Last updated on: 3/5/2009 | Author:


The awakening of sexual interest, physical and mental.
Relating to, or characterized by, a tendency to direct sexual desire towards both sexes.
Fitness Cost
The cost to the continuing genetic fitness or survival of a species due to illness or mutation.
Self-identity associating oneself to similar individuals attracted to those of the same sex (gender). Most often refers solely to males.
The psychological and social role as either female or male which individuals play in society. Can refer to either the gender role as it is seen from the outside, or the gender role as it is experienced from the inside

Gender is usually defined as a person’s masculinity or femininity. It is determined on the basis of certain psychological qualities that are nurtured in one sex and discouraged in the other. People are masculine or feminine to the degree in which they conform to their genders. Most individuals clearly conform to the gender considered “appropriate” to their physical sex. However, a minority partially assumes a gender that contradicts their physical sex (transvestism), and for an even smaller minority such an inversion is complete (transsexualism).

Relating to, or characterized by, a tendency to direct sexual desire towards the opposite sex (gender).
Irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.
Relating to, or characterized by, a tendency to direct sexual desire towards the same sex (gender).
“Hormones are chemical substances produced by internally secreting glands. These substances enter the bloodstream and stimulate various processes inside the body. In the context of human sexuality, the following three endocrine glands are especially important:
  • Pituitary gland
  • Ovaries/testicles
  • Adrenal glands

In everyday language people sometimes speak of ‘sex hormones,’ but this is also misleading. It may support the misconception that they determine sexual behavior: More sex hormones mean an increase of sexual desire; fewer sex hormones mean a decrease of sexual desire. At one time it was also believed that the ‘sex hormones’ determine a person’s sexual orientation. However, none of this has proven true. While hormones can be assumed to have some influence on behavior, it is not quite clear what exactly this influence is.”
Magnus Hirshfeld Archive for Sexuality (7/03)

Intimate Networks
Intertwining connections between “erotic friends” who have relationships of varying degrees of intimacy, intensity and commitment.
Female same-sex behavior, or sexual arousal based on sexual attraction of other females.
Linkage Analysis
A technique used to determine the location of an unidentified, specific gene by identifying a piece of DNA whose location is already known, a genetic marker, that is inherited by all affected family members and not inherited by unaffected family members. Identifying the genetic marker allows the specific gene location to be determined more easily because genes are typically inherited together when they are located in close proximity to each other. Therefore, the unidentified, specific gene should be located close to the known genetic marker.
Malignant Bisexual
A person who engages in same-sex sexual experiences, but who actively disdains people who self-identify as “gay” or “homosexual.”
Referring to the vertical plane that divides the brain into right and left halves.
Nonclinical Homosexual
Generally used in describing a scientific study of homosexual men where the participants were not involved in any psychological treatment at the time of the study.
Pedigree Analysis
A technique used to identify whether a medical condition is inherited through families, and if so, whether it is a dominant or recessive trait. This is done by analyzing a diagram of family relationships which uses a particular set of standardized symbols to note generation, birth order, gender, and whether a person exhibits the condition in question. This type diagram is called a pedigree.
The practice of having loving, intimate relationships with more than one person at a time, within an ethical, consensual, agreement-based context.
A unique difference in a piece of human DNA that is not related to any clinical condition. Polymorphisms are benign and are abundant throughout the genome. Identifying polymorphisms that are inherited through families is useful for determining the regions where specific genes may be located.
Reparative Therapy
An experimental and controversial therapeutic technique which attempts to “change” people away from same-sex orientations. Also referred to as “conversion” or “transformational” therapy. Secular reparative therapists generally come from a religious perspective, particularly Christian, and focus on religious, prayer-based counseling therapies.

Religious reparative therapies, such as those practised by Christian transformational ministries, include one-on-one counseling, group counseling, prayer, fasting, reading scripture and meditation. Other techniques involved have included controversial therapies such as electro-shock therapy and aversion therapy (such as showing subjects homoerotic material whilst inducing nausea and vomiting through drugs).

Sex (Gender)
“The word ‘sex’ (from the Latin secare: to cut, to divide) originally refers to nothing more than the division of the human race into two groups: females and males. However, upon closer inspection, the matter is not quite that simple. In some cases it can be extremely difficult to determine whether a particular individual is female or male. For an exact determination of sex one has to distinguish between at least seven factors, and each of these factors can have atypical exceptions:
  • Chromosomal sex
  • Gonadal sex
  • Hormonal sex
  • Internal accessory reproductive structures
  • External sex organs
  • Sex of assignment or rearing
  • Sexual self-identification
    Magnus Hirshfeld Archive for Sexuality (7/03)
Sex (Activity)
Sexually motivated phenomena or behavior.
The science of sexual behavior in all of its aspects. A sexologist is a person with expert knowledge in sexual science who devotes him/herself to its objective observations which are logically consistent.
Sexual Orientation
The primary sexual drive of an individual. Sexual orientation is usually defined as a person’s heterosexuality or homosexuality. It is determined on the basis of preference for sexual partners. People are heterosexual or homosexual to the degree in which they are erotically attracted to partners of the other or same sex.
Sexual Preference
A sexual interest in a particular type of person, thing, object, body part, etc.
Generally refers to anal sex between two men. Can also refer to any acts of anal sex between two humans. Defined by Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2003) as “anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex; also, copulation with an animal.”
Straight Homosexual
A person who lives a heterosexual lifestyle, i.e. married with children, but who also from time to time engages in same-sex sexual activities and/or relationships.
A person who has personal characteristics that transcend traditional gender boundaries and corresponding sexual norms. Could refer to either transsexuals or transvestites.
A person who psychologically identifies with the opposite sex and may seek to live as a member of this sex, especially by undergoing surgery and hormone therapy to obtain the necessary physical appearance.
A person who adopts the dress and often the behavior typical of the opposite sex, generally on a part-time basis.