A Definition of Sexuality
We all know what sex is. But sex is only a small part of who we are as sexual beings. Even people who are not having sex are sexual beings. And so there’s another word that you should know and use too. That word is sexuality. Here are some of the things that are included when we talk about sexuality:
1. Sexuality is much more than body parts and sex (though it includes these things, too).
2. Sexuality includes our gender identity (the core sense that we are female or male).
3. Sexuality includes gender role (the idea of how we should behave because we are a female or male).
4. Sexuality includes our sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual).
5. Sexuality includes how we feel about our bodies. We call that “body image,” and poor body image can have a profound effect on our ability to have healthy relationships. A person with poor body image may not think they deserve a good partner, and so they may be willing to settle for someone who will not respect them or who may even abuse them.
6. Sexuality includes our sexual experiences, thoughts, ideas, and fantasies.
7. Sexuality includes the way in which the media, family, friends, religion, age, life goals, and our self-esteem shape our sexual selves.
8. Sexuality includes how we experience intimacy, touch, love, compassion, joy, and sorrow.
9. We like this quote: “Sexuality is expressed in the way we speak, smile, stand, sit, dress, dance, laugh, and cry.”
In short, sexuality is an integral part of who we are, what we believe, what we feel, and how we respond to others.
Which means that whether you like it or not and whether you say anything or not, you will have a strong influence on the sexuality of your children. Silence may even speak louder than words.