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J Homosex. 1987;14(1-2):9-24.

Assessment of sexual orientation.

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Department of Family Practice and Community Health, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis.


This paper reviews the multitude of methods which have been utilized to assess sexual orientation. The basic assumption of most of the previous methods of assessment is that sexual orientation is determined by one's gender or genitalia and the gender or genitalia of the individual one is attracted to. This assumption is challenged and the complexity of sexual orientation is illustrated. Consequently, a model for assessment of sexual orientation is proposed which includes nine dimensions: current relationship status, self-identification identity, ideal self-identification identity, global acceptance of their current sexual orientation identity, physical identity, gender identity, sex-role identity, and sexual orientation identity as measured by behavior, fantasies and emotional attachments, and finally the individual's past and present perception of their sexual identity compared to their idealized future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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