Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2006
Okay, we discussed the issue of gay marriage in the controversial issue section. But what about the premises undelying them?

The common perception on the parameters of discussion of sexual and gender orientation originated sometime in the 19th century. I'm talking about the "straight" "gay" "bisexual" and "asexual" tags, among others. It's commonly used, commonly abused, and now, I'm calling it into question on this forum.

The questions are:
  1. How do you define the commonly used terms that define sexual orientation?
  2. What are your views on the parameters of sexual orientation itself, such as choice, predisposition etc. differentiating between attribute and behavior?
  3. How do you think the matter of orientation relates to its moral ramifications?
  4. Are the common questions and arenas of discussion today even relevant or applicable?
  5. If you were asked to adjust the labels or the conceptual framework, would you? If so, how, if not, why not?
If you don't understand why I laid the questions like that, just discuss! And prepare to get grilled- I don't study medicine for nothing!
To define the terms i would consider hetrosexual as being attracted primarilly to those of the opposite gender, homosexual as being attracted to primarilly those of the same gender, bisexual would be to varying degrees attracted to those of both genders and I think is somewhat of a sliding scale from largely hetrosexual to largely homosexual to somewhere in between. Asexual would be just not interested in sex.

I don't really think sexual orientation itself is a choice. I am not sure if this is a result of genetics, early envionment or something else entirely. I am primarilly hetrosexcual and I don't think I could ever learn to become gay. I also believe those who are gay saying they just are not attracted to those of the opposite gender and were born that way. As for behavior their is some choice as someone for example (regardless of orientation) could choose to become celibate. wether or not they should I don't think should be a political issue but up to the individual.

As for ethics I personally don't think either orientation is more or less ethical then the other. I think in regards to sexual behavior what matters is things like honesty, wether or not you treat your partner with respect etc. The gender of your partner is not important.

As for question number 4 I am not sure exactly what is meant by it but I do think it is relevent as certain conservative groups use fear of homosexuals as a political issue to try and rally their base.

As for number 5 I guess I think the labels are fine for now but I think will naturally vary as society changes....


Damn, I word my questions too hard.

Todd, I'd agree with you in general, and I like your use of the sliding scale, as to me that indicates an insight that the general terms themselves seem to mask. So too the differentiation of orientation and behavior. This is why I'm interested in changing the labels or their usage somewhat.

You also pretty much understood the thrust of my question 4.

I want more replies!

I think your questions are pretty good for the most part. they tend to take a good deal of thought to have people answer. I do think the sliding scale is probably needed to explain a good deal of behavior. Also their are people who may experiment with homosexuality at one point in their lives but later have normal hetrosexual experiences. It may be the opposite for people as well. i think this would have to be included in new definitions

I too would like to hear what other people on the page think.


You may have heard of an Alfred Kinsey- a psychologist (or was he a psychiatrist) who was primarily interested in sexual behavior. He was the one who formalised the sliding scale to represent the behaviors that one would be predisposed to display, from 0 to 6 where 0 is only opposite sex, 6 is only same sex, and most people would probably fall somewhere in between.

Another psychologist, Kline, took a leaf from this book and recognised, as you do, that the psychosexual domain is very much a dynamic and variable one, and therefore in his test included a variable for time- such that now one had three values of past behavior, present, and percieved ideal behaviors.

Personally, I know that I am only coming to question matters of sexual identity rather late because my environment was very heteronormative, among other possibly relevant psychological and environmental factors. But this does not prevent me from examining my behavior in a disinhibited state, to a limited extent.