Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Essay

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When it comes to both terms people tend to confuse the two and although they may seem similar it is two completely different things. Gender identity is more of how someone feels inside which could be expressed in many ways for an example, by their choice of clothing, appearance and their behavior. There are a few gender identities other than the common two known as a female and male. Like being a masculine female or a feminine male, transgender, genderfluid etc. and sometimes some may not feel either as a female or male and feel like they don’t identify themselves as anything which is known to being agender. Normally around the age of 2 to 3 is when people start to feel like their gender isn’t the same as the one they were born with, very early in life (Planned Parenthood – Gender and Gender Identity).

Sexual orientation is who they are attracted to and who they want to have a relationship with romantically, emotionally, and sexually. While many people only grew up only knowing and learning at least three sexualities there are actually many identities that go under sexual orientation. For an example, the three that are commonly known or heard more often is being heterosexual meaning being attracted towards a different gender male or females, homosexual being gay or lesbian which are people that are attracted to the same gender male – male and female – female, and bisexual being attracted to both genders’ male and female. The few that aren’t often heard of or spoken much about is being pansexual which is when someone is attracted to all people regardless of their sex or gender like transgender or intersex etc. and asexual when someone doesn’t feel any attraction towards anybody, they may find people physically attractive but don’t desire to do anything sexually. But they are some who don’t like the idea of having a label or think that none of the sexualities mentioned describe who they are. It really all just depends on who the person is (Planned Parenthood – Sexual Orientation).

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There has been research that when it comes to someone’s sexual orientation it isn’t something a person chooses, and it’s said that it starts before birth. Although some may know what their sexual orientation is at a very young age before puberty even hits, it can change throughout their life or it can take years for someone to finally know or be comfortable with their orientation. The saying that you can turn or change someone a specific orientation by treatment, therapy or by persuading them is false. It isn’t a phase either. Researches and scientists have believed that when it comes to someone being ‘straight’ or ‘gay’ and if it was placed on a scale being ‘straight’ on one end and being ‘gay’ on the other end, that many people would be somewhere in the middle of both. Research has found that 11% of adults acknowledge that they have been attracted to the same sex, 8.2% have at least been involved in same sex behavior and only 3.5% have identified themselves as being gay, lesbian and or bisexual (Planned Parenthood – What Causes Sexual Orientation).

A research was done about people’s health when it came to their sexual orientation and gender identity. There are many reasons why LGBTQ people have experienced health disparities either from stress of trying to hide or cope with their sexual orientation and their gender identity or by internalized homophobia which can be causes of health issues. Researchers have concluded (that was made by collecting data) that gay and bisexual men have a higher chance of going through depression and being suicidal, lesbians and bisexual women have the same rate as heterosexual women of getting cervical cancer, bisexual men and women have a higher possibility of having mental health issues and smoking habits. Transgender people mostly transgender women of color have a most number of them becoming victims of hate violence, transgender men and women have a higher rate of attempting suicide who they also have a less chance of receiving a screening that can show if they have any sort of diseases (Cahill, Singal, Grasso, King, Mayer, Baker, Makadon, 2014).

A survey was done with 301 people asking them to answer questions that asked about their sexual orientation and gender. About nine people did not complete the survey, 55% identified themselves as ‘straight’ or ‘heterosexual’ and only 25% said they were ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’ or ‘homosexual’. Out of those 301 only 47 were transgender. The survey was done to know if people would actually be open about their gender and orientation. To see if it’s important to ask certain questions and about 3 in 4 answered that it was important for forms to contain questions about their gender and sexual orientation (Cahill et al, 2014).

Many people are constantly being placed in particular groups when they are at young age. That based on someone’s gender they should be and act a certain way and that someone’s orientation should only be a specific one. Like specific colors and clothing only belong to a certain female or male and people’s behavior automatically shows their orientation. But recently when it comes to someone’s gender identity and sexual orientation it’s seemed to have changed throughout the years. More people are being open about what they identify themselves as and who they are as person. I think that whether people agree with it or not a person can identify themselves as more than just the two common genders and a person can have a different orientation than what the majority of other people are. I also think that nobody can really have a say on what a person should be, and more people should start being more open minded. Even when it comes someone’s health I think that society needs to take in the consideration that they are people too just like everyone else no matter what they identify themselves as. Someone knowing their gender identity and sexual orientation can be important in who they are and can help them understand a little more about themselves.


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  2. Do Tell: High Levels of Acceptability by Patients of Routine Collection of Sexual
  3. Orientation and Gender Identity Data in Four Diverse American Community Health
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  6. Parenthood, P. (n.d.). What is Biological Sex? | Female, Male and Intersex. Retrieved from
  8. Parenthood, P. (n.d.). What is Sexual Orientation? | Definition and Meaning. Retrieved from
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Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Essay. (2021, Apr 03). Retrieved from