The next Northern Michigan University psychology colloquium will be titled "The Ins and Outs of Defining Sex and Virginity Loss: Variations by Sexual Orientation." NMU professor Maya Sen will give the presentation at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 25, in 167 Gries Hall. The public is invited.
Research on what is considered "having sex" has helped to clarify people's definitions of this nebulous concept and to examine changes in the concept over time. But the research has paid little attention to sexual minorities, despite having important implications for public health issues, public policy formation, and sex education. The current study uses the Sexual Definitions Survey (Sanders & Reinisch, 1999) to compare perceptions of the definition of "having sex" and "losing virginity" for both heterosexuals and sexual minorities. Sen will present descriptive data on the fact both female and male sexual minorities' perceptions of what counts as "having sex" and "losing virginity" for themselves differed from those of heterosexuals.