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Dembroff, Robin. What is Sexual Orientation?
2018, Philosophers' Imprint 16.
Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by: Rory Wilson
Abstract: Ordinary discourse is filled with discussions about ‘sexual orientation’. This discourse might suggest a common understanding of what sexual orientation is. But even a cursory search turns up vastly differing, conflicting, and sometimes ethically troubling characterizations of sexual orientation. The conceptual jumble surrounding sexual orientation suggests that the topic is overripe for philosophical exploration. This paper lays the groundwork for such an exploration. In it, I offer an account of sexual orientation – called ‘Bidimensional Dispositionalism’ – according to which sexual orientation concerns what sex[es] and gender[s] of persons one is disposed to sexually engage, and makes no reference to one’s own sex and gender

Comment: Dembroff provides an interesting alternative to the Kinsey scale as well as Edward Stein's dispositional account of sexual orientation. Pairs well with Stein's piece of the same name: 'What is Sexual Oreintation' in "The Mismatch of Desire: the science, theory, and ethics of sexual orientation". Can be used for debate on sexual and desire attraction.

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