A trio of recent studies by Cornell's Sex & Gender Laboratory, directed by Ritch Savin-Williams, professor of human development, shed new light on sexual orientation
and its repercussions on a person's physical, mental, and social health.
In addition, women were asked to indicate their sexual orientation
, to provide information on sexual behaviors and on testing for HIV and other STDs, and to rate their perceived susceptibility to HIV infection.
Prior to that, if gay men and lesbian women did not live in large cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Boston, where vital lesbian and gay culture thrives, gay men and lesbian women generally kept their sexual orientation
a closely guarded secret on the job.
Perhaps few issues have the potential to draw a larger "line in the sand" over which there can be the expression of strong personal, philosophical, and religious views than the issue of sexual orientation
. It has been likened to views about race relations in the 40s and 50s.
Mark Thompson, legal team leader at Associa Employment Service, believes that the current Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) guidance on sexual orientation
discrimination, which is prompting the moves by large firms, is still embryonic.
If being closeted about his sexual orientation
was the price of remaining in his chosen career, he was willing to pay it.
But diversity also can create problems when people are not accustomed to working with others whose backgrounds differ from theirs, possibly leading to discrimination based on age, sex, race, disability, religious belief and sexual orientation
"Our research shows that male sexual orientation
is substantially genetic," report psychologist J.
Red Wing, a candidate for the district 25 legislative seat in Colorado's house, responded by saying that while her sexual orientation
shouldn't be an issue that, yes, she is a lesbian.
This new development is a response to the historical ignorance regarding sexual orientation
and the heterosexual assumptions in career theories and research.
But in the past decade or so, researchers from disparate fields spanning genetics, audiology, and behavioral science have amassed bits and pieces of evidence that they believe indicate what may determine sexual orientation
. If they're right, our sexual orientation
may well be fixed long before any maestro blows his first note.
"My goal," Stein says, "is to reframe the entire public discussion around the development of sexual orientations
and to provide gay people with the tools to question the scientific research and its value."