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sexuality

Definitions of Sexuality

  1. (noun) A broad term, encompassing an individual’s sexual interests and behaviors, involving biological, cultural, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects.
  2. (noun) The experience and expression of people as sexual beings.

Examples of Sexuality

Sexuality Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˌsɛkʃəˈwælədi/
    • British English
      • /ˌsɛkʃʊˈalᵻti/
  • Syllabification: (sex·u·al·i·ty)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: sexualities
  • Often written in the plural form “sexualities” to indicate that often people exhibit varied sexualities at once or their sexualities change throughout their life.
  • There have been many attempts to establish proper terminology for an individual’s attraction to others. The primary two are sexual orientation, an essentialist view and sexual preference which is a constructionist view.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Crooks, Robert, and Karla Baur. 2014. Our Sexuality. 12th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Ferrante, Joan. 2011. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Giddens, Anthony, and Philip W. Sutton. 2014. Essential Concepts in Sociology. Cambridge: Polity.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Macionis, John. 2012. Sociology. 14th ed. Boston: Pearson.

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

O’Leary, Zina. 2007. The Social Science Jargon Buster: The Key Terms You Need to Know. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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/).

Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Thorpe, Christopher, Chris Yuill, Mitchell Hobbs, Sarah Tomley, and Marcus Weeks. 2015. The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained. London: Dorling Kindersley.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

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

Cite the Definition of Sexuality

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “sexuality.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 19, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/sexuality/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

sexuality. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/sexuality/

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

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “sexuality.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 19, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/sexuality/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“sexuality.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 19 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/sexuality/>.