Sexual orientation of a person describes the gender that a person is emotionally, psychologically, and sexually attracted towards. People can be homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual. Homosexuals are attracted towards the people of the same gender whereas bisexuals are attracted towards people of both the genders. Heterosexuals are people who are attracted towards people of the opposite sex. Heterosexuals are also referred to as metrosexual.
How do People Know if They are Heterosexual?
As children reach adolescence, they start experiencing new feelings and emotions. They begin to explore romantic love and start being influenced by depictions of adolescence in popular media, TV programs, music, advertising, and newspapers. Peers and friends often provide the setting for discussions on sexuality. Adolescence can mark the beginning of sexual attractions. These attractions are caused by the hormonal changes associated with puberty. It is during this process that adolescents begin to identify their sexual orientation.
Studies have found that sexual orientations of a person can also be influenced genetically. Sexual orientation is often established before attaining puberty. However, some people engage in sexual activity before actually knowing that they are heterosexual.
It is important to note that even though sexual orientation of a person is set early on in life, it is fluidic in nature and might change on its own. There is no way a person can choose to be of a particular sexual orientation and neither can a person choose to change it. If at all it changes, it does so on its own.
What Causes a Person to Have a Heterosexual Orientation?
Scientists have not been able to exactly pinpoint the reasons for a person’s sexual orientation. Some factors that might influence a person’s sexual orientation include hormonal, genetic, social, developmental, and cultural factors. However, scientists have not till date, been able to isolate a specific factor that decides whether a person will be homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual. Numerous people assume that nature and the manner in which a child is brought up plays a complex role in deciding the child’s future sexual orientation. However, a majority of the people have no control over the choice of their sexual orientation.
Certain studies have found that genes play a decisive role and that homosexuality runs in families. The hypothalamus region in the human brain might also influence the sexual orientation of a person.
Social Privileges of Being a Heterosexual
Our society often has a biased opinion against homosexuals and bisexuals. Heterosexuals find it very easy to get a public recognition and support for an intimate relationship which is often denied to people who are homosexual or bisexual. Heterosexuals are easily accepted in a social setup such as a hostel, workplace or a class. They find it more easy to air views about their sexuality without being accused of pushing their sexual orientation on others. They are not asked to explain about their choice of sexual orientation.
Homosexuals and bisexuals are often subjected to social bias and are not easily accepted. They are often harassed and asked to speak to a therapist. In a group, they are often identified by their sexual orientation.
•“Sexual orientation and its basis in brain structure and function,” by Dick F. Swaab. Published in July 29, 2008 , Volume 105, of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, accessed on 5 May 2015. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0805542105