Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 906–922 | Cite as

Constructing Sexuality: A Theory of Stability and Fluidity

  • James Horley
  • Jan Clarke
Original Paper


Theories of human sexuality often rely on bio-evolutionary factors to explain sexual desire and development. Theories that do focus on socio-cultural factors tend to provide limited explanation of individual psychological underpinnings of sexual desire and behaviour. This paper presents an alternative, psychosocial account based on personal construct theory. The role of experience, including the active and constant interpretation of both external and internal events, is afforded a central role. Choice is recognized also as important but only in a channelized or limited manner. Although empirical support is very limited at this point in time, we believe that this theory represents a compelling and testable account of sexual desire and development.


Sexuality theory Psychosocial theory Personal construct theory Sexual development Sexual fluidity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesUniversity of AlbertaCamroseCanada
  2. 2.Algoma UniversitySault Sainte MarieCanada

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