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  1. Gregory M. Herek

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0417

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Herek, G. M. 2010. Homosexuality. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. University of California, Davis

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Homosexuality refers to sexual behaviors, desires, attractions, and relationships among people of the same sex, as well as to the culture, identities, and communities associated with them. The term encompasses at least five phenomena that are often though not always related. First, it is used to describe specific instances of sexual behavior with a person of one's same sex. Second, it refers to ongoing patterns of sexual or romantic attraction to people of one's own sex, which may or may not be expressed behaviorally. Both homosexual and heterosexual behaviors and attractions are common across human societies.


  • mental health;
  • parenting & children;
  • prejudice & stigma;
  • relationships & families;
  • sexual orientation