequent labels are lesbians (women attracted to women), gay men (men attracted to men), and bisexual people (men or women attracted to both sexes). However, some people may use different labels or none at all".
The word lesbian is also used for women in relation to their sexual identity or sexual behavior, regardless of sexual orientation, or as an adjective to characterize or associate nouns with female homosexuality or same-sex attraction.

Gender

gender issuessexgenders
Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender.
Charles E. Hurst states that some people think sex will, "...automatically determine one's gender demeanor and role (social) as well as one's sexual orientation (sexual attractions and behavior). Gender sociologists believe that people have cultural origins and habits for dealing with gender. For example, Michael Schwalbe believes that humans must be taught how to act appropriately in their designated gender to fill the role properly, and that the way people behave as masculine or feminine interacts with social expectations. Schwalbe comments that humans "are the results of many people embracing and acting on similar ideas". People do this through everything from clothing and hairstyle to relationship and employment choices. Schwalbe believes that these distinctions are important, because society wants to identify and categorize people as soon as we see them. They need to place people into distinct categories to know how we should feel about them.

Sexology

sexologistsexologistssex researcher
Sexual orientation is reported primarily within biology and psychology (including sexology), but it is also a subject area in anthropology, history (including social constructionism), and law, and there are other explanations that relate to sexual orientation and culture.
Topics of study include sexual development (puberty), sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual relationships, sexual activities, paraphilias, and atypical sexual interests.

Non-heterosexual

non-heterosexual peoplenon-heterosexualitynon-heterosexuals
People who have a non-heterosexual sexual orientation that does not align with their sexual identity are sometimes referred to as 'closeted'.
Non-heterosexual is a word for a sexual orientation or sexual identity that is not heterosexual.

Gay

gayshomosexualgay men
The American Psychological Association states that "[s]exual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes" and that "[t]his range of behaviors and attractions has been described in various cultures and nations throughout the world. Many cultures use identity labels to describe people who express these attractions. In the United States, the most frequent labels are lesbians (women attracted to women), gay men (men attracted to men), and bisexual people (men or women attracted to both sexes). However, some people may use different labels or none at all".
In the 1960s, gay became the word favored by homosexual men to describe their sexual orientation.

Gender binary

binary genderbinarybinary gender system
Androphilia and gynephilia are terms used in behavioral science to describe sexual orientation as an alternative to a gender binary conceptualization.
These aspects may include expectations of dressing, behavior, sexual orientation, names or pronouns, preferred restroom, or other qualities.

Transgender

transtransgender peopletransgenderism
The complexity of transgender orientation is also more completely understood within this perspective.
Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation: transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or may decline to label their sexual orientation.

Closeted

the closetopenlycloset
People who have a non-heterosexual sexual orientation that does not align with their sexual identity are sometimes referred to as 'closeted'.
Closeted and in the closet are adjectives for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, LGBT people who have not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity and aspects thereof, including sexual identity and sexual behavior.

Human sexual activity

sexual activitysexual behaviorsex
Sexual identity and sexual behavior are closely related to sexual orientation, but they are distinguished, with sexual identity referring to an individual's conception of themselves, behavior referring to actual sexual acts performed by the individual, and orientation referring to "fantasies, attachments and longings."
Sexual activity can be classified into the gender and sexual orientation of the participants, as well as by the relationship of the participants.

Masculinity

masculinemasculinitiesmanliness
Androphilia describes sexual attraction to masculinity; gynephilia describes the sexual attraction to femininity.
Non-standard behavior may be considered indicative of homosexuality, despite the fact that gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation are widely accepted as distinct concepts.

J. Michael Bailey

Bailey StudyMichael Baileythe 'Bailey Study
Nevertheless, studies by J. Michael Bailey and Kenneth Zucker found a majority of the gay men and lesbians sampled reporting various degrees of gender-nonconformity during their childhood years.
He is best known among scientists for his work on the etiology of sexual orientation, from which he concluded that homosexuality is substantially inherited.

Trans man

trans mentransgender mentransgender man
A trans man solely attracted to women would be a straight man.
Although the literature indicates that most trans men identify as heterosexual (meaning they are sexually attracted to women), trans men, like cisgender men, can have any sexual orientation or sexual identity, such as homosexual, gay, bisexual, pansexual or asexual, and some trans men might consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable to them, in which case they may elect to use labels like queer.

Third gender

third sexthird-genderwaria
SGL also acknowledges relationships between people of like identities; for example, third gender individuals who may be oriented toward each other, and expands the discussion of sexuality beyond the original man/woman gender duality.
According to some scholars, the West is trying to reinterpret and redefine ancient third-gender identities to fit the Western concept of sexual orientation.

Coming out

came outopenlyopenly gay
Coming out of the closet to oneself, a spouse of the opposite sex, and children can present challenges that are not faced by gay and lesbian people who are not married to people of the opposite sex or do not have children.
Coming out of the closet, often shortened to coming out, is a metaphor for LGBT people's self-disclosure of their sexual orientation or of their gender identity.

Prenatal hormones and sexual orientation

prenatal hormonessexuality
Research has identified several biological factors which may be related to the development of sexual orientation, including genes, prenatal hormones, and brain structure.
The hormonal theory of sexuality holds that, just as exposure to certain hormones plays a role in fetal sex differentiation, such exposure also influences the sexual orientation that emerges later in the adult.

Sexual identity

polysexualsexual identitiessexuality
For example, people may use other labels, such as pansexual or polysexual, or none at all. These categories are aspects of the more nuanced nature of sexual identity and terminology.
Sexual identity may also refer to sexual orientation identity, which is when people identify or dis-identify with a sexual orientation or choose not to identify with a sexual orientation.