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sexual identity

Definition of Sexual Identity

(noun) A broad term, referring to an individual’s perception of themselves in sexual matters.

Sexual Identity Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: sex·u·al i·den·ti·ty

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /sEk-shuh-wuhl ie-dEn-tuh-tee/
  • British English – /sEk-syuuhl ie-dEn-ti-tee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈsɛkʃuəl aɪˈdɛntəti/
  • British English – /ˈsɛksjʊəl aɪˈdɛntɪti/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: sexual identities
  • Often written in the plural form sexual identities to indicate that often people exhibit varied identities at once or their identities change throughout their life.
  • Sexual identities is a pluralistic and postmodern view of sexuality as opposed to sexual orientation which is essentialistic or sexual preference which is constructionistic.
  • Also called sex identity.

Additional Information

Related Terms

Works Consulted

Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Encyclopædia Britannica. (N.d.) Britannica Digital Learning. (https://britannicalearn.com/).

Kimmel, Michael S., and Amy Aronson. 2012. Sociology Now. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).

Cite the Definition of Sexual Identity

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2016. “sexual identity.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 18, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/sexual-identity/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

sexual identity. (2016). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/sexual-identity/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2016. “sexual identity.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/sexual-identity/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“sexual identity.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2016. Web. 18 Jun. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/sexual-identity/>.