Learn About Sexuality

Orientation is defined by who we are attracted to

We do not consciously decide nor can we choose to be homosexual or heterosexual. Neither does any aspect of our environment, such as attitudes in our family or the influence of others, cause us to become gay or straight. Our sexual orientation (whether we are aroused by or amenable to sex with a lover of the same or opposite sex) is innate (we are born that way).

Homosexuality is evidently an aspect of humanity shared by all of us. Some gays (notably lesbians) do reproduce. But relatively few children are fathered by gay men compared to those fathered by straight men. Yet research indicates that the relative number of homosexuals in the population remains steady over time.

Responsiveness to homosexual stimuli surfaces in random individuals. There is no biological
justification for homosexual behaviour but given humans are highly successful reproductively, perhaps like left and right handedness, homosexuality is just a harmless variation. Some individuals may not identify either with the emotional responses or the character traits that are typical for their gender.

Male orgasm techniques are consistent regardless of sexual orientation. Once he has responded to a turn-on, a man stimulates his penis whether he engages in masturbation, oral sex or intercourse. Only the anatomy of their lover dictates whether men engage in vaginal or anal intercourse.

Parents may not want their children to be gay because they hope their children will have families and be part of ‘normal’ society. Gay men are often victimised by heterosexual men. Today it is now becoming more common for gay couples, both homosexual men and lesbian women, either to adopt or to have children that have one of the partner’s genes. Not everyone feels this is right. Heterosexuals, being in the majority, believe that every child (regardless of the child’s orientation) should have heterosexual parents. This is the biological precedent.

Many heterosexual men and women view sex as a loving act which is justified by the reproductive precedent even though the frequencies of intercourse for the average couple cannot be justified through the needs of reproduction. The pleasurable aspects are often described in terms of loving emotions. A man makes love to a woman. By definition, gay men and women cannot engage in intercourse (which requires a man and a woman) so they are obliged to engage in more explicit genital stimulation. This highlights the attitude in society that considers any sexual activity other than intercourse to be crude and taboo.

Originally orientations other than heterosexual were seen to be a form of mental illness. It was believed that people could be cured and undergo treatment to make them ‘normal’. It would seem that different orientations are quite ‘normal’ for some people. Controversially even paedophilia has been shown to be an orientation. Paedophiles are born that way. They find children sexually arousing and this response cannot be changed by therapy or any other technique. Just like homosexuals, paedophiles have to decide whether they will ‘come out’ (admit their orientation) to the people they care about in their lives: parents, friends and so on.

Most paedophiles who act on their impulses manipulate children by gradually desensitizing them to inappropriate behaviour. Then they escalate it. In about 60% to 70% of child sexual abuse cases involving paedophiles the perpetrator is a relative, neighbour, family friend, teacher, coach, clergyman, or someone else in regular contact with the child.

Strangers are less likely to sexually abuse children although they are more likely to commit violent assaults when they do. It is not known how prevalent paedophilia is in the population. There are people with paedophilic tendencies who live without detection in the community or suffer silently while controlling their impulses. Experts estimate that only one in 20 cases of child sexual abuse is reported.

There is no effective treatment. Like other sexual orientations, paedophilia cannot be cured. The goal of treatment, therefore, is to prevent someone from acting on paedophile urges either by decreasing arousal around children or increasing the ability to manage that arousal. But neither is as effective for reducing harm as preventing access to children, or providing close supervision. Some men with paedophilic urges are also attracted to adults, and may act only on the latter urges. People with paedophilic urges tend to be attracted to children of a particular gender, for example roughly 9% to 40% of paedophiles are homosexual in their orientation toward children but that is not the same as saying they are homosexual. Homosexual adults are no more likely than heterosexuals to abuse children.

… there are a great many males who remain as masculine, and a great many females who remain as feminine, in their attitudes and their approaches in homosexual relations, as the males or females who have nothing but heterosexual relations. (Alfred Kinsey 1948)

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