For most, the details of the separation of sexual orientations end with the word “non-traditional”. Often, the average person distinguishes between only two extremes – heterosexual (traditional) and homosexual (non-traditional) relationships.
But history and psychology tell us that everything is not as simple as it might seem. What gender can you attribute yourself to, what components of sexuality shape gender, including pansexuality. What are the differences between pansexuals and bisexuals, let us analyze with examples what pansexuality means today.
What is gender?
The renowned psychoanalyst Dr. Alfred Kinsey created a sexuality scale based on painstaking research on this topic. On this scale, anyone can determine their sexuality with maximum accuracy. One of the types of sexual orientation on this scale is pansexuality.
In scientific literature, the term “gender” appeared in 1968, thanks to the work “Gender and sex” by the American psychiatrist R. Stoller. The scientist proposed to classify a person’s sex not only by physical, but also by social characteristics. The World Health Organization has proposed its own interpretation of the concept. In it, the word “gender” means socially acquired characteristics of a person – norms, roles and relationships.
In cultures, gender expectations can change under the influence of factors that influence society. But there are people who do not fit into the binary system of both sexes – this must be understood and accepted.
The components of sexuality
According to the unanimous opinion of sexologists, a “pure” heterosexual is a very rare occurrence, because there are practically no “pure” heterosexuals. In fact, according to polls, their number on the planet turned out to be negligible. You should not take a word for every person who insists that he is only interested in representatives of the opposite sex.
Every day, to one degree or another, we experience attraction to people of the same sex. True orientation is not defined as purely sexual preference – there are triggers that can vary widely from person to person.
For example, if a woman likes another woman … Not even that way. If a woman takes pleasure in observing the beauty of another woman, she is no longer a “pure” heterosexual. Even if she hadn’t thought about having sex with another woman.
How does it look in everyday life? Many girls have idols among actresses, models, famous personalities. They admire them, try to imitate them: they wear similar clothes, copy habits, try to be like an idol.
In this case, the attractiveness of the other girl becomes the same homosexual trigger to which women react positively.
Of course, in the conditions of Russian realities, it is difficult for people to come to terms with their own sexuality. There are many factors for self-denial, and among them are religious, political beliefs, traditions, moral principles, and much more. Several years ago, Russia and a number of other countries opposed the prohibition of discrimination against sexual minorities, which was previously put forward by the United Nations.
Any self-identification, be it bi-, homo-, hetero-, transgender, or queer – was considered a manifestation of willfulness. Such a policy is preserved even now – society has not yet “matured” for tolerance, it still has something to work on.
Be that as it may, a person should be aware of their sexuality, understand and accept how thoughts affect feelings. If you remain in the dark all your life, you can pay for it with mental and physical health. This includes depression and neuropsychiatric diseases that can affect the later life of an individual, while he will not know why his troubles, why it is so difficult for him to live. Knowing about their sexuality, people themselves will be able to understand their feelings and preferences.
Any sexual orientation is a combination of two factors that cause an individual to be attracted to a particular sex:
- Biological factor . These are genetically determined factors – the level of hormones, predisposition, the type of genitals, and so on.
- Gender characteristics. This includes social aspects that affect a person’s orientation – his environment, state of mind, position in society, civil rights.
These factors have many possible combinations.
Who is a pansexual – orientation features
The prefix “pan” comes from the Greek language and means “all” or “everyone.” But the main idea of pansexuals, of course, is not to “love everything that moves.”
A pansexual is a person who is romantically and sexually attracted to another person, regardless of their gender. This means that it does not classify people by sex or gender.
- Agenda are people who refuse to identify themselves with gender.
- Androgynes are people who combine the characteristics of both sexes (as a woman and a man at the same time).
- Gender fluids are people who are flexible about their gender identity.
- Genderqueers are a category of people to which all atypical cases of gender identity belong.
- Transgender people are people who do not have the same social and biological gender.
If you are pansexual, you will not care about the person’s identity. Pansexuals have feelings that they can have for a specific person, individual, personality, and they will never associate their love with gender identity.
Pansexuality is widespread today.
In some dating apps, this orientation is included in the general list, along with heterosexuality and homosexuality.
By the way, a pansexual person is not necessarily polygamous (one who is in a relationship with several partners at once). A pansexual person can remain monogamous (faithful to one partner). Likewise, you can define your gender in completely different ways. But this does not mean that it is impossible to adhere to a pansexual orientation.
How to tell pansexual from bisexual?
Sometimes you can hear that pansexuals are the same as bisexuals, only a more well-known concept used in wider circles. This is not the case, although it may appear that there is no difference between the two orientations.
Pansexuals themselves disagree when they are credited with being bisexual. They are irritated by excessive stereotyping of concepts, because they consider themselves people of “broader views”. They don’t divide those around them into “boys and girls” when it comes to sexual attraction. And the label “bisexual” in relation to pansexuals is the same ignorance as calling a person a monkey.
Famous artist Miley Cyrus, after coming out (publicly) about pansexuality, shared her own vision of the situation with the press. Miley resentfully clarified that the bisexuality, which everyone tried to attribute to her, drove her into the rigid framework of stereotypes.
In the past, bisexuality was the only term that could explain a person’s love, regardless of the sex of the object of adoration. And the understanding of the problem at that time was extremely narrow, because gender was divided into two: men and women. As the gender perspective developed, the concept of bisexuality began to evolve.
- Today, bisexuality is an interest in people of more than one sex.
- At the same time, you need to clearly understand who a pansexual is – this is a person who is attracted to another person, regardless of gender.
These two concepts have a fine line, which is strictly fundamental for representatives of both orientations. Although there are supporters of both theories who call themselves BiPansexuals. But, as a rule, the majority still tends to one, specific type of sexual orientation.
Pansexuality in famous circles
The term “pansexual” was used in his works by the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Until ten years ago, this word was practically not used outside the scientific community and was completely new to ordinary people. Today it is actively used in the media.
For example, the New York Times recently conducted research to determine the sexual preferences of its audience. Most of the young people categorized themselves as “mostly heterosexual”. The value of the test confirmed the assumptions of the researchers – in addition to heterosexuality, people feel something else, but not everyone can explain what exactly.
The media has more than once described one of the most striking cases of pansexuality, which everyone has probably heard about. This is a story about a Canadian family who has abandoned the perception of gender as such.
For their third child, there are no restrictions that would identify his gender. It is worth emphasizing that the child does not have any abnormalities in sexual development as an intersex person. Parents believe that the child will decide who he is when he grows up.
How do you know if you are pansexual?
There are many pseudo methods that will determine your sexual preferences. But there is no official test that would determine 100% if you are pansexual. Only by learning to listen to your heart can you determine your sexual orientation and your preferences.
If you find that you are not pansexual, but you are impressed by this idea, do not take this fact too literally. You will definitely find something that is really close to you. The most important thing in this quest is not to lose your true essence and to know your real self.