During the confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii expressed outrage and shock that the nominee used the term “sexual preference” instead of “sexual orientation.” “Sexual preference,” announced Senator Hirono, “is an offensive and outdated term…used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice—it is not.”
After the exchange, Merriam-Webster which, like most Americans had not gotten the memo with these new linguistic absolutes, quickly changed the definition of sexual “preference” in its online dictionary to indicate that this wording is now offensive. Who knew?
Beyond the Orwellianism of changing the dictionary to support political claims, it seems that Senator Hirono is the one who is actually behind the times on the whole sexual orientation vs. sexual preference issue.
According to Dr. Glenn Stanton, in an outstanding new article at Public Discourse, “Judge Barrett’s terminology is actually more in line with the latest thinking of leading gender scholars.” For example, Professor Sari van Anders at Canada’s Queen’s University has stated that “sexual orientation as a term is increasingly seen as regressive,” because it “belongs to the biossentialist project.”
Translating to English, the word orientation suggests that sexuality is hard-wired and, according to Professor Anders, that’s just not the consensus anymore among her peers. Though the whole “born this way” claim was once a useful slogan to advance gay rights, it no longer serves the goals of the LGBTQ movement.
Years ago, for instance, two scholars at the University of California Los Angeles questioned the concept of sexual orientation for women, suggesting instead that “Women’s sexuality and orientation are potentially fluid, changeable over time, and variable across social contexts.” Other social scientists cited by Stanton call for a “paradigm shift” in how female sexuality is studied and described, and plenty of surveys frequently indicate that most self-identified lesbians have relationships with men at some point.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and G. Shane Morris