Intended as supplemental reading in courses on theories of development, this book augments traditional core texts by providing students with more depth on about two dozen recent and emerging theories that have appeared over the past 20 years. This period has seen a decline of the traditional "grand" theories that attempt to apply to all people all the time in favor of "micro theories" that focus more on individual differences, so a book like this actually points the way toward the future rather than dryly reviewing the past. In addition, the author inspects the changing ways in which the concept of "theory" itself has been interpreted during this period, and he concludes with a chapter suggesting future directions.

Sexual Orientations

Sexual orientations

The term sexual orientations is used in this chapter to mean people's preferences for the partners with whom they engage in sexual intercourse, or at least those whom they sense as sexually arousing. It seems likely that the concern societies have held about sex-partner preferences extends well back into prehistoric times. That concern has been reflected in customs and formal laws which accord greater approval to some kinds of sex partners and sexual acts than to other kinds.

Over the centuries, the diversity of sex partners has included (a) persons of the opposite sex (heterosexuality), (b) persons of one's same sex (homosexuality), (c) persons of both sexes (bisexuality), (d) one's own self (masturbation), (e) various kinds of inanimate objects (assisted masturbation), and (f) ...

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