A lot of people think about sexual orientation and gender as stable characteristics of the self–they think that people are just born a certain way. While it’s certainly true that many people do demonstrate stability in these traits throughout their lives, not everyone does. Many people experience some degree of sexual and/or gender fluidity, which can manifest in unexpected shifts in identity and expression over time. This episode of the podcast, takes a deep dive into the science of sexual and gender fluidity with Dr. Lisa Diamond, a Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah. Some of the topics we explore in this episode include:
- How common is sexual fluidity, and what does it look like?
- What is gender fluidity, and how is it similar to or different from being nonbinary or transgender?
- How do sexual and gender fluidity intersect? Are people who are fluid in one way more likely to be fluid in others?
- Where does fluidity come from, and is it possible that fluidity (as opposed to stability) is the really the norm?
- Are essentialist arguments, such as the “born this way” concept, necessary and helpful in the pursuit of LGBTQ+ rights?
- What does it mean to have a “sexual orientation?” Is it inherently about sex/gender-based attractions? Or do we all have multiple orientations, with sex/gender being just one type of orientation?