The University of Newcastle, Australia

Sexuality

Sexuality and sexual definitions

Sexuality can be experienced and expressed in various ways. It includes thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviours, and relationships. It is not just about who you have sex with, whether you identify as same sex attracted or heterosexual. It can a complex issue that can raise various feelings such as confusion and excitement.

The Genderbread person is a visual representation of the basic concept of sexuality. Sexuality can be defined by areas such as gender identity, gender expression, biological sex and sexual orientation. Sexuality is a fluid concept and can be viewed across a range in a continuum in all of the following areas . genderbread

Gender identity

Refers to a persons' sense of maleness, femaleness or any mixture of the two.

Transgender people are people who have a gender identity, or gender expression, that differs from their assigned sex at birth.

Intersex people are born with reproductive organs, genitalia and/or sex chromosomes that are not exclusively male or female.

Sexual or orientation/attraction

The primary direction of a persons' sexual attraction is towards the other gender (heterosexual), to the same gender (homosexual), to both genders (bisexual) or to none (asexual).

Some common terms for sexual orientation include:

  • Heterosexual - attracted to people of the opposite sex or gender
  • Gay - Attracted to people of the same sex or gender
  • Lesbian - Attracted to people of the same sex or gender
  • Bisexual - Attracted to both men and women
  • Pansexual - Attracted to different kinds of people, regardless of their gender
  • Asexual - Not sexually attracted to anyone

Gender expression

Gender is about a persons' sense of who they are and how they express themselves as a male, female or something else, as opposed to what their physical characteristics, genes and hormones indicate.

Biological Sex

Our biological sex is how we are defined as female, male, or intersex. It describes our internal and external bodies — including our sexual and reproductive anatomy, our genetic makeup, and our hormones.


Support

If you are questioning or experiencing difficulty with your sexuality there are services both on campus and in the community that provide non-judgmental and confidential support including Counselling, Equity and Diversity or ACON.

Further support information can be found on the Gender and sexuality support page.

For information regarding on campus support for gender diverse students, if you want further information or want to feedback on this webpage please contact health promotion.

At UON you have the right to express who you are and feel comfortable and safe within your sexuality.