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Tendencies and behaviour of human beings with regard to any activity that causes or is otherwise associated with sexual arousal. It is strongly influenced by the genetically inherited sexual response patterns that ensure reproduction (seereproductive behaviour), societal attitudes toward sex, and each individual's upbringing. Physiology sets only very broad limits on human sexuality; most of the enormous variation found among humans results from learning and conditioning. What is deviant in one society may be normal in another. Sexuality covers gender identity, sexual orientation, and actual practices, as well as one's acceptance of these aspects of one's personality, which may be more important than their specifics. See alsohomosexuality; transsexualism.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on sexuality, human, visit Britannica.com.
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