General Question

Dansedescygnes's avatar

How much evidence does a person need to determine their sexuality?

Asked by Dansedescygnes (2881points) March 28th, 2009

Do they need to have sex to know what sexuality they are? I don’t think they do. How come most straight people are okay with saying they’re straight before they’ve had sex, but gay people need to have sex to “find out for sure”? Why are gay people always doubted?

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21 Answers

VzzBzz's avatar

I’ve not yet heard from any homosexual friends they had to experiment with sexual activity in order to know if they were attracted to the same sex if they identified as other than an “average” straight boy or girl.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


I don’t see how I would have to. Straight people don’t have to. Why should I?

Most people begin to question their sexuality before they’ve engaged in any kind of sexual activity.

VzzBzz's avatar

@Dansedescygnes: Honestly, you shouldn’t and I’m surprised anyone still believes that way.

tinyfaery's avatar

I think all the evidence needed is the awareness of physical attraction. You can’t determine who or what will arouse you until it does.

cwilbur's avatar

I knew I was attracted to men long before I actually had sex. Straight women I know were attracted to men long before they had sex; straight men I know were attracted to women long before they had sex.

So I think your notion that gay people need to have sex to know for sure is a badly mistaken one. And gay people are doubted because of the social stigma of homosexuality—when you say you’re gay, it’s not a question of whether you believe it, but a question of whether the people around you believe you.

shadling21's avatar

Depends on how much denial they’re harboring.

HarmonyAlexandria's avatar

@Dansedescygnes—How come most straight people are okay with saying they’re straight before they’ve had sex,but gay people need to have sex to “find out for sure”?—

People can proclaim any,sexuality they wish but that does not make it true. Some people claim to be asexual, barring certain medical conditions that claim contradicts scientific fact – homo sapiens are sexual creatures.

It’s often claimed that many openly-heterosexual people, especially male, suppress their homosexual desires, why shouldn’t it be the same be with homosexual people?

Without real world experience,a feedback loop, how can you confirm or refute what you belief? How is it possible to know what you have no experience with?

That’s not to say that people can not really be hetero/homosexual, many are ,but how can one be sure for they are what they believe themselves to be without experiencing the phenomena for themselves?

Why are gay people always doubted That’s nothing more than unsubstantiated “victim mentality” and it’s stupid.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I agree with you. In fact I think it’s silly to say that one needs “evidence” to prove their sexuality. Some may need to experiment especially with the strict sexuality roles we have set up in our society. But not every does need to. And why do we need to “prove” or “determine” our sexuality anyways? I may be thinking a bit outside the box here

In some Native tribes. One in particular I can think of. There are traditionally seven “genders”/“sexualities”.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@HarmonyAlexandria It isn’t victim mentality if a people have undergone a long history of violence and persecution. It is a fact that the voices of Gay people are not heard as loud as the voices of Straight people.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


It’s not “victim mentality”. I’ve had it happen. I’ve told people (on the internet) that I’m gay and they say “how can you be SURE?!!!” and someone else proclaims to be straight, no one bats an eye. And my description of my sexuality is based on my current attraction, which is a homosexual attraction and that’s all it’s ever been. We’re going to have to agree to disagree. I will continue to call myself homosexual until, if ever, something changes.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Additionally, I don’t accuse anyone of suppressing anything unless there is strong evidence for it. I don’t particularly ascribe to whole Kinsey thing. I know a lot of people have attraction to both. I don’t. I am a 6 on that damn scale.

Sexuality is not just penetration. Sexuality is an attraction. I know what I’m attracted to and I know what I’m not attracted to.

HarmonyAlexandria's avatar

@RedPowerLady It isn’t victim mentality if a people have undergone a long history of violence and persecution

What group hasn’t? Every group has it’s tale of woe,and to the members of that group is the gravest injustice ever perpetrated in the history of mankind(note the use of mankind so is some truth to some of the claims). I’ve gotten orders of magnitude more grief simply becasue I am a women than I have for being bisexual.

SuperMouse's avatar

I didn’t need to have intercourse or even kiss a boy to know I was heterosexual. I can’t see why the same wouldn’t go for someone who is homosexual. I think that homophobia (either blatant or subconscious) makes people assume that you would naturally want to be heterosexual and by asking if your are sure they are trying to encourage you. I personally believe that is a narrow-minded, ignorant opinion and silly thing to say. Regardless of what anyone says I will always believe that sexuality is not a choice a person makes, it is hard wired from birth. To me that makes questions like these even more inappropriate and offensive.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t see why you wouldn’t know before you had sex. I know many gays and lesbians who knew before they had sexual experiences when they were young.

Where it written thus?

Dog's avatar

Why would anyone HAVE to give proof?

I had no idea that anyone would even question a person’s statement regarding sexuality. If someone questioned me after I told them my sexual orientation I would be livid. It is disrespectful and rude. It is like you are calling someone a liar or a moron.

Regarding proof- how does one prove that they are left- handed or are creative? More importantly what kind of person feels that they are entitled to some sort of proof?

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Dog I agree. Why proof.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@HarmonyAlexandria There is something called hegemony. It is a long complicated social term. But basically some groups have had the power stripped from them and other groups may have undergone persecution at some point but now have their power restored. For example White Anglo Saxton Protestants. I am not saying there is anything wrong with being in that category. But they certainly are not continually oppressed for their lifestyle. Oppression is victimization and not all groups are oppressed. But anyhow I hate talking about this stuff online. I just didn’t want to seem rude not answering your question. It is such a difficult and complicated topic. But I will say that I agree that probably every person does belong to one group or another that has faced persecution. I guess that is why we have to look at each situation individually.

DREW_R's avatar

Was easy for me. I got a hard on looking at Playboy and Playgirl did nothing for me. That was about 40 some yrs ago. ;)

HarmonyAlexandria's avatar

@Dog how does one prove that they are left- handed

That one is too easy, they write with their left hand. It’s hard not to know if you are doing it everyday.

Sexuality is harder. Using the Katy Perry song “I kissed a girl and I liked it”. What if she didn’t? Does that mean she was never really attracted to girls?

OR Does would it mean that the exercise of her desire did not meet up with the expectation of what she believed ?

Dog's avatar

@HarmonyAlexandria Under the question example and my left handed comment the response would be “How do you know unless you have spent time trying to write with the right hand” The question seems to imply that ignorant people think that sexuality must be learned by trying both.

HarmonyAlexandria's avatar

@dog “How do you know unless you have spent time trying to write with the right hand”

Now that I think about it, you probably did -way back in preschool. Somebody(s) taught us how to write and we have been practising ever since.

So a better question would be – How does a baby/very young child figure out which of their hands is dominate.

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