specifically sexual. There is also a word referring to same-sex love,
(used in the medical community when specificallydiscussing sexual activity),
(referring to works of art),
(referring to a person who identifies as heterosexual, but occasionally engages in same-sex sexual activities),and
(referring to a non-gay man with stereotypically gay tastes in food, fashion, anddesign). Pejorative terms in English include
. Beginning inthe 1990s, some of these have been "reclaimed" as positive words by gay men and lesbians, as inthe usage of queer studies,queer theory,and even the popular American television program
occurs in many other languages without the pejorative connotations it has in English.
As withethnic slursandracial slurs,however, the
misuse of these terms can still be highly offensive; the range of acceptable use depends on thecontext and speaker. Conversely,
Homosexuality as asexual orientationrefers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition toexperience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions primarily to" people of the same sex; "italso refers 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."
Theexact proportion of the population that is homosexual is difficult to estimate reliably,
butstudies place it at 2–7%.
TheAmerican Psychiatric Associationhas stated "some people believe that sexualorientation is innate and fixed; however, sexual orientation develops across a person’slifetime."
Homosexuality as a sexual identity refers to sexual identity as agayor lesbianperson. In a
narrow sense, gay refers to male homosexuality, but it often is used in its broadest sense,especially in media headlines and reports, to refer to homosexuality in general. Lesbian,however, always denotes female homosexuality.Some scholars, such as David Green, state that homosexuality is a modern Western socialconstruct, and as such cannot be used in the context of non-Western male-male sexuality, nor inthe pre-modern West.