The AIB model highlights the three main elements that make up a person's sexuality: attraction, identity, and behavior.
A common abbreviation for asexual.
Describes a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others.
Describes a person who does not experience sexual attraction. This is different from celibacy, a state of abstaining from sexual activity. On the Kinsey Scale, asexuality is denoted with an "X."
Evoking interest, pleasure, or a wish for closeness with another person based on sexual or romantic desire. A person's patterns of attraction (same-sex, different-sex, both, or none) is the foundation of sexual orientation.
In regards to sexuality, behavior refers to how a person interacts with others romantically or sexually. Along with attraction and identity, behavior is one of the 3 main components of sexual orientation.
Bi is a shortened form of bisexual and is often used as an identity label.
Bi erasure is a tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or reexplain evidence of bisexuality. Examples of bi erasure could include referring to all same-sex couples as "gay marriages" — the active denial of the existence of bisexuality, or a history book ignoring or dismissing a figure's bisexuality and instead labeling them as gay or straight.
The bi umbrella refers to the fact that bisexual is a broad term for a sexual orientation. There are many identity labels that people may chose to use that fit under that umbrella.
Bi visibility is about seeing and creating bi representation. Examples of bi visibility would be a person choosing to come out, wearing a bi shirt, having bi characters in media, or simply having bisexuality be a bigger part of the LGBT conversation.
A binary is a system that only has two parts, two possibilities. Whatever the topic, humans have a tendency to categorize people, ideas, and almost anything else as belonging to either group A or group B, in order to make the world easier to understand.
In regards to bisexuality, it is important to understand that the prefix "bi-" in bisexuality refers to having both same-sex and different-sex attractions. It is not in any way a commentary on the number of genders available in a society. Meanwhile, people's tendency to think of sexuality itself in terms of binaries is a major source of biphobia.
Biphobia is a dislike or prejudice against bi people and bisexuality. Its manifestations include the assumption that being exclusively attracted to members of a single sex is somehow more natural, real, or legitimate than being attracted to members of more than one sex. It can take the form of denial that bisexuality is a genuine sexual orientation, negative stereotypes about people who are bisexual, or bi erasure.
Bisexuality is a sexual orientation that describes people who have both homosexual and heterosexual attractions. Colloquially, this means attraction that is not limited by sex or gender.
An abbreviation of cisgender.
Cisgender refers to someone whose apparent reproductive sex is in alignment with their gender identity. It is generally regarded as the opposite of transgender.
Consensual non-monogamy is when people choose to have non-exclusive romantic or sexual relationships. This may take the form of swinging, polyamory, or whatever else is negotiated. This is distinct from infidelity in that all parties are aware of and happy with the arrangement.
An acronym that can stand for both "Differences of Sexual Development" or "Disorders of Sexual Differentiation;" both more modern terms for intersex conditions. Many medical care professionals and activists prefer the term DSD because intersex conditions are frequently misunderstood in academic and online discourse and because intersex has come to be used as an identity label by people who do not have the chromosonal, hormonal, or developmental differences that term was originally intended to describe.
This is an identity label generally used to describe homosexual men. Sometimes it is used as a synonym for LGBTI.
An elaborate set of cultural norms around reproductive sex used to define and communicate a person's role in society. Gender norms can dictate how a person speaks, dresses, behaves, and even what professions are available to them. Gender identity describes a person's inner sense of where they fit - or don't - within these norms.
A feeling of profound discomfort with the gender norms associated with one's sex.
An identity label that falls under the bi umbrella that describes people who mostly exhibit heterosexual attraction patterns, but occasionally experience homosexual attraction. .
Heterosexuality is a sexual orientation that describes people who exclusively experience romantic or sexual attractions to a sex different than their own.
An identity label that falls under the bi umbrella that describes people who mostly exhibit homosexual attraction patterns, but occasionally experience heterosexual attractions.
Homosexuality is a sexual orientation that describes people who exclusively experience romantic or sexual attractions to a sex that is the same as their own.
How a person conceptualizes themselves and wishes to be seen and thought of by others. This is a social construct, highly influenced by factors such as cultural background, education, class, social incentives, and religion. Along with attraction and behavior, identity is one of the 3 main components of sexual orientation.
Also known as Differences of Sexual Development (DSD), "intersex" is an umbrella term for 40+ congenital (present at birth) conditions in which a baby is born with atypical sex chromosomes, atypical genitals, or, in the rarest cases, elements of both male and female reproductive tissue. By far, the most common DSDs are males with undescended testis and males with hypospadias, a condition where the two halves of the penis fuse during development so that the urethra is not located on the tip of the penis. Generations ago, untrained doctors confused hypospadias for a partially formed vulva, resulting in lingering myths about "hermaphrodites" - individuals with both male and female reproductive organs. More serious, but less common DSDs, involve disruptions to the typical genetic or hormonal processes by which males and females develop differently. These cases are ongoing medical conditions that are often accompanied by complications such as high rates of heart problems, cancer, osteoporosis, and infertility. People with these kinds of DSDs require therapeutic interventions and regular monitoring to maintain their quality of life. It's important to note that DSDs do not represent a distinct or separate sex. Nearly all people with intersex conditions are readily identified as male or female.
The Kinsey Scale is a tool developed by Alfred Kinsey. It expresses sexual orientation on a scale from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual. "X" denotes asexuality. Scores within the range of 1 and 5 are along the spectrum of bisexuality.
The Klein Grid is a tool developed by Fritz Klein that builds on the work of Alfred Kinsey and his Kinsey Scale. It provides a more nuanced look at attraction patterns over time and how they change.
Lesbian is an identity label generally used to describe homosexual women. The word lesbian is derived from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos, home to the 6th-century BCE poet Sappho, who was bisexual.
A form of biphobia, monosexism refers to the assumption that people are only capable of attraction to one sex. Monosexism views sexual orientation as a rigid binary, where people can only be either heterosexual or homosexual in orientation.
Monosexual means that a person only exhibits heterosexual or homosexual attraction patterns.
Omnisexual is an identity label that falls under the bi umbrella with a political emphasis on gender non-conforming individuals.
Pansexual is an identity label that falls under the bi umbrella with a political emphasis on gender non-conforming individuals.
Polyamory is a form of consensual non-monogamy in which participants may have multiple romantic attachments.
Queer has become an umbrella term for the LGBT community and been further adopted by anyone who feels that they are in a sexual or gender minority. The word was historically used as pejorative and can be upsetting for some members of the LGBT community. Activists in the 1980s fought to reclaim the word as a deliberately provocative and politically radical alternative to the more assimilative and mainstream branches of the LGBT movement. Since then, the term queer has taken a less militant tone, particularly among younger generations.
The word sex has a wide variety of meanings, which can sometimes lead to confusion. It's often used to mean intercourse, which can cause some people discomfort with the term and lead them to use euphemisms or alternate words (such as gender) for its other connotations. Another meaning of sex is the biological capacity by which humans and most other species reproduce. All mammals reproduce via two sexes: male and female. Sex can also refer to the X and Y chromosomes or even the specific SRY gene (normally found on the Y chromosome) that under typical conditions direct an embryo to develop as either male or female. Occasionally, this differentiation process follows an atypical route and results in individuals with Differences of Sexual Development (DSDs), otherwise known as intersex conditions. The genitals and other organs associated with reproduction are "primary sexual characteristics." Sex can also refer to "secondary sexual characteristics," meaning observable characteristics such as body type, height, shape, voice, bone structure, hair growth patterns, fat distribution, etc. that other people can observe to varying degrees in everyday life.
About or relating in some way to sex or sexuality.
Sexual orientation describes a person's attraction patterns. The four main sexual orientations are homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, and asexual. These are distinct from identity labels, which are often less broad and can serve to further elaborate on how a person experiences their sexual orientation.
Straight is an identity label that is mostly used to describe heterosexual men and women.