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Programma Erasmus+ - Azione KA2
Partenariati Strategici settore istruzione e formazione
Invito a presentare proposte 2014 (EAC/S11/13)
Progetto n°2014-1-ITO1-KA202-002605 - CUP:G86G14000420006

Biological Sex: biological male or female sex is determined by sex chromosomes (XY=male; XX= female).

Intersexuality: the sex of a human being is determined by genetics, hormones and psychosocial factors. Differences between chromosomal sex, gonadal sex (ovaries, testes) primary as well as secondary characters of sex, that are controlled hormonally, are called intersexuality. This occurs in one of 2000 births. Sexual identity mostly develops before the 14th month of life but can still change afterwards. Changes in the development of a foetus can influence primary as well as secondary characters of sex and hence lead to intersexuality. Intersexual people can show more often than in the rest of the population a lack of gender identification with their assigned gender or gender identity, a disorder which sometimes leads to the wish to change their sex. Many intersexuals report considerable traumas caused by medical treatments, especially of shame because of being “different”, but also shame due to possible surgical procedures and their consequences (e.g., they lost the capacity to experience sexual pleasure). In some countries there are self-help groups for intersexuals.

Bisexuality: bisexuality is the potential of feeling romantic, affective and/or sexual attraction for people of more than one gender or sex, not necessarily at the same time, or the same way, or at the same level.

Labelling: to “label” a person means that a quality, characteristic, or type of behaviour is assigned to a lesbian, gay or bisexual solely on the basis of their sexual orientation. The qualities labelled onto lesbians, gays or bisexuals are frequently the result of stereotypical ideas such as, for instance, “Gays are ‘effeminate’ men” or “Lesbians behave in a ‘masculine’ way”. The effect of labelling can be very strong on the recipients. If a person is exposed to such kind of labelling for an extended period, she/he may actually start to demonstrate the labelled quality because this is how the individual is treated and it is what the outside environment expects. In a sociological context, this is called a “self-fulfilling prophecy”.

Coming-out: when a lesbian, gay or bisexual person decides to openly show or talk about his/her homo/bisexuality, that is called “coming out of the closet” or simply “coming out”. It is possible to distinguish between an “inner” and an “outside” coming out. When someone starts to identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual and eventually accepts his or her homosexuality, this is called the “inner” coming out. When the same person starts to tell and demonstrate to other people that he/she is homosexual, this is called the “outside” coming out. Coming out is always a process and never a definite moment or point in time. This term should not be confused with the word “outing”. (See below)

Lesbophobia: specific term for fear or rejection against lesbians. The particular nature and experience of female homosexuality give to lesbophobia special features including, for instance, more concealment and ignorance of the existence of lesbians.

Diversity & Diversity Management: diversity refers to any set of items characterized by differences and similarities like racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, age, disability or sexual orientation and identity. Diversity Management means that companies actively implement diversity policies – that is policies that seeks to encourage a mix of races, sexual orientation and identity, religions, physical disabilities, ages and sexes within the company. Companies who implement those policies can expect benefits like more satisfied colleagues, a better working atmosphere on the short and long term.

Outing: is the practice of making the homosexuality of certain public figures known (in the media) against their will. The practice gained media attention in the 1980s and 1990s as radical lesbian and gay activists threatened to publicize the name of those homosexuals who were responsible for homophobic laws or social and clerical attitudes. Not all lesbians and gays approve of outing and some condemn it as infringing the individuals’ right to privacy.

Gender Identity: sense of belonging to the male or female gender, pr to both genders – e.g. transgender people – regardless of one’s biological sex.

Sexual identity: is part of the basic understanding that a person has of her- or himself as a sexual being – how he/she perceives her- or himself and how he/she wants to be perceived by others. This understanding includes four basic components: biological sex, gender identity, gender role, and sexual orientation. A person is not necessarily consistent concerning these four aspects of her/ his sexual identity (-> cross-dresser/ transvestite, -> sexual orientation-> transsexual, -> transgender).

Gender Role: includes the whole set of expectations any given culture has in terms of female and male behaviours (way of dressing, body language, and behaviour). As a matter of fact, any behaviour is considered is “typified” by gender, and each culture and society defines the relevant adequacy criteria.

Sexual Orientation: is an expression used to describe sexual, emotional, and romantic attraction of a person to another person. Depending on their sexual orientation, people can be classified as heterosexuals, bisexuals, and homosexuals.

Gender: in contrast to the word “sex” that stands for the biological sex of a person, “gender” means the culturally and socially defined gender role and identity of a woman or a man. In every culture specific tasks and roles are attributed to each gender. The decision whether a man works in order to finance a family and a woman stays at home to raise children is often justified by a constructed concept of “nature”. In reality it is done because of cultural traditions and social conventions.

Stereotypes: fixed negative beliefs shared within one social group in relation to another social group, stereotypes are characterised by generalisation and ethno-centrism (exaggerated attribution of positive qualities to one’s own group and negative to the external group).There are four kinds of stereotypes regarding homosexuality: stereotypes related to gender non-conformity (for instance on lesbians as “butch”); stereotypes related to the social role (lesbian, gays and bisexuals are said to be deviant and transgressive); stereotypes related to relationships and sexual behaviour (gays are said to be paedophile and promiscuous; lesbians are said to have an immature sexuality); stereotypes related to the causes of homosexuality (a parent of a gay boy had wanted a daughter, a boy’s lack of a father figure, sexual abuse …).

Heterosexism: means believing that sexual and emotional attraction for people of the opposite gender is better or preferable compared to any other form of sexual identity.

Stigma: is a characteristic feature of an individual, for example the colour of the skin, or the sexual orientation. When such a feature marks an individual as different from those of the majority, it can used as a reason for discrimination. While skin colour is a visible stigma that cannot be hidden, homosexuality is an invisible stigma, which means that one can hardly identify it unless the person openly mentions it him or herself. Invisible stigmas like homosexuality can lead to strong dilemmas. A gay or lesbian person knows that if they “come out”, their invisible stigma will be revealed. This could make them more vulnerable, as some people could use the stigma against them.

Heterosexual: is a person who feels romantic and/or sexual attraction for members of the opposite sex or gender.

Transgender: is a broad and generic term designating those people whose gender identity differs from their biological sex, and chose not to undergo any reassignment surgery to change their anatomical sex. Transgender people express their gender identity through their clothes and behaviours. For instance, they can dress as a man or a woman, or define themselves as something completely different from both. Transgender people are different from transvestites, in that the latter adopt a behaviour (dressing as the opposite gender), while transgederism involves people’s identity sphere (they feel they belong to the opposite gender).

Homophobia: this describes a group of emotions which include feelings of anxiety, disgust, aversion, anger, discomfort and hate of lesbians, gays and bisexuals. A number of researchers have criticized the term because homophobia is not a classic phobia. Compared to other phobias like hydrophobia or arachnophobia, homosexuals are not the direct source of “fear” or “discomfort”. It is rather a sort of anti-homosexuality or homonegativity that includes cultural values and norms that label homosexuals as something to be feared. In this perspective, homophobia is not a disease to be cured, but rather an attitude which should be positively influenced.

Transphobia: aversion, rejection or fear to transsexual persons, to transsexuality or their expressions. Even among homosexuals there is rejection against these people, perhaps because has to do with our biggest taboo, as it challenges traditional gender roles and socially accepted gender identity ideas.

Homosexual: a person feeling emotionally or sexually attracted to people of the same sex. This term applies to both men and women.

Transsexual: a person whose gender identity differs from his/ her biological sex. Transitioning and possible sex reassignment surgery can therefore be desired or already performed. Transsexuality must be considered apart from sexual orientation: Transsexual people can be hetero-, bi- or homosexual. The percentage of transsexuals on the overall general population is one adult male in 3,000 men, and one adult female in 100.000 women.

Internalised homophobia: internalised homophobia is a central theme in working with lesbian, gay and bisexual clients. It is virtually impossible for lesbians, gays and bisexuals not to have internalised at least some negative messages about their sexuality if they have been raised in a western society. These negative messages can result in homosexuals feeling a kind of “self-hatred” towards this part of their own identity. Internalised homophobia can manifest itself in different feelings and emotions like fear of discovery; discomfort around open lesbians, gays and bisexuals, rejection and denigration of all heterosexuals or a feeling of being superior to heterosexuals. Persons with internalised homophobia may believe that lesbians, gays and bisexuals are not different from heterosexuals, yet they may be afraid of being rejected because others perceive them as different. They may be attracted to unavailable people, such as people of another sexual orientation who are unavailable as intimate partners. This can be a form of psychological self-protection against real intimacy. They may have difficulty maintaining long-term relationships, as their internal homophobia can turn against their (homosexual) partner as well

Transvestite: is a term designating a person who (regularly or occasionally, partially/fully) crossdresses. A transvestite can be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual.