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This entry begins with a brief historical review of scientific perspectives on female versus male sexual orientation, and then reviews what is currently known about the ways in which female same-sex sexuality differs from male same-sex sexuality, particularly regarding its development, its nonexclusivity, and its capacity for fluidity.

Sexual orientation has historically been conceptualized as a trait-like predisposition to experience sexual attractions for one sex or the other. This predisposition is generally thought to have a biological basis, to operate in a stable fashion, and to channel all markers of erotic interest (sexual attractions, fantasies, behaviors, and romantic affection) in the same direction over the life course. Numerous studies have supported this overall model by documenting a consistent set of early developing behavioral and cognitive markers ...

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