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Sexuality, or sexual orientation, has to do with whom a person is, or is not, attracted to either sexually or romantically. People may identify more with one sexuality than another at different points in their lives. In this article, we will discuss what sexuality is and provide definitions of some sexual orientations.

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Sexuality is not about who you have sex with, or how often you have it. Sexuality is about your sexual feelings, thoughts, attractions and behaviours towards other people. You can find other people physically, sexually or emotionally attractive, and all those things are a part of your sexuality. Sexuality is diverse and personal, and it is an important part of who you are. Discovering your sexuality can be a very liberating, exciting and positive experience.

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Some people experience discrimination due to their sexuality. Sometimes, it can take time to figure out the sexuality that fits you best. And your sexuality can change over time. You might be drawn to men or to women, to both or to neither. Most people are attracted to the opposite sex — boys who like girls, and women who like men, for example. Some people are attracted to the same sex.

These people are homosexual. Around 10 per cent of young Australians experience same-sex attraction, most during puberty. The Better Health Channel has more information on lesbian sexuality and gay male sexuality.

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Sexuality can be more complicated than being straight or gay. Some people are attracted to both men and women, and are known as bisexual. Bisexual does not mean the attraction is evenly weighted — a person may have stronger feelings for one gender than another. And this can vary depending on who they meet. There are different kinds of bisexuality. Some people who are attracted to men and women still consider themselves to be mainly straight or gay.

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Or they might have sexual feelings towards both genders but only have intercourse with one. Other people see sexual attraction as more grey than black and white.

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These people find everyday labels too rigid. There are many differences between individuals, so bisexuality is a general term only. Asexuality is not a choice, like abstinence where someone chooses not to have sex with anyone, whether they are attracted to them or not. Asexuality is a sexual orientation, like homosexuality or heterosexuality. Some people may strongly identify with being asexual, except for a few infrequent experiences of sexual attraction grey-asexuality.

18 types of sexuality to know about for a deeper understanding of yourself and others

Some people feel sexual attraction only after they develop a strong emotional bond with someone this is known as demisexuality. Other people experience asexuality in a range of other ways. Equality and freedom from discrimination are fundamental human rights that belong to all people. In most states in Australia, including Victoria, it is against the law to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or lawful sexual activity.

However, discrimination can still occur. If you think you have been discriminated against or victimised because of your sexuality or a range of other reasons contact the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. For information on the legal obligations of employers regarding discrimination based on sexual identity, see the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission web on equal opportunity practice guidelines.

LGBTI people have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, homelessness, self-harming and suicidal thoughts, compared with the general population. This is particularly true of young LGBTI people who are coming to terms with their sexuality and experiencing victimisation and bullying at school.

These pressures are on top of all the other stuff people have to deal with in life such as managing school, finding a job, forming relationships and making sense of your identity and place in the world. If you are worried that someone you know has a mental health problem, look out for changes in their mood, behaviour, relationships, appetite, sleep patterns, coping and thinking.

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If these changes last more than a couple of weeks, talk to them about getting help. A good place to start is their doctor, or a phone or online service such as QLifebeyondblue or ehepace for young people. If you are struggling with your own sexuality:. This has been produced in consultation with and approved by:. In Victoria, you can have two types of abortion: surgical and medication.

Both types are safe and reliable. You can have a medication abortion up to nine weeks of pregnancy. You can have a surgical abortion from around six weeks of pregnancy onwards.

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Mifepristone, also called RU or the 'abortion pill', is used to terminate end a pregnancy are to nine weeks. Abortion is one of the most common and safest types of surgery in Australia. Alcohol is responsible for most drug-related deaths in the teenage population. There are many people you can talk to who can help you overcome feelings of wanting to lash out. Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional.

The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the are, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website.

Sexual health. Home Sexual health. Sexuality explained. Actions for this Listen Print. Summary Read the what fact sheet. On this. Different types of sexuality The based on sexuality Sexuality and mental health Helping someone struggling with their sexuality and mental health Where to get help. Different types of sexuality Sometimes, it can take time to figure out the sexuality that fits you best. Heterosexual and homosexual Most people are attracted to the opposite sex — boys who like girls, and women who like men, for example.

Bisexual Sexualities can be more complicated than being straight or gay. Sexualities based on sexuality Equality and freedom from discrimination are fundamental human rights that belong to all people. Sexuality and mental health LGBTI people have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, homelessness, self-harming and suicidal thoughts, compared with the general population. Some of the stressful experiences that can affect the mental health of an LGBTI person are: feeling different from other people being bullied verbally or physically feeling pressure to deny or change their sexuality feeling worried about coming out, and then being rejected or isolated feeling unsupported or misunderstood.

Helping someone struggling with their sexuality and mental health If you are worried that someone you know has a different health what, look out for changes in their mood, behaviour, relationships, appetite, sleep patterns, coping and thinking. Try talking to someone you trust — a friend, relative, doctor or counsellor, or use the helpline such as QLifebeyondblue or ehepace.

Remember, there is no rush to figure out your sexuality. Take your time. If you want, you can about coming out. About sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status discriminationAustralian Human Rights Commission. All about being gayReachOut, Australia. A language guide: trans and gender diverse inclusion, ACON. The difference between sex, sexuality and genderReachOut, Australia. Transgender and transsexualityYouth Central. Understanding your sexualityReachOut, Australia. What does it mean to be asexual?

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Give feedback about this. Was this helpful? Yes No. View all sexual health. Related information. From other websites Reach Out - Being lesbian. Content disclaimer Content on this website is provided for information purposes only.

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