Sexuality and Sex: what is the difference?
Sexuality is more than sex. Sex is about a physical act. Sexuality is a basic part of who someone is and includes values, attitudes amd behaviours. It involves relationships with other people, feelings, communication, intimacy, attitudes to one's own body and ideas about how men and women should behave. Sexuality is part of each individual from birth til death. Young people learn by observing their parents / whanau - how people relate to others, express loving, caring feelings and how they respect other people's differences, including different values. Young people may also learn by experimenting and risk-taking.
Sexuality is diverse, and deeply personal. Understanding our sexuality is about the sexual feelings and attractions we feel towards other people, not about who we have sex with. There are different types of sexuality, and it can take time to figure out what is right for you. If someone is giving you a hard time about your sexuality, find out what to do and who you can talk to.
A great website to read is Bodysafe - a group in NZ working with young people to promote respectful relationships and prevent sexual violence.
Fear and intolerance of homosexuality, bisexuality, lesbian women and gay men.
Men and women who accept their homosexuality orientation and identify (define themselves) as gay. There are gay people in every sector of society.
Check out this informative website from Love Your Condom.
Takatapui is a term that historically refers to a partner of the same sex. Today, it is also used by people who identify as both Maori and queer. It may include sexuality or gender, and can mean different things to different people. it's a culturally specific term - which means it does not comply with western ideas of gender identiy or sexual orientation.
Fa'afafine are Samoan biological males who behave in a range of feminine-gendered ways. Fa'afafine falls into a third gender, seperate from male or female. They have been an intergrated part of Samoan communities for centuries.
Fakaleiti refers to a third gender catagory that is found in Tonga - specifically those assigned male at birth. They perform activities traditionally done by females. Fakaleiti in Tonga may not necessarily associate with western queer and trans identities.
Men and women who feel they have the wrong set of sexual organs. Some transexuals have sex-change operations. There is no connection between trans-sexuality and homosexuality. Transsexuals may be gay, bisexual or straight.
A person that doesn't always fit societies rules that boys are boys and girls are girls. An umbrella term encapsulating gender identities where an individual's indentification or gender identity does not match the one associated with their assigned sex at birth. A transgender individual may identify with any gender identity (not only male or female), and may or may not have undergone gender reassignment surgery or hormonal treatment.
The journey of a young person transitioning - watch the video here.
Watch Mila's Story here.
Sexual attraction to and/or behaviour with a person of another gender.
Sexual attraction to and/or behaviour with a person of the same gender. Homosexuality is normal and is not an illness.
Sexual attraction to and/or behaviour with both genders. Bisexuality is normal and is not an illness.
Not really sexually attracted to anyone.
Talking to someone about sexuality
There are people that you can talk to about questions, experiences or concerns with sexuality or gender, or for support or help. Find out about what kind of help you can access - talk to Anamata CAFE.
Other links on sexuality