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Sexual identity

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Not to be confused by Sexual orientation or Gender identity.

Sexual identity refers to an individual's perception or identification of their own sexual orientation and is usually used interchangeably, though this is not necessarily correct. For example, Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, George Alan Rekers and many others on the Republican right have a sexual identity that is heterosexual since that's how they referred to their own orientation, even though their behavior would suggest they are as gay as Mr. Slave from South Park (or at the very least bisexual).

Past models of LGBTQ+ youths examining changes undergone in the formation of sexual identity over time see it as a process undergone only by those sexual minorities,[1] whereas our current understanding present sexual identity within a much larger scope along with other identity theories.[2][3]

In a 1990 study by the Social Organization of Sexuality, only 16% of women and 36% of men who reported some level of same-sex attraction had a homosexual or bisexual identity.[4]

In a 2019 survey by The Trevor Project, more than 1 in 5 LGBTQ youth described themselves as something other than gay, lesbian, or bisexual.[5]

List of sexual identities[edit]

Basically, all words ending with “-sexuality.”

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Dillon, F. R., Worthington, R. L., & Moradi, B. (2011). Sexual identity as a universal process In S. J. Schwartz, K. Luyckx, & V. L. Vignoles (Eds), Handbook of identity theory and research (Vols 1 and 2), (pp.649-670). New York, NY: Springer Science + Business Media
  2. Rosario M, Schrimshaw EW, Hunter J, Braun L. Sexual identity development among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths: consistency and change over time. J Sex Res. 2006;43(1):46-58. doi:10.1080/00224490609552298
  3. See the Wikipedia article on Sexual identity § Models of sexual identity development.
  4. Laumann, Edward O. (1994). The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. University of Chicago Press. pp. 298–301. ISBN 9780226470207. 
  5. The Trevor Project. (2019). National Survey on LGBTQ Mental Health. New York, New York: The Trevor Project.