Changing Sexual Interests, Identities, and Behaviours

  • James Horley
  • Jan Clarke


One obvious implication of a theory of human sexuality based on choice is that if something can be chosen it can also be rejected at a later time. The acceptance of a channelized choice, however, means that the rejection of an adopted and employed construct does not mean that the entire system reverts to its state immediately prior to the adoption of the construct. Constructs come and constructs go; they also evolve with system change. As construct system change occurs, there is a very good chance that self-identity, including a sense of the self as a sexual being, is modified. While this may be true for a PCT-based theory of sexual desire, changing sexual desires let alone sexual identity is easier said than done. We may want to alter our desires and sexual engagements but, aside from a sudden and massive alteration in our current system, any change is likely to be slow, difficult, and perhaps more likely to move backward than forward, especially if we attempt it on our own. While epiphanies can and do occur, they are very rare, and long and slow change is more common and often involves help and support, whether through professional or informal helping networks. Though some therapists may believe in the efficacy of their theories and techniques, the change that can occur through formal helping networks and professionals must be seen as slow, gradual, and incremental change.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • James Horley
    • 1
  • Jan Clarke
    • 2
  1. 1.Augustana CampusUniversity of AlbertaCamroseCanada
  2. 2.Associate Professor of SociologyAlgoma UniversitySault Ste. MarieCanada

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