The College Students Sexual Orientation Sociology Essay Example
The College Students Sexual Orientation Sociology Essay Example

The College Students Sexual Orientation Sociology Essay Example

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  • Pages: 14 (3763 words)
  • Published: July 26, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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College students play a significant role in societal and human development, contributing to and driving socialism. However, their emotional well-being is greatly influenced by their sexual orientation. Therefore, it is vital to examine the sexual orientation of current college students. Both domestic and international psychologists are increasingly studying sexual orientation as they explore sex-related topics further. This research helps individuals develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of this phenomenon, ultimately promoting greater sensitivity and awareness towards sexual relationships and behaviors.


This article provides an introductory overview of sex and its theoretical research on cognition. It primarily focuses on the study of heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and nonsexual orientations among students, as well as the factors that influence these orientations. The findings reveal that the majority of college students have a heterosexual orientation, with a s


mall number identifying as homosexual, bisexual, or nonsexual. However, there is a growing trend in the rate of homosexuality compared to previous years. In conclusion, the sexual orientation of contemporary college students is relatively healthy.

Gender orientation is often overlooked but it is important to recognize its diversity. Society has ingrained the idea that heterosexual relationships are normal and socially acceptable. However, sexual orientation encompasses more than just being heterosexual - it includes homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality as well. In the past, most people identified as heterosexual while only a small percentage identified as homosexual, bisexual or asexual. Yet, with globalization and the influence of Western culture, cultural values and sexual orientations among college students have evolved.

Investigating the influence of higher education on college students' acceptance of new ideas and trends, specifically related to sexual orientation, is the objective of this

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paper. The paper consists of five sections: an introduction that outlines the purpose and structure, followed by a comprehensive overview of the historical context surrounding sexual orientation among college students.

The third section of this paper provides a brief introduction and analysis of heterosexual orientation, bisexual orientation, and nonsexual orientation in contemporary college students. The fourth section offers a general introduction and analysis of homosexual orientation in contemporary college students. The final section concludes the entire paper.

The general introduction of sexual orientation

Sexual orientation, also referred to as sexual preference, is the enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and sexual attractions towards men, women, or both sexes. It includes an individual's identity based on these attractions, associated behaviors, and belongingness to a community sharing similar attractions. Extensive research spanning numerous years reveals that sexual orientation is a continuous and evolving concept; it lies within a spectrum ranging from exclusive same-sex attraction to exclusive opposite-sex attraction.

There are three categories of sexual orientation: heterosexual (attractions to opposite sex), homosexual (attractions to same sex), and bisexual (attractions to both sexes). Additionally, there is a controversial nonsexual orientation that lacks attractions towards either sex. Different cultures have diverse interpretations of sexual orientation diversity. However, scientific research has not confirmed the safety or effectiveness of interventions aimed at changing sexual orientation. In fact, such interventions often harm individuals who are homosexual or bisexual. Sexual orientation is not only determined by biological sex but also includes enduring attraction towards romantic feelings, love, attachment, intimacy, and other non-sexual aspects.

The important public presentations that are significant include love, shared goals and values, collective support for adversity, and enduring commitment. It is not necessary for a person

who suppresses animal desire or lacks sexual activity to be asexual. Similarly, if someone engages in sexual relations with a person of the same gender but does not have long-standing attraction for romance and emotion, they may not necessarily identify as gay or lesbian. Likewise, an individual who engages in sexual activity with someone of the opposite gender but lacks lasting attraction for romance and emotion may not be heterosexual. The period of adolescence plays a crucial role in shaping one's sexual orientation. During this phase, children detach from their parents and families while embarking on a quest to find their aspirations and life purpose.

During adolescence, young individuals experience a combination of curiosity and uncertainty as they transition from childhood to adulthood. It is typical for adolescents to have doubts about their own sexual feelings at this stage, which is considered a normal aspect of development. Some may occasionally develop attractions towards the same sex or go through experiences that cause confusion about their sexual orientation.

Generally speaking, the confusion surrounding sexual orientation tends to worsen over time and yield different outcomes for individuals. Thus, it is crucial for us to offer guidance and support to teenagers during this phase.

Theoretical study basis of sexual orientation

In terms of the development of sexual orientation, Western scholars have identified two theoretical perspectives: essentialism and social constructionism. According to Horowitz and Newcomb (2001), the essentialist perspective argues that genetics play a role in determining sexual orientation. This orientation may or may not be connected to biological sex.

The constructivist perspective suggests that genetics do not determine a person's sexual orientation. Instead, it is believed to develop gradually as individuals interact with

their social environment. Garnet (2002) supports this idea of the development and change of sexual orientation throughout one's lifetime, offering a new perspective that contrasts with the old viewpoint.

The previous notion was that sexual orientation encompassed only two choices: homosexuality or heterosexuality. However, the present understanding is that sexual orientation is a multifaceted and varied facet of an individual's identity. It recognizes that individuals can simultaneously possess both heterosexual orientation and homosexual inclinations. Additionally, the previous belief solely emphasized sexual acts as the defining characteristic of one's sexual orientation. In contrast, the new belief acknowledges that sexual orientation encompasses not just sexual behavior but also emotional and affectionate behaviors, fantasies, self-identification, and relationship status. Lastly, the old belief presumed that sexual identity, behavior, and desire always align with each other. However, the new belief acknowledges that these three aspects may not consistently correspond.

In summary, Garnets challenges the traditional belief that sexual orientation is static and formed early in life by presenting evidence that it can change over time. She introduces a new perspective for studying sexual orientation.

Different viewpoints on the fundamental aspects of sexual orientation

According to Kinsey (1948), an individual's sexual behavior is what defines their sexual orientation. Money (1978) expands this definition by visually representing human sexual orientation as a love-map, consisting of four domains: sex, erotic and emotional feelings, fantasies, and activities.

According to Garnets (2000), sexual orientation can be seen as a complex and multifaceted concept. She followed partly Money's ideas and further classified sexual orientation into affective attraction, erotic attraction, and love. In addition, Garnets (2002) expanded on the concept by including sexual behaviors, erotic-affectional behaviors and fantasies, emotional attachments, self-identification, and

current relationship status. Lance Heath and George Euvrard (2007) conducted empirical studies on young individuals and divided their sexual orientation into heterosexual and homosexual categories. Each category was further divided into four dimensions: sexual fantasizing, sexual attraction, sexual contact, and emotion.

Some perspectives on the categorization of sexual orientation

There are primarily four methods for categorizing sexual orientation: duality, trichotomy, a seven-category system, and pedigree-combination method.

The seven-category system proposed by Alfred Kinsey, an American sexologist famous for his works "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" (1948) and "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" (1953), is among the last two important and popular methods. According to Kinsey, gender can change over time and one can understand sexual behavior through physical and psychological perspectives such as desire, sexual attraction, and fantasy. Unlike the previous categories of heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual, Kinsey's system employs a scale from 0 to 6. A rating of 0 signifies completely heterosexual behavior while a rating of 6 denotes entirely homosexual behavior. On this scale, a rating of 1 indicates exclusively heterosexual behavior while a rating of 2 represents mainly heterosexual behavior with occasional homosexuality. Likewise, a rating of 3 signifies equal homosexuality and heterosexuality.

An additional class X was established for individuals who do not have any sexual desire. The pedigree-combination method, primarily advocated by western researchers, is mostly associated with Garnets. Garnets (2000) proposed that "sexual orientation is intricate, adaptable, and diverse. Each individual may possess both heterosexual and homosexual orientations", aligning her views with Kinsey.

The difference is that she does not support the seven-category system, arguing for a spectrum system based on intensity and strength of heterosexual and

homosexual orientations. An individual's orientation is determined by their family history and level of each orientation.

The article "Heterosexual, bisexual, and asexual orientations in contemporary college students" presents information from the study "The College Students' Sexual Orientation Questionnaire" on The questionnaire had 300 participants and included 10 questions about student attitudes towards homosexuality.

Based on the questionnaire, 91.11% of students identify as completely heterosexual, while 2.63% identify as predominantly heterosexual but have had homosexual experiences, and 6.12% identify as completely homosexual. The number of individuals identifying as homosexual has increased compared to previous data, although heterosexuality remains the predominant orientation. The proportions for bisexuality and nonsexuality have remained relatively stable with no significant changes.

Therefore, this article will primarily focus on discussing and analyzing homosexual orientation while also providing a brief introduction to heterosexual, bisexual, and nonsexual orientations.

Heterosexual Orientation in Contemporary College Students

Out of the four orientations examined, heterosexual orientation represents the majority among college students today.

Heterosexuality is the romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or behavior between individuals of opposite gender in the gender binary. It refers to having a lasting inclination or disposition to experience sexual, affectionate, physical, or romantic attractions to individuals of the opposite sex. Being heterosexual also encompasses an individual's sense of personal and social identity based on those attractions, behaviors expressing them, and membership in a community of others who share them. Society has historically accepted the concept that it is natural and appropriate for men and women to form relationships with each other. As children, observing our parents' deep love for one another unconsciously influences our belief in heterosexuality.

As we age, we witness people around us engaging in heterosexual relationships, fueling our

longing for a romantic connection that mirrors the conventional "prince and princess" archetype. Our sexual orientation towards heterosexuality is significantly shaped by our family and society.

An Analysis of Bisexual Orientation among Modern College Students

Bisexual individuals experience emotional or sexual attraction to individuals of all genders. Those who identify as bisexual often feel drawn to both males and females.

Individuals may have varying levels of feelings towards different genders, but the reason for this is that their interest lies in the person themselves rather than specifically in their gender. This also applies to bisexual individuals and the level of emotion and attraction they experience towards a particular gender, which can differ from person to person. In medical and psychological fields, bisexuality is recognized as a legitimate and valid sexual orientation. Being bisexual can be a temporary phase or a lifelong journey, with duration varying among individuals.

It is crucial to recognize that bisexual individuals have a distinct array of options in regard to their sexual orientation. It is inaccurate to presume that there are solely two alternatives. The spectrum of emotions and identities people encounter surpasses heterosexuality, homosexuality, or lesbianism. Bisexuality stands as a valid choice in its own merit.

There are individuals who may initially identify as bisexual but later disclose themselves as tribades or homosexuals. However, most bisexuals maintain their bisexuality throughout their lives. The confusion about bisexuality often arises from a lack of information about androgyny. It is important to understand that being bisexual does not necessarily mean being in relationships with both men and women simultaneously. Just because someone can be attracted to more than one gender does not imply engaging with multiple partners at

the same time. Monogamy is just as important for bisexual individuals as it is for anyone else. Therefore, bisexual individuals have the freedom to make their own choices and pursue their preferences.

Asexual orientation in today's college students

Asexuality refers to the lack of sexual attraction to anyone or low/absent interest in sexual activity. However, there is still controversy surrounding whether asexuality should be considered a sexual orientation. Asexual individuals exhibit disinterest towards both men and women and do not engage in any sexual encounters. Nonetheless, they may feel some appreciation towards a specific gender based on their own gender or personal experiences. Asexual people commonly struggle to generate positive feelings towards others and do not experience disgust either.

Asexual individuals, in contrast to ascetic and celibate individuals, primarily do not have their sexual experience influenced by spiritual factors. They exhibit indifference towards both men and women. Despite their lack of sexual desire or attraction, they engage in sexual activities with others for various reasons, such as the desire for a partner or the wish to have children. Recently, more scientists acknowledge asexuality as a sexual orientation, conducting numerous studies and interpretations from a sociological and psychological perspective. However, there are still individuals who oppose the idea of asexuality being considered a sexual orientation.

The term sexlessness is not entirely accurate and it does not restrict romantic emotions. Therefore, sexlessness can be either romantic or non-romantic. Some individuals who identify as asexual can still experience romantic feelings. More specifically, asexuality refers to a lack of interest in sex rather than a lack of love. According to AVEN, people who experience romantic attraction but not

sexual attraction are referred to as romance asexual. This category includes homoromantic asexuals, heteromantic asexuals, biromantic asexuals, and aromantic asexuals who do not experience romantic emotions towards either gender.

Homosexual Orientation Among Contemporary College Students

The prevalence of homosexual orientation has increased compared to previous times. This can be attributed to the influence of western civilization and the effects of globalization. More and more people are now identifying as gay or lesbian. Homosexuality refers to a romantic, sexual, or sexual activity between individuals of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexualism is characterized by a persistent inclination towards experiencing sexual, affectionate, or romantic attractions primarily or exclusively towards individuals of the same sex.

It also pertains to an individual's sense of personal and social identity based on those attractions, behaviors expressing them, and membership in a community of others who share them. The examination of homosexual orientation in college students is highly significant.

The factors causing homosexual orientation in college students

The factors causing homosexual orientation in college students are comprehensive. In general, there are two principal factors, namely innate factors and acquired factors. Currently, we are uncertain whether the development of homosexuality is congenital or acquired.

According to a 1922 study conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, 72% of psychiatrists believe that homosexuality is caused by physiological factors such as genetics and hormonal development before birth. There is currently a heated debate among scientists, psychologists, and psychiatrists regarding the causes of homosexuality. However, it is clear that further scientific research and evidence is needed to fully understand this issue. One acquired factor that may contribute to homosexuality is a significant breakdown

in a heterosexual relationship.

Some individuals have had one or multiple intense and consecutive relationships, which resulted in failure and caused them to lose faith in the opposite gender. The more love they experienced, the deeper their fear became. As a result, they become fearful, lonely, and hesitant to be hurt again. Over time, they lose trust in the opposite gender and develop feelings for the same gender. They believe that homosexual relationships are secure and trustworthy.

If they happen to come across the 1 who deeply hurts them in consecutive relationships, it becomes easy for them to empathize and shift their focus towards familiarity, giving rise to love that cannot be easily severed. Naturally, they wonder why they can't be together if they're happy. They believe they have the freedom to live their own lives without harming others' interests. This is one significant reason.

2) Sexual abuse has devastating effects on young individuals, impacting them both psychologically and physically. It leads to confusion about their identity and sexuality. Women, in particular, may experience betrayal from those they once trusted, such as neighbors, fathers, brothers, uncles, and more. They used to rely on these relationships for trust and security. However, when one of them violates their trust by committing sexual abuse, it shatters their sense of comfort and safety. As a result, they lose faith in these individuals and develop a deep distrust for men worldwide.

Women tend to protect themselves by shutting others out and losing trust in them. This is a natural psychological response, as without the protection of men, women may turn to same-sex relationships. If both parties have similar inclinations, it is easy for

them to fall into the trap of homosexuality.

For male victims of sexual abuse, initially they may not understand what is happening to them and feel very sorrowful and despondent. However, they also experience a brief moment of pleasure and happiness simultaneously. Additionally, it is crucial to note that many homosexual individuals who have been sexually abused come from broken families and have strained relationships with their fathers. When another man engages in intimate behavior with them, it partially fulfills their longing for love and affection, despite their awareness that their actions are wrong. Furthermore, specific environments such as the military and prisons are known for a high prevalence of homosexuality.

The ground is that homosexuality is closely connected to their environment. When they are in same-sex environments, such as prisons, the military, psychiatric infirmaries, boarding schools for boys and girls, monasteries, and convents, their desires and needs cannot be fulfilled. Consequently, in order to satisfy their psychological and physiological needs, they have no option but to turn to individuals of the same sex. One homosexual individual once stated, 'I spent many years in the military. The military strictly prohibits intimate relationships between men and women, not to mention sex. Just like prisoners, sailors, miners, and other professions, the unique social context of life naturally leads to a specific sexual lifestyle'.

One example of this can be seen in the film Brokeback Mountain, where two cowboys named Jack and Ennis, who are not cheerful, have a one-night relationship. Gradually, they develop love for each other because of their lonely and monotonous lives.

Students' attitudes towards homosexuality also vary across different countries and religions. According to a survey, the

Chinese public and college students both show a high level of acceptance towards homosexuality.

The main reason for the lack of recognition of faith is that western countries have a relatively low acceptance of certain beliefs. In Christianity, homosexuality is considered a detestable sin. In Judaism, sexual behavior between two men is prohibited, while sexual behavior between two women is looked down upon. Islam completely prohibits homosexuality. Confucianism emphasizes the concept of yin and yang, stating that everything in the world consists of these opposites.

Spirituality plays a subconscious role in influencing people's attitudes towards homosexuality. According to a study, when asked about their beliefs on homosexuality, 20% of students stated that it is not wrong, 30% of adults believed it to be somewhat wrong, but not entirely, and approximately 40% believed it to be completely wrong. There was a percentage of 10% of students who had unknown attitudes towards the topic. In essence, the attitudes of the students showed a moderate stance. The visibility of homosexuality in society can be determined by the presence of openly gay or lesbian individuals. The existence of homosexuality objectively exists, regardless of how society perceives it.

The visibility of homosexuality is higher in societies that have a strong belief in it. However, in university settings, the visibility of homosexuality is low. When students were asked if they would befriend someone who is gay or lesbian, their responses reflected their kindness. Over 60% of students said they would maintain a friendship, while only 10% rejected the idea of befriending someone who is homosexual. It is noteworthy that this percentage is much higher than the proportion of people who fully accept homosexuality.

This means that even though there is a significant group of people who believe homosexuality is wrong, they don't let it hinder their ability to befriend gay or lesbian individuals.

The therapeutic effect of homosexuality

Several prominent national mental health organizations have expressed worries regarding the implementation of therapies designed to alter sexual orientation. Generally speaking, there are six different methods employed for the treatment of homosexuality, both at home and globally. These methods include behavioral therapy, empathy therapy, environmental therapy, psychotherapy, drug therapy, and surgical therapy. The utilization of each method varies depending on the individual and can be used in combination or separately. Nevertheless, there has been no scientifically equivalent research that proves the safety or efficacy of therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation.

In addition, it is likely that the promotion of alteration therapies reinforces stereotypes and contributes to a negative environment for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. A helpful response from a healer when dealing with someone struggling with their same-sex attractions includes actively helping the person cope with societal biases against homosexuality, resolving issues related to internal struggles, and assisting them in leading a happy and fulfilling life.


According to the study, heterosexuality remains the dominant sexual orientation among contemporary college students, with a stable number of bisexual and asexual individuals. However, compared to previous data, the number of homosexuals is increasing. Overall, the sexual orientation of contemporary college students is relatively healthy.

However, we need to pay closer attention to homosexuality. According to Professor Liu Dalin, the Chinese public's perception of homosexuality can be divided into three phases. The first phase views homosexuality as a guilty act, the second phase sees it as guiltless

but unnatural and pathological, and the third phase recognizes homosexuality as a normal gender, alongside heterosexuality. Currently, China is transitioning from the first phase to the second phase. Being a country still influenced by feudal systems, China will likely see an increase in the number of homosexual, bisexual, and asexual individuals as society progresses. This will pose a significant social issue. As contemporary college students, we are more open-minded and accepting of new things.

We ought to approach homosexuality, androgyny, and asexualism with reason, extending greater love and understanding to these individuals. Love is a wonderful sentiment that everyone deserves to experience and express. It is not dependent on one's race or gender. Therefore, the decision of which sexual orientation to embrace is a personal one.

The primary importance lies in following your heart and discovering your soulmate.

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