Discussion PostDefining Sexual Orientation: Min word count 200
Savin-Williams presents three different ways of defining sexual orientation (sexual/romantic attraction, sexual behavior, and sexual identity) and points out that there is often inconsistency among these three considerations. What are the implications of this inconsistency for our understanding of the origins of sexual orientation? If you were a researcher how would you define sexual orientation? Why?
- The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid: https://www.americaninstituteofbisexuality.org/thekleingrid
- Reading: Savin-Williams, R. C. (2006). Who’s Gay? Does It Matter? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(1), 40-44. (PDF)
- Video: TED iO Tillett Wright: Fifty shades of gay (18 mins)
Expert Solution Preview
Sexual orientation has been a topic of interest for medical and scientific researchers for many years now. It is defined as the innate preference of individuals to be attracted sexually to either the same gender, opposite gender, or both. However, there is often inconsistency among different aspects of sexual orientation, including sexual/romantic attraction, sexual behavior, and sexual identity. In this discussion, we will explore the implications of this inconsistency for understanding the origins of sexual orientation and how researchers can define sexual orientation.
Implications of inconsistency in defining sexual orientation:
Inconsistency among the different aspects of sexual orientation makes it challenging to understand the origins of sexual orientation accurately. For instance, an individual may identify as heterosexual (sexual identity) but engage in sexual activities with individuals of the same gender (sexual behavior). The inconsistency can create biases and assumptions that may hinder the understanding of sexual orientation. It is, therefore, important to recognize that each aspect of sexual orientation doesn’t always align with the other aspects.
Defining sexual orientation:
As a researcher, defining sexual orientation would require taking into account all aspects of sexual orientation; sexual attraction, sexual behavior, and sexual identity. One effective way of doing this is by using the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, which includes nine dimensions ranging from sexual attraction to self-identification. Additionally, using different measures such as self-report questionnaires and physiological measures, can improve the accuracy of defining sexual orientation. It is crucial to understand that the definition of sexual orientation should be comprehensive, accurate, and sensitive to diversity.
Inconsistency among different aspects of sexual orientation limits our understanding of the origin of sexual orientation. To define sexual orientation comprehensively, researchers should consider all aspects, including sexual attraction, sexual behavior, and sexual identity. A comprehensive definition is crucial in the development of interventions and creating a greater understanding of the diversity and complexity of sexual orientation.