The term lesbian was developed in the 20th century to differentiate women who experience same-sex attraction from gay men. Individuals who identify as lesbians are women whose primary affectional, emotional, physical, and other attractions are to individuals of the same gender. The term highlights the diversity of experiences among sexual minority individuals that cuts across gender lines. Sexual orientation is a construct that is deeply tied to gender, as the two, despite constituting independent identities, are often conflated in research, the literature, and daily life. This entry describes gender identity among lesbian communities, the consequences of conflating gender and sexual orientation, and gender identity politics that are important to lesbian communities, concluding with a discussion of the intersections of sexual identity in lesbians with other ...

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