Perspectives on Homosexuality
Combined with other twin and heritability studies, this research helps explain the probable genetic substrate of sexual orientation, with different genetic influences for male homosexuality, male heterosexuality, female homosexuality, female heterosexuality, and, possibly, bisexuality. Although the complex set of behaviors and feelings of homosexuality could not be explained by a single factor, a genetic basis seems to be the foundation on which other complex biological, familial, and societal influences work to shape the development and expression of sexual orientation (LeVay, 1996).
Perspectives on Bisexuality
Bisexuality has also existed throughout recorded history. Freud believed in innate bisexuality and that an individual evolves into a heterosexual or a homosexual, rarely a bisexual (Freud, 1963). Many bisexuals still find themselves contending with this lack of acknowledgment that a bisexual orientation can be an endpoint in itself and not just a step toward heterosexuality or homosexuality.
It is helpful for providers to know that the clinical issues facing bisexuals often are problems resulting from the difficulty of acknowledging and acting on a sexual orientation that is not accepted by the heterosexual majority but also not accepted by many gay men and lesbians.
Some people of color in the United States or people from different cultures may define themselves as bisexual, even if they focus exclusively on people of the same sex (Gonzalez & Espin, 1996). This perspective may be their way of coping with the stigma of homosexuality. Reviews that discuss theory and clinical issues include those by Weinberg, Williams, and Pryor (1994); Klein and Wolfe (1985); and Fox (1996).