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 Definition Orientation or preference for romantic and sexual relationships with members of the opposite gender. [d] [e]


"As heterosexuality is a 'cultural default' in most societies"...

So sexual orientation is a matter of culture? And...most? Is there any "society," whether a whole country or even a small tribe, where it is not the norm?

My suggestion: change "most societies" to "all countries and ethnic groups", and think (hard ;-) ) for something in place of "cultural default." Not sure what. --Larry Sanger 18:08, 4 September 2008 (CDT)

I'd say it's a fairly uncontroversial idea to say that sexual orientations do have cultural attitudes attached. There's a reason, for instance, why Matthew Shepherd was murdered in Wyoming but probably wouldn't have been in Massachusetts. Given that, as a cultural idea heterosexuality is not controversial in the way that almost every other sexual orientation is. And because it's not controversial, it's not often a topic of discussion or controversy in the way other sexualities are. Tried to clean it up a little, but the synapses may not be clicking right. --Tom Morris 18:26, 4 September 2008 (CDT)
I've done some rewriting. I lived for 25 years in Tahiti, where "mahus" (same word in Hawaiian) were honored and valued members of society. In the *old* days, mahus were boys who were raised as women -- they, in effect, *became* women and were *considered* women, even if physically they resembled men in most ways. There was an old mahu in one of the districts when I first arrived who had a long white beard, wore lipstick and jewelry, and was a well-known citizen. By the time I left in 1987, hormone and sexual reassignment technics had brought the "mahus" into another status, of course, that of transgendered people. There are many of them in Tahiti, Samoa, Hawaii, and the other Polynesian islands, although their status in the various islands depends a lot upon which of the European or American colonizers ran those islands for a period of time. But in spite of all of this, the normative cultural sexual mores is still, and always has been, heterosexuality. No one in Tahiti, except perhaps a few of the more fervently religious types, care very much if there is a little occasional gender mixing for simple pleasure, particularly among the young. But eventually, just about the same percentage of people as here in the States or Russia, or anywhere else, pair off as male and females.... Hayford Peirce 18:42, 4 September 2008 (CDT)