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Programs - Sex Education Series (I) - Homosexuality

How many kinds of sexual orientation are there?

Sexual orientation refers to sexual attraction. There are three kinds of sexual orientation:

  • Heterosexual - a person who has feelings of sexual attraction for people of the opposite sex;
  • Homosexual - a person who has feelings of sexual attraction for those of the same sex;
  • Bisexual - a person who has feelings of sexual attraction for people of both sexes.

What causes homosexuality?

To date, no replicated scientific studies have found a single biological or psychosocial "cause" of homosexuality. However, research indicates that sexual orientation is not a matter of personal choice. Neither can a person change his or her sexual orientation by his or her will power1.

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses, recognizing their error. The World Health Organizing (WHO) also removed homosexuality from International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision (ICD-9), indicating that homosexuality is not an illness.

When will people know that they are gay?

Every homosexual is different. Some gays and lesbians recognize their feelings of sexual attraction for people of the same sex from an early age, as young as five or six. Some people realize their homosexual orientation during adolescence or later. Research indicates that since they were young, some lesbians and gays have felt that they are different from their peers, but have not realized what that difference is until they fall in love with a person of the same sex.

How many gays and lesbians are there?

It is difficult to find out how many gays and lesbians there are, because many of them either pretend that they are heterosexual or do not talk about their sexual orientation. Moreover, it is hard to identify a homosexual behavior. Research has shown that gays and lesbians are found in all countries, ethnic groups and social classes.

Are homosexual people HIV positive?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is mainly transmitted through unsafe sex and misuse of intravenous needles. There is no direct relationship between HIV and homosexuality, so both heterosexual and homosexual people should know how to keep them from being infected, not just homosexual people.

What is the life of a gay person like?

In Ontario, same-sex couples can adopt non-blood related children in three ways: 1) through Children Aid's society; 2) through adoption organizations registered in Ontario; and 3) through internationally registered adoption organizations.

Do you want to know more about homosexuality?

Please contact Chinese Family Services of Ontario at (416) 979-8299.

All your information is confidential

1 Bain, Jerald. (2000). So Your Child is Gay: A Guide for Canadian Families and their Friends. Toronto: Harper Collins. Dr. Bain is a professor in the departments of medicine and obstetrics /gynecology at the University of reproductive and sexual medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and at the Health institute for Men, King's Health Centre (Toronto).


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