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the quality or state of intense emotional and usually erotic attraction of a woman to another woman. First used in the late 16th century, the word lesbian referred to the Greek island of Lesbos. The connotation of female homosexuality was added in the late 19th century, when an association was made with the poetry of Lesbian poet Sappho (c. 610–c. 580 BC). At the turn of the 21st century, issues of concern to lesbians in Europe and North America included legal recognition for same-sex unions, child-rearing rights, women's health-care, taxes, inheritance, and the sharing of medical benefits with a partner.
Variants of LESBIANISM
lesbianism also called sapphism or female homosexuality,
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on lesbianism, visit Britannica.com.