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Implications of Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation is far from a black and white issue. As the Kinsey Continuum illustrates, people do not fit into neat and exclusive heterosexual or homosexual categories. Also, there are legal and ethical implications of refusing to work with the gay population, which also relate to the professional's multicultural competence.
Discuss the following issues:
- The concept of sexual orientation.
- The legal and ethical implications of refusing to counsel homosexual clients.
- The connection between how a mental health professional works with people of diverse sexual orientation and being culturally responsive and multiculturally competent.

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(1) The concept of sexual orientation

Recent research suggests that determinants of sexual orientation are due to many influences, and no single factor can be attributed to whether a person will have heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality tendencies (Garnets, 2002). She describes sexual orientation as reflecting the "diversity of sexual, affectional, and erotic attractions and love toward persons of the same gender, other gender, or both genders" (p. 116).. An individual's sexual orientation reflects the combination of distinct patterns that differ in both degree and intensity. For instance, the attraction to females and males are stated to be different. In addition, research is presented to show that a correlation between adult sexual orientation and childhood sexual characteristics is significantly higher among men than among women. On the other hand, as Garnets adds, girls who play masculine games and activities may or may not become lesbians. Similarly, some boys with feminine tendencies grow up to be bisexual or ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the concept of sexual orientation, its legal and ethical implications, and the connection between sexual orientation and a mental health professional's work.