Clinical And Behavioral Aspects

It is believed that 2 to 10 percent of the U.S. population is gay or lesbisan (Gadpaille). However, there is no consensus among clinicians and behavioral scientists about the definition of homosexuality (Mondimore) and there are multiple definitions of the terms bisexual, gay, and lesbian (Francoeur, Perper, and Scherzer). Researchers, for instance, often fail to distinguish between sexuality (I am gay/lesbian), sexual behavior (I have sex with men/women), and community participation (I am a member of a gay/lesbian community) (Rothblum). These three dimensions, although somewhat overlapping, are not synonymous. Additionally, individuals' self-identity may change over time and in different contexts (Rothblum), as may the meanings ascribed to these terms by society.

Historically, homosexuality has been defined by reference to a person's physical behavior. An individual's orientation was determined by his or her biological sex and by the sex of his or her sexual partners. This view focuses on behavior as determinate and assumes that (1) only two sexual orientations—homosexuality and heterosexuality—exist and (2) an individual acquires his or her sexual orientation when he or she has sex for the first time.

Additional perspectives, however, may be critical to an understanding of sexual orientation. The self-identification view posits that sexual orientation may be discordant with behavior. Accordingly, the fact that an individual self-identifies as a homosexual does not preclude the possibility of that person having sexual relations with an individual of the opposite sex. Similarly, self-identity as a heterosexual allows for the possibility of sexual intimacy with a person of the same sex. The dispositional view of sexual orientation also considers an individual's sexual desires and fantasies and the sexual behaviors in which he or she is disposed to engage in ideal circumstances.

Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

Everything you ever wanted to know about. We have been discussing depression and anxiety and how different information that is out on the market only seems to target one particular cure for these two common conditions that seem to walk hand in hand.

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