Human sexuality is the expression of sexual feelings.
Human sexuality can be influenced by hormonal changes in the development of the fetus during pregnancy. Some claim its manner of expression is largely due to genetic predisposition. Others say it is due to one's own personal experimentation in early life, and thus the establishment of preferences. A less divisive approach recognises that both factors may have a mutual role to play.
Human sexuality can also be understood as part of the social life of humans, governed by implied rules of behavior and the status quo. Thus, it is claimed, sexuality influences social norms and society in turn influences the manner in which sexuality can be expressed. Since the invention of the mass media, sexuality has further molded the environments in which we live; it comes to be distilled (often into stereotypes) and then repeatedly expressed in commercialized forms such as print, audio and film.
Human sexuality is distinguished from gender identity. Gender identity is a more expansive set of roles than sexual identity. Gender can usually be molded by the social environment to which one is exposed as a child, e.g. an authority figure giving a little boy a toy truck to play with, and a girl a doll. Human physiology and gender molding thus makes certain forms of sexual expression possible or even likely, but it does not predict that future sexual behavior will be regarded as 'gender appropriate'.
Human sexual choices are usually made using current cultural norms. For example; some may choose to abstain from sex before marriage because their religion forbids such actions. In some cultures it may be acceptable for a man to have many wives, while in others bigamy or polygamy is frowned upon.
Those who wish to express a dissident sexuality often form sub-cultures, within the main culture.
Topics in human sexuality