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Gender and sexual diversity (GSD), or simply sexual diversity, refers to all the diversities of sex characteristics, sexual orientations and gender identities, without the need to specify each of the identities, behaviors, or characteristics that form this plurality.
In the Western world, generally simple classifications are used to describe sexual orientation (heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals), gender identity (transgender and cisgender), and related minorities (intersex), gathered under the acronyms LGBT or LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual people, and sometimes intersex people); however, other cultures have other ways of understanding the sex and gender systems.Over the last few decades, some sexology theories have emerged, such as Kinsey theory and queer theory, proposing that this classification is not enough to describe the sexual complexity in human beings and, even, in other animal species.
For example, some people may feel an intermediate sexual orientation between heterosexual and bisexual (heteroflexible) or between homosexual and bisexual (homoflexible). It may vary over time, too, or include attraction not only towards women and men, but to all the spectrum of sexes and genders (pansexual).In other words, within bisexuality there exists a huge diversity of typologies and preferences that vary from an exclusive heterosexuality to a complete homosexuality (Kinsey scale).
Sexual diversity includes intersex people, those born with a variety of intermediate features between women and men.It also includes all transgender and transsex identities which do not frame within the binary gender system and, like sexual orientation, may be experienced in different degrees in between cisgender and transsexuality, such as genderfluid people.
Lastly, sexual diversity also includes asexual people, who feel disinterest in sexual activity;and all those who consider that their identity cannot be defined, such as queer people.
Socially, sexual diversity is claimed as the acceptance of being different but with equal rights, liberties, and opportunities within the Human Rights framework. In many countries, visibility of sexual diversity is vindicated during Pride Parades.
Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender. These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, while asexuality is sometimes identified as the fourth category.
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or are not cisgender. Originally meaning "strange" or "peculiar", queer came to be used pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late 19th century. Beginning in the late 1980s, queer activists, such as the members of Queer Nation, began to reclaim the word as a deliberately provocative and politically radical alternative to the more assimilationist branches of the LGBT community.
LGBT, or GLBT, is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which began to replace the term gay in reference to the broader LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s. The initialism, as well as some of its common variants, functions as an umbrella term for sexuality and gender identity.
Cisgender is a term for people whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth. For example, someone who identifies as a woman and was assigned female at birth is a cisgender woman. The term cisgender is the opposite of the word transgender.
Sexuality and gender identity-based cultures are subcultures and communities composed of people who have shared experiences, backgrounds, or interests due to common sexual or gender identities. Among the first to argue that members of sexual minorities can also constitute cultural minorities were Adolf Brand, Magnus Hirschfeld, and Leontine Sagan in Germany. These pioneers were later followed by the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis in the United States.
The Kinsey scale, also called the Heterosexual–Homosexual Rating Scale, is used in research to describe a person's sexual orientation based on one’s experience or response at a given time. The scale typically ranges from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to a 6, meaning exclusively homosexual. In both the male and female volumes of the Kinsey Reports, an additional grade, listed as "X", indicated "no socio-sexual contacts or reactions". The reports were first published in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) by Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy, and others, and were also prominent in the complementary work Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953).
Heteronormativity is the belief that heterosexuality, predicated on the gender binary, is the default, preferred, or normal mode of sexual orientation. It assumes that sexual and marital relations are most fitting between people of opposite sex. A heteronormative view therefore involves alignment of biological sex, sexuality, gender identity and gender roles. Heteronormativity is often linked to heterosexism and homophobia. The effects of societal heteronormativity on lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals can be examined as heterosexual or "straight" privilege.
Pansexuality is sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity. Pansexual people may refer to themselves as gender-blind, asserting that gender and sex are not determining factors in their romantic or sexual attraction to others.
Non-heterosexual is a word for a sexual orientation or sexual identity that is not heterosexual. The term helps define the "concept of what is the norm and how a particular group is different from that norm". Non-heterosexual is used in feminist and gender studies fields as well as general academic literature to help differentiate between sexual identities chosen, prescribed and simply assumed, with varying understanding of implications of those sexual identities. The term is similar to queer, though less politically charged and more clinical; queer generally refers to being non-normative and non-heterosexual. Some view the term as being contentious and pejorative as it "labels people against the perceived norm of heterosexuality, thus reinforcing heteronormativity". Still others say non-heterosexual is the only term useful to maintaining coherence in research and suggest it "highlights a shortcoming in our language around sexual identity"; for instance, its use can enable bisexual erasure.
The following outline offers an overview and guide to transgender topics.
A trans man is a man who was assigned female at birth. The label of transgender man is not always interchangeable with that of transsexual man, although the two labels are often used in this way. Transgender is an umbrella term that includes different types of gender variant people. Many trans men choose to undergo surgical or hormonal transition, or both, to alter their appearance in a way that aligns with their gender identity or alleviates gender dysphoria.
Sexual attraction to transgender people has been the subject of scientific study and social commentary. Psychologists have researched attraction toward trans women, cross dressers, non-binary people, and a combination of these. Cisgender men attracted to transgender women primarily identify as heterosexual and sometimes as bisexual, but rarely as homosexual. Sexual arousal research has confirmed that their response patterns are unlike those of gay men and resemble those of heterosexual men, except that they are highly aroused by transgender women in addition to cisgender women. They show little arousal to men. A substantial proportion of cisgender men attracted to transgender women report also experiencing autogynephilia, sexual arousal in response to the image of themselves as female. There has been some discussion of attraction to trans men, but it has not yet been the topic of scientific study.
A sexual minority is a group whose sexual identity, orientation or practices differ from the majority of the surrounding society. Primarily used to refer to LGB or non-heterosexual individuals, it can also refer to transgender, non-binary or intersex individuals.
Androphilia and gynephilia are terms used in behavioral science to describe sexual orientation, as an alternative to a gender binary homosexual and heterosexual conceptualization. Androphilia describes sexual attraction to men or masculinity; gynephilia describes the sexual attraction to women or femininity. Ambiphilia describes the combination of both androphilia and gynephilia in a given individual, or bisexuality.
Blanchard's transsexualism typology is a proposed psychological typology of gender dysphoria, transsexualism, and fetishistic transvestism, created by Ray Blanchard through the 1980s and 1990s, building on the work of prior researchers, including his colleague Kurt Freund. Blanchard categorized trans women into two groups: homosexual transsexuals who are attracted exclusively to men, and who seek sex reassignment surgery because they are feminine in both behavior and appearance; and autogynephilic transsexuals who are sexually aroused at the idea of having a female body. According to Anne Lawrence, Blanchard's typology broke from earlier ones which "excluded the diagnosis of transsexualism" for arousal in response to cross-dressing. Lawrence stated that, before Blanchard, the idea that arousal in response to cross-dressing or cross-gender fantasy meant that one was not transsexual was a recurring theme in scholarly literature. Alice Dreger stated that Blanchard, Bailey, and Lawrence all agree that any trans woman who would benefit from sex reassignment surgery should receive it.
Historically, studies assumed that transgender sexuality might be distinct from traditional human sexuality. For much of the 20th century, what was described as "transsexualism" was believed to be sexual in nature, and so was defined along these terms.
LGBT movements in the United States comprise an interwoven history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied movements in the United States of America, beginning in the early 20th century and influential in achieving social progress for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual people.
The following outline offers an overview and guide to LGBT topics.
Intersex people are born with sex characteristics that "do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies." They are substantially more likely to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) than the non-intersex population, with an estimated 52% identifying as non-heterosexual and 8.5% to 20% experiencing gender dysphoria. Although many intersex people are heterosexual and cisgender, this overlap and "shared experiences of harm arising from dominant societal sex and gender norms" has led to intersex people often being included under the LGBT umbrella, with the acronym sometimes expanded to LGBTI. However, some intersex activists and organisations have criticised this inclusion as distracting from intersex-specific issues such as involuntary medical interventions.
Homonormativity is the privileging of heteronormative ideals and constructs onto LGBT culture and identity. It is predicated on the assumption that the norms and values of heterosexuality should be replicated and performed among homosexual people. Homonormativity selectively privileges cisgendered homosexuality as worthy of social acceptance.