The diversity of human sexual behaviour has been researched and documented over many years. However homosexual, bisexual, asexual and transgender people exist across all cultures, social groups, occupations and educational backgrounds.
The Kinsey Scale and Sexual Trichotomy described below, provide a useful reference in understanding sexual orientation, identity and behaviour.
The Kinsey Scale is a useful starting point in understanding the nature of the continuum of sexual orientation. The scale shows that people do not necessarily fit into exclusive heterosexual or homosexual categories. Department of Education, Employment and Training. Teaching and Learning Activities. Each letter stands for:. Transsexual refers to a person whose gender identity is the opposite of their biological sex. Intersex people are born with physical, hormonal or genetic features that are neither wholly female nor wholly male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male.
Many forms of intersex exist; it is a spectrum or umbrella term, rather than a single category. Intersex differences may be apparent at birth. Q - Queer or Questioning. A person who is Questioning is in the process of arriving at a clearer sense of what their sexual orientation is. A homosexual person is one whose sexual orientation or nature and attraction is towards people of the same sex.
A homosexual male is Kinsey scale incidentally homosexual discrimination referred to as 'gay' while a homosexual female may be described as 'lesbian'. There is no definitive answer as to why a person becomes, or is, homosexual. A range of opinions exist, and Kinsey scale incidentally homosexual discrimination about biological and environmental influences continues.
The use of Kinsey scale incidentally homosexual discrimination to describe people can be problematic especially in using them to describe a sexual identity. An individual may adopt a label to describe their own identity or choose not to use any labels to identify themselves as homosexual, gay, lesbian or otherwise.
Some people may regard homosexual men and women, and sexually diverse people, with suspicion, or even to the extent of personal disgust. Another ungrounded fear sometimes articulated by people with these beliefs is that only homosexuals spread HIV. Such beliefs can be most harmful especially if they lead to discrimination, encourage harassment or even physical assault.
Dr Dorothy Riddle, an American psychologist, developed an 8-point scale of attitudes towards lesbian, gay and bisexual people from the least to most supportive. The first four attitudes are said to be Homophobic Attitudes repulsion; pity; tolerance; acceptance. The next four are referred to as Improved Attitudes support; admiration; appreciation; celebration. Teachers may experience difficulties dealing with the homophobic attitudes of some students.
It is essential teachers address inappropriate comments that may arise when discussing values or ethical issues. Being prepared to respond to anti-gay, anti-lesbian or anti-bisexual slurs as would be done for racist or sexist slurs.
Being as well informed as possible. Respect the person challenging you. Focus on challenging the negative opinions rather than the person.
Avoiding a debate of religious arguments. Where a person has strongly held views it may be more productive Kinsey scale incidentally homosexual discrimination discuss sexuality issues in terms of how the person is feeling.
A young person can find the experience of being defined or labelled by others to be quite damaging. It is best to leave young people to self-identify as they choose over time. Give students the opportunity to explore a range of values about sexual diversity that exist in society.