Not just gay talk
A gentleman commented on last week’s post on sexual preference and sexual orientation:
Each term - preference and orientation - is biased, prejudicial and politically charged. The usage speaks to the opinion of the speaker, hitting the reader with the writers opinion, eliciting either a warm fuzzy or cold, hard feeling.
I think that using well defined, accurate terms over euphemisms would improve the report, unless the example that started this was an opinion piece.
I thought we already had such a defined, accurate, non-euphemistic term in sexual orientation. The word orientation identifies a tendency without specifying its origin.
We know that human beings have an inborn proclivity to sexual activity — you’re not going to dispute that, are you? The question is the direction in which that proclivity develops. Since science has not yet determined definitively whether homosexual behavior — which is what all the hoo-hah is about — is inborn or learned or a mixture of the two, orientation is a neutral term.
Or so think, among others, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher. They all use the term.
And really, do you think when the freshman class shows up for orientation, we are saying that its members have an inborn trait to attend college classes?