Situational sexual behavior
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Situational sexual behavior is sexual behavior that is different from that which the person normally exhibits, due to a social environment that in some way permits, encourages, or compels the behavior. This can also include situations where a person's usual sexual behavior may not be possible, so rather than not engaging in sexual activity at all, they may engage in different sexual behaviors.
One example of situational sexual behavior includes when people might not have sex with prostitutes in their home countries, but may do so when they visit other countries, where such activities are legal or ignored by authorities. Another example is when individuals or members of a community might engage in homosexual behaviors but identify as heterosexual otherwise, such as some people in prison, the military, single sex boarding schools, or other sex-segregated communities.
Many people change their sexual behavior depending on the situation or at different points in their life. For example, men and women in a university may engage in bisexual activities, but only in that environment. Experimentation of this sort is more common among adolescents (or just after), both male and female. Some colloquialisms for this trend include "heteroflexible", "BUG" (Bisexual Until Graduation), or "LUG" (Lesbian Until Graduation).
A possibly common and transient example of situational sexuality is the person who, while self-identifying as heterosexual, will sexually interact with a member of the same sex (or a gay or lesbian self-identified person sexually interacting with a member of the opposite sex).
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Pseudo-homosexuality refers to homosexual anxieties, fantasies, or behavior exhibited by a person who self-identifies as heterosexual or who is generally attracted or sexually oriented to members of the opposite sex. Where actual sex is sought as a result, pseudo-homosexuality is commonly distinguished from homosexuality in that it may not reflect a desire based on sexual orientation or honest curiosity. For example, this behavior may be found in restrictive environments, such as prisons or encampments. Where consent is lacking in these circumstances, sociopathic elements may manifest.
The harem effect is an example of situational sexual behavior in which women confined in a harem practice lesbianism due to lack of male contact. This is similar to prison sexuality in that those involved would, presumably, be exclusively heterosexual given the option.
Many contemporary societies, as those of the Muslim world, indigenous or rural Latin America and Japan, possess non-westernized concepts of male sexuality, and as such, sexual activities are not instantly or necessarily correlated with individual identity.
Third gender categories historically emerged, as for example, the South Asian hijra, the Omanian khanith or the Latin American travesti, and some confusion between Western concepts of sexuality and these categories is likely to arise with cultural contact or gradual westernization. For example, Don Kulick described the gendered world of travestis in urban Brazil as having two categories: "men" and "not men", with women, homosexuals and travestis belonging to the latter category.
Since bisexuality is much less discussed in Western societies than homosexuality, further interpretations on where certain men-identified males who have sex with transgender males or gay-identified males in what category varies greatly. In urban Brazil, for example, generally those that have sex with travestis and women alike, but demonstrate affection only toward women, are seen as straight (and their attraction toward travestis is regarded as mere fetish), but those romantically or sexually attracted to man-identified males are seen as gay (bisexual visibility only appeared in recent years). An exception is to be made among individuals influenced by Western prejudices or taboos on male homosexuality (or non-normative male sexuality in a general manner) combined with the local machismo, and in their worldview those males that have sex with anyone but individuals of the opposite biological sex (including self-reported heterosexuals, bisexuals and pansexuals) are supposed to be gay, i.e. in the informal "not men" category since they do not suit a heteronormative gender role.
Nevertheless, these taboos do not always apply to youths, especially among young adolescents when heterosexual sex is not available. In the Arab world, the sexual segregation is reported to make homosexuality seen as more accessible for single males to a certain extent. In Latin America, more popularly known in Brazil, it is a step further, especially in rural areas, more liberal cities such as Rio de Janeiro or among older generations (when premarital heterosexual sex was less available). Among youths, bromance is seen with less suspicion—as would be expected in a society where machismo is prevalent—than among older males, and homosexual contacts among otherwise heterosexual young males in Portuguese are called meinha (literally "a little sock") or troca-troca (literally "bartering"), which is analogous to the circle jerk of English-speaking countries. Some sources also say that this environment of societal attitudes of disinformation, even repression, on the topic of sexuality, and self-demonstration before the group also make less of a problem for youths to engage in zoosexuality in rural Brazil, a practice reported to be relatively common, and which do not necessarily demonstrate permanent sexual or romantic interest in interspecies relationships.
- Rosario, M., Schrimshaw, E., Hunter, J., & Braun, L. (2006, February). Sexual identity development among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: Consistency and change over time. Journal of Sex Research, 43(1), 46–58. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- Thompson, E.M.; Morgan, E.M. (2008). ""Mostly straight" young women: Variations in sexual behavior and identity development". Developmental Psychology 44 (1): 15–21. doi:10.1037/0012-16220.127.116.11. PMID 18194001.
- See for instance "Campus Lesbians Step Into Unfamiliar Light" New York Times, June 5, 1993
- Chasnoff, Brian (2/5/04). "Life after Prison: A Program of Promise". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 2008-07-31. Check date values in:
- Kulick, Don (1998). Travesti: Sex, Gender, and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998)
- (Portuguese) Revista Galileu – News – Has anyone ever been arrested on the charge of zoophilia in Brazil?
- (Portuguese) Revista Época – Sex with animals: why pretend that it does not exists? – News in Health & Fitness
- (Portuguese) Ezio Flavio Bazzo – Ecce Bestia: Profligacy with animals
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Young People and Teenage Pregnancy by Jan Bridget, .rtf format