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Sexual Identities - Essay Example

In today's world of sexual tolerance and acceptance, questioning one's own sexual orientation is considered to be normal. In the same way, gays, lesbians and bi-sexuals are accepted in most of the advanced countries, although this is still a matter of contention in eastern countries. Being transgender is not a matter of utter shame any more in western world. The same western world that had punished Oscar Wilde, an unquestionable genius, for suspected homosexuality. In 1895, in the sad and sensational trial of Oscar Wilde, Reverend Richard Armstrong of the Social Purity Alliance denounced him as 'one of those writers of elegant and glittering literature, glossing over vice'. Wilde never regained his dignity or health after the imprisonment and died young. Such a person was never seen again. This incident still remains as one of the worst persecutions of sexual minorities. Today, fortunately, three sexual orientations are accepted: heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.
The term sexual identity was not in vogue earlier. Comparatively, it is of a recent origin, mainly used by psychologists. "The term sexual identity is used by psychologists and some recent writers in the general area of sexology to describe the gender or sex with which a person identifies, or is identified,"
There are two essential views of logical reason and development of sexual identity. The essentialist view is that everyone is born with a sexual orientation and the sexual orientation is the centre of the person's sexual identity. 'Our sexual orientation is essential to what we are.' Social Constructionist View is different from the Essentialist View. According to this view, we construct our own sexual identities and it is not born with us. This view argues that sexual orientation does not come by birth; but comes by learning. So the person is not burdened with a sexual identity. Instead he acquires the sexual identity. According to this view, people do not have firm self-images and instead at different stages, we have different self-images and these images are according to psychological and external circumstances. There are many external factors that would influence our view, according to the Social Constructionist view. It has a self-determinant depending on what a person thinks of himself. It also 1has a third person determinant, depending on how an individual reacts to whom.
"Sexual identity refers to how one thinks of oneself in terms of whom one is sexually and romantically attracted to, ...Show more
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Summary

Sexual identity gives an importance to a person, as important as a person's name. It defines the person's personality, characteristics, future and place in the society. In the Stone Age, before societies were formed, perhaps sexual identity was unimportant and insignificant…
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