Sexual orientation is still being one of the most discussing topics in our society. Though the researches of human sexuality have been lead since the times of Sigmund Freud, there are still questions to discuss. The problem of identifying the level of social influence on the formation of sexual orientation is still not solved, for example. In this work I am going to explore the connection between gender and sex, to discuss the sexual orientation and stereotypes it is bounded by.
The perception of one’s sexual orientation is very important for the personal psychological well-being. The term “sexual orientation” is closely connected with such conceptions as sex and gender, because according to its biology, sex is the foregoer to the personal gender, sex-orientation and self-realization. All these three concepts are not only biological by their origin– social structures and convictions but also play its definite role in the formation of person’s sexuality. According to Shmidt (2006), sex is one of the person’s physical characteristics (male or female) and gender concerns his or her self-identity. In other words, sex is what one cannot choose and gender, on the other hand, is a thing one can define according to his self-perception. The concept of gender is wider than one of sex, as it consists of the biological and psychological factors at the same time – it is determined not only by the sex, which was given you by nature, but also by the influence of the society.
Ellen & Perrin (2008), write that sexual orientation is governed by the definite level of appetence to the representatives of the same or of the different sex. There also can exist the appetence to both sexes. Those persons, who prefer people of the same sex, are heterosexual. Those, who like ones of the opposite sexes, are homosexual and those, who prefer both sexes, are bisexual. Some people do not feel appetence to any sexes. Such people are called asexual.
But all these definitions are rather ambiguous. As example, a bisexual person may feel more lively attraction to one sex than to another, without being absolutely heterosexual or homosexual. On the other hand, the homosexual person may depress his homosexual propensities being beware of people’s disapproval and antagonism. Some homosexuals are getting married and have children with heterosexual for disguising their orientation or not wishing to realize it their selves. The avoiding of reality can seriously damage the gay men’s or lesbian’s lives, as the attempts to change the orientation may lead to psychological disorders. In such a way one can see that person has a choice of outpouring his sexual orientation, but he has no possibility to choose the orientation at large.
In the field of sexology such terms as gynephilia and androphilia are used. When we use the words “homosexual” and “heterosexual” we mention that the gender and sex components are the ones of the critical factors in sexual determination. Gynophilia and androphilia are not connected nor with sex, nor with gender. These two terms may be used to characterize the sexuality of transsexual persons.
Till nowadays there is no the only view of what exactly the sexual orientation is determined by. After the numerous researches the scientists had worked out the compromised formula according to which the further person’s sexual orientation depends on the genetic code, the society influence and the person’s hormonal background. Besides, the particularities of brain structure should also be taken into consideration. It was proved, that some of brain zones of gay or lesbian can be different than the ones of heterosexual person. The environmental influence is not of that great importance in the formation of sexuality, and of sexual orientation specifically.
Saying in other words, the cultural traditions, the religion or the nurture cannot cause to homosexuality, but these factors, accompanied by the abovementioned, may become determine in this process.
Despite of the democratic political system of major world countries, which refer to the freedom of choice and respect to everyone practically, our society is still not ready to accept those, who are different from the majority. In the case with the sexual orientation the majority consists of the heterosexuals and all this makes the gay’s life not as productive as it could be. There still exist prejudices concerning the homosexuality. One of them concerns the children adoption by the gay or lesbian families – when such a family decides to adopt a child, its chances to be given a child are lower than of the customary family, where both members are heterosexual, though it is proved that child, that was grown in a gay or lesbian family does not poach her parents sexual orientation and is usually heterosexual. But, as one of the examples of violence, such child may be discriminated by other people because of his/her family. One more display of intolerance, the homosexual are facing with, concerns their professional fields. The heterosexual applicants for work in different companies also usually are preferred over the queer. Being in the army is also very problematic for such kind of people. It is not forbidden by law, but the social factor plays its role and practically the reality is just like that. The crimes, which are based on homophobia, are still being popular. Taking into consideration all these facts some gays do not announce their orientation. Despite the propagandizing of tolerance and acceptation of homosexuality there are a lot of things to correct in people’s attitude to those, who differs.
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