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Understanding Sexual Orientation, Apartheid’s Legacy, and Promoting Equality

Understanding Sexual Orientation, Apartheid’s Legacy, and Promoting Equality

Question One

An individual’s consistent pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction to others of the same gender, a different gender, or both genders is referred to as sexual orientation. It is a fundamental component of who a person is, and it often falls into one of the following categories: heterosexual, gay, bisexual, or asexual. Sexual identity includes a person’s self-perception, understanding, and expression of their sexual orientation, which are frequently shaped by social and cultural circumstances (Chan et al., 2022). While a person’s sexual orientation influences their attractiveness to others, sexual practices and behaviors refer to their actual physical and sexual behaviors, which may or may not be consistent with their sexual identity or orientation. It is important to note that sexual orientation, sexual identity, and sexual practices and behaviors are personal and can vary widely among individuals.

Question Two

Despite being abolished, South Africa’s apartheid legal system still has an impact on the populace. Due to socioeconomic imbalances that result from apartheid’s economic policies favoring the white majority, there is still inequality and little opportunity for black South Africans (Plagerson, 2021). Apartheid also had a lasting psychological and cultural impact, leaving society divided and filled with resentment. Similar socioeconomic inequalities and psychological and cultural effects have been brought on by racial difficulties in the United States, underlining the necessity for continued efforts to address these legacies and advance equality and justice in both countries.

Question Three

Understanding sexual identity and orientation is one thing I took away from SOC400 that has changed the way I think. Realizing the long-lasting repercussions of historical injustices on underprivileged populations was another crucial lesson from SOC400 that significantly influenced my way of thinking. Consistently, people can promote improved harmony and equality in racial, ethnic, and gender relations by educating themselves about diverse cultures, history, and experiences, actively seeking out opposing ideas, and questioning their biases and preconceptions. Second, people may make a difference by getting involved in allyship and advocacy campaigns, supporting organizations and projects that work to eliminate systematic inequities, and utilizing their privilege to amplify the voices of oppressed groups.


Chan, R. C. H., Leung, J. S. Y., & Wong, D. C. K. (2022). Experiences, Motivations, and Impacts of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts: Effects on Sexual Identity Distress and Mental Health Among Sexual Minorities. Sexuality Research and Social Policy.

Plagerson, S. (2021). Mainstreaming poverty, inequality, and social exclusion: A systematic assessment of public policy in South Africa. Development Southern Africa, 1–17.


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Understanding Sexual Orientation

Understanding Sexual Orientation

Question 1:

Define and explain the terms sexual orientation and sexual identity. How do they relate to sexual practices and behaviors?

Question 2:

Discuss at least two ways in which the legal system of apartheid in South Africa continues to have a residual effect on the people, although the laws have been lifted. Compare and contrast the residual effects with racial issues in the United States.

Question 3:

Discuss two things you learned in SOC400 that have had an impact on you. Describe two ways in which individuals can promote greater harmony and equality in race, ethnic, or gender relations.

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