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A glossary of sexual terms

Starting with letters H to L

Definitions of sexual terms starting with letters H to L:

bullet Harry Benjamin's Syndrome: A biological condition in which a person's brain develops as one sex, but the rest of the body takes on the physical attributes of the other sex. This appears to be caused by an interruption to the sexual differentiation processes which normally happens in early pregnancy. This syndrome has been renamed Transgenderism or Gender Identity Disorder (GID). 4
bullet Hebephilia: A condition in which an adult or older teen, almost always male, is sexually attracted to young persons who are going through puberty -- typically 10 to 14 years-of-age. The older person may or may not act on their feelings.
bullet Hermaphrodite: A person who genitals possess elements of male and female primary sexual characteristics.
bullet Heternormal: The opinion that only heterosexual sexual orientation is normal, natural, and potentially moral.
bullet Heterosexism: Rejecting homosexual and bisexual orientations as normal, valid sexual orientations.
bullet Heterosexual:
bullet General definition: A sexual orientation in which a person is sexually attracted only to persons of the opposite gender. They may or may not act on their attraction.

bullet Religious conservatives: A behavior in which a person engages in sexual activity only with members of the opposite gender.
bullet Homophobia: A term that has so many different definitions that it is almost meaningless. A few of its meanings are:

bullet Fear of persons with a homosexual orientation. This was the original meaning in the 19th century when the word was first used, but is now essentially obsolete.

bullet Hatred of homosexuals.

bullet A desire to restrict the human rights of homosexuals, including the right to marry the person that they love and too whom they are committed. We use this latter meaning in this web site.

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bullet Homosexual:
bullet General definition: A sexual orientation in which a person is sexually attracted only to persons of the same gender. They may or may not act on their attraction. It is generally regarded by gays, lesbians, bisexuals, religious liberals, human sexuality researchers and others as normal, natural, discovered, not chosen, and fixed. It is generally considered to be morally neutral. The LGBT community generally prefer the term gay or lesbian.

bullet Religious conservatives: A behavior involving sexual activity with members of the same gender. It is generally regarded as abnormal, unnatural, chosen, and changeable. It is considered sinful, irrespective of the nature of the relationship between the participants.
bullet Homosexualist: This is sometimes used as a synonym for "homosexual." Other times, it can refer to a person who does not necessarily have a homosexual orientation, but who is totally committed to promote equal rights for all persons, no matter what their sexual orientation is. It is generally used in a pejorative sense to indicate disapproval.
bullet Hysterotomy: A method of terminating a late pregnancy. It is similar to performing a Caesarian Section. An incision is made into the woman's uterus and the fetus is removed.
bullet Implantation: The embedding of the blastocyst in the inside wall of the uterus.

bulletMedical specialists define this act as the start of pregnancy.

bullet Religious conservatives generally define some point in the fertilization process as the start of pregnancy.
bullet Incest: Sexual behavior between two persons who are closely related genetically -- typically parent-child or brother-sister. Various political jurisdictions and faith groups define the degree of closeness differently and assign different punishments for infractions.
bulletGeneral definition: Killing a newborn baby.

bulletReligious conservatives: Some consider an abortion that is very late in pregnancy to be a form of infanticide.
bullet Infantophilia: Synonym: "Nepiophilia." An individual, typically male, who is 16 years or older and who is sexually attracted to very young children ages 0 to 3. The older person may or may not sexually abuse the child.

bullet Intersexuals: Individuals born with anatomy or physiology which differ from cultural ideals of male and female." The newborn may have an enlarged or protruding clitoris, or a "micro-penis". 1 Frequently, intersex infants undergo genital surgery to make them appear as a "normal" female. There is growing opposition to such surgery. As adults, they often "manifest physical characteristics, expression or identity" that differs from the sex that was assigned to them at birth. 2
bulletGeneral definition: A female who is sexually attracted only to other women. She may or may not act on their attraction.

bullet Religious and social conservative usage: A woman who engages in sexual activity with other women.

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bullet LGBT: An acronym that stands for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender/transsexual community. Sometimes the letter I is added as a suffix to indicate intersexual. Sometimes the letter Q is added as a suffix to indicate questioning. LGBT is sometimes written as GLBT.
bulletLingam: Sanskrit word for the penis. Loosely translated as "wand of light."

References used:

  1. "Discrimination Against transgender People In America," The International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy (ICTLEP), at: See also:

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Copyright © 2003 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-DEC-11
Latest update: 2015-MAY-25
Author: B.A. Robinson

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