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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1892; see homosexual + -ity.


n. 1 The state of being sexually and romantically attracted primarily or exclusively to persons of the same sex. 2 Sexual activity with a person of the same sex.


n. a sexual attraction to (or sexual relations with) persons of the same sex [syn: homosexualism, homoeroticism, gayness]


Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions" to people of the same sex. It "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions."

Along with bisexuality and heterosexuality, homosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual–homosexual continuum. Scientists do not know the exact cause of sexual orientation, but they believe that it is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences, and do not view it as a choice. They favor biologically-based theories, which point to genetic factors, the early uterine environment, both, or the inclusion of genetic and social factors. There is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role when it comes to sexual orientation. While some people believe that homosexual activity is unnatural, scientific research has shown that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation in human sexuality and is not in and of itself a source of negative psychological effects. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.

The most common terms for homosexual people are lesbian for females and gay for males, though gay is also used to refer generally to both homosexual males and females. The number of people who identify as gay or lesbian and the proportion of people who have same-sex sexual experiences are difficult for researchers to estimate reliably for a variety of reasons, including many gay or lesbian people not openly identifying as such due to homophobia and heterosexist discrimination. Homosexual behavior has also been documented and is observed in many non-human animal species.

Many gay and lesbian people are in committed same-sex relationships, though only recently have census forms and political conditions facilitated their visibility and enumeration.

  • Census statistics show quarter of California same-sex couples raising kids
  • Region Saw Increase In Same-Sex Households
  • Census 2010: One Quarter of Gay Couples Raising Children
  • Minnesota Sees 50% Rise in Number of Gay Couples
  • Census:Dutchess, Ulster Gay Households Increase
  • Same Sex Couples' Numbers Soar In N.Y, 2010 Census Finds
  • [ 87% Increase in Same-Sex Nevada Households Since 2000]
  • [ 2010 Census indicates increase among same-sex homeowners in Oklahoma]
  • Spike In Number of City's Same-Sex Couples These relationships are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential psychological respects. Homosexual relationships and acts have been admired, as well as condemned, throughout recorded history, depending on the form they took and the culture in which they occurred. Since the end of the 19th century, there has been a global movement towards increased visibility, recognition, and legal rights for homosexual people, including the rights to marriage and civil unions, adoption and parenting, employment, military service, equal access to health care, and the introduction of anti-bullying legislation to protect gay minors.

Usage examples of "homosexuality".

An example is the conflicted desire many men feel for anal stimulation, an innocent pleasure that some associate with homosexuality.

I want to take a moment here to respond to the other common concern voiced by my female patients over the years: Second only to cleanliness, many women are resistant to the thought of penetrating their partners due to an odd societal stigma that equates anal stimulation with homosexuality and, hence, emasculation.

Homosexuality was socially acceptable now, as was overt masochism, but this particular program disturbed him.

Homosexuality and transvestism were prohibited by law at that time, if linked with prostitution, and the brothel-keeper kept a few real girls at the bar to keep up appearances.

The demonstrators, who foisted pamphlets on carloads of incoming tourists, belonged to Operation Rescue National, an antiabortion group that is branching out to combat homosexuality.

The master binarism around which all the other terms turn, and the only one which regularly shifts valences, is that of homosexuality versus heterosexuality.

A new century got under way, and despite the efforts of certain parties, it continued to witness unchecked the sins of godlessness, blasphemy, fornication, homosexuality, miscegenation, pornography and cheesy B-movies.

I think he advanced the rather farfetched notion that his disappearing into strangling darkness with an unknown menacing male indicated unconscious fears of homosexuality, while I championed the prosier explanation that the whole horror of oil might merely stand for his resentment at having to work as a mechanic to earn a living.

Fellatio, cunnilingus, homosexuality, lesbianism, sodomy, bondage, flagellation, all were meticulously displayed, as were some aspects of the sex act that made even the raunchier performances at the Thrill Show look mundane by comparison.

Homosexuality occasionally raises its airy-fairy head but, like voting Labor, it is not considered socially acceptable.

It is scorned and banalized by pornography, desecrated by fornication and adultery, mocked by homosexuality, sabotaged by irregular unions, and cut in two by divorce.

Blacks, homosexuality, our parents, people we know we hate, Saint Bernards.

In California, teachers (starting with kindergarten) are being encouraged to teach that homosexuality, bisexuality - and even trans-sexuality - is normal behavior.

Remember, the degenerates on the left who want to sell Americans on the idea that homosexuality, bisexuality, transexuality, even sex with animals is normal are using porn as a way to indoctrinate the sheeple - while making their fortunes.

Although males were allowed to hold hands and kiss in public, homosexuality was frowned upon generally in the Arab world.