Dictionary Definition

heterosexuality n : a sexual attraction to (or sexual relations with) persons of the opposite sex [syn: heterosexualism, straightness]

User Contributed Dictionary



From hetero, other + sexuality


  1. The state of being emotionally or sexually attracted to persons of the opposite sex.


heterosexual orientation
  • Afrikaans: heteroseksualiteit
  • Bosnian: heteroseksualnost
  • Catalan: heterosexualitat
  • Croatian: heteroseksualnost
  • Dutch: heteroseksualiteit
  • Esperanto: aliseksamo
  • Finnish: heterous, heteroseksuaalisuus
  • French: hétérosexualité
  • Galician: heterosexualidade
  • German: Heterosexualität
  • Hebrew: הטרוסקסואליות
  • Hungarian: heteroszexualitás
  • Italian: eterosessualità
  • Macedonian: хетеросексуалност
  • Polish: heteroseksualizm
  • Portuguese: heterossexualidade
  • Romanian: heterosexualitate
  • Russian: гетеросексуальность
  • Serbian:
    • Cyrillic: хетеросексуалност
    • Roman: heteroseksualnost
  • Spanish: heterosexualidad
  • Swedish: heterosexualitet
  • Thai: รักต่างเพศ
  • Turkish: heteroseksüellik


Related terms

Extensive Definition

History and demographics

The prevalence of exclusive heterosexuality has varied over the centuries and also from culture to culture. See Demographics of sexual orientation
The history of heterosexuality is part of the history of sexuality. That history and science derivative of it is far from complete. Owing to complications of human politics and prejudice, coupled with the malleable nature of human behaviour, it will be some time before the history and nature of all forms of human sexual behaviour are truly known.


The term "straight" originated as a mid-20th century gay slang term for heterosexuals, ultimately coming from the phrase "to go straight" (as in "straight and narrow"), or stop engaging in homosexual sex.[3] One of the first uses of the word in this way was in 1941 by author G. W. Henry. Henry's book concerned conversations with homosexual males and used this term in connection with the reference to ex-gays. It currently simply is a colloquial term for "heterosexual" having, like many words, changed in primary meaning over time.
The term breeder, a word which is normally applied to animals, is sometimes used to describe heterosexuals in a negative way. Another slang term referring to male heterosexuals is "egg packer", which mocks the connotation of the slang term for male homosexuals, "fudge packer."


  1. Wikholm, Andrew, "Words: Heterosexual". Gay History.com. (Cited February 14, 2004)
  2. "Straight, Ex-gay". Descriptors for Sexual Minorities. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, H2G2. BBC. (Cited February 14, 2004)
  3. "Answers to Your Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality" American Psychiatric Association. (Cited February 9, 2004)
  4. "Heterosexual Sex". World Sex Explorer. (Cited February 14, 2004)
  5. Katz, Jonathan Ned (1995) The Invention of Heterosexuality. NY, NY: Dutton (Penguin Books). ISBN 0-525-93845-1.
  6. Johnson, P (2005) Love, Heterosexuality and Society. Routledge: London.


  • Kinsey, Alfred C., et al., "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male". Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-33412-8
  • Kinsey, Alfred C., et al., "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female". Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-33411-X

External links

heterosexuality in Afrikaans: Heteroseksualiteit
heterosexuality in Arabic: مغايرة
heterosexuality in Bosnian: Heteroseksualnost
heterosexuality in Breton: Arallrevelezh
heterosexuality in Catalan: Heterosexualitat
heterosexuality in Czech: Heterosexualita
heterosexuality in Danish: Heteroseksualitet
heterosexuality in German: Heterosexualität
heterosexuality in Estonian: Heteroseksuaalsus
heterosexuality in Spanish: Heterosexualidad
heterosexuality in Esperanto: Aliseksamo
heterosexuality in Persian: دگرجنس‌گرایی
heterosexuality in French: Hétérosexualité
heterosexuality in Korean: 이성애
heterosexuality in Croatian: Heteroseksualnost
heterosexuality in Indonesian: Heteroseksual
heterosexuality in Icelandic: Gagnkynhneigð
heterosexuality in Italian: Eterosessualità
heterosexuality in Hebrew: הטרוסקסואליות
heterosexuality in Georgian: ჰეტეროსექსუალობა
heterosexuality in Kurdish: Heteroseksûelî
heterosexuality in Hungarian: Heteroszexualitás
heterosexuality in Macedonian: Хетеросексуалност
heterosexuality in Dutch: Heteroseksualiteit
heterosexuality in Japanese: 異性愛
heterosexuality in Norwegian: Heterofili
heterosexuality in Polish: Heteroseksualizm
heterosexuality in Portuguese: Heterossexualidade
heterosexuality in Romanian: Heterosexualitate
heterosexuality in Russian: Гетеросексуальность
heterosexuality in Simple English: Heterosexuality
heterosexuality in Serbian: Хетеросексуалност
heterosexuality in Finnish: Heteroseksuaalisuus
heterosexuality in Swedish: Heterosexualitet
heterosexuality in Thai: รักต่างเพศ
heterosexuality in Turkish: Heteroseksüellik
heterosexuality in Ukrainian: Гетеросексуальність
heterosexuality in Yiddish: העטראסעקסואליטעט
heterosexuality in Contenese: 異性戀
heterosexuality in Chinese: 异性恋
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