White/European Americans and Sexual Orientation

The creation, development, and eventual popularization of “sexual orientation” as a concept, label, and social category are rooted in the work of 19th-century sexologists, who were attempting to develop a science of sexuality that would explain what they perceived as aberrations in “normal” sexual behavior. Indeed, the White and Eurocentric bias still embedded in some psychological research on sexual orientation has its origins in the history of the concept of sexual orientation, which originated in Europe and was later adopted by American psychologists. In contemporary psychology, sexual orientation is always implicated in the discussions of human sexual desires, behaviors, and identities, but the notion of sexual orientation is a relatively recent historical development. This entry examines the history of sexual identity categories, their current adoption ...

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