Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 505–508 | Cite as

Defining Sexual Orientation

  • Charles MoserEmail author
Commentary on van Anders (2015)

Sexual Configurations Theory (SCT) has been proposed as a theory for understanding diverse partnered sexuality by extending the concept of sexual orientation (van Anders, 2015). Unfortunately, the concept of sexual orientation is not well defined and a clear definition of sexual orientation is needed before extending the concept. The present commentary will focus on defining sexual orientation, expanding the concept of sexual orientation, and distinguishing sexual orientation from related concepts. It is meant to support and expand SCT. So to start, a few definitions are necessary.


  1. Sexual identity refers to how individuals define themselves sexually. It may or may not describe their actual sexual behavior, fantasy content, or to which sexual stimuli they respond.

  2. Sexual interests describe what individuals want to do, whether or not they actually do it. By definition, sexual interests imply that they provoke sexual arousal in the individual.

  3. Sexual behavioris...


Sexual Behavior Sexual Arousal Sexual Identity Sexual Interest Sexual Attraction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sexual MedicineInstitute for Advanced Study of Human SexualitySan FranciscoUSA

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