Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. It "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Along with bisexuality and heterosexualityhomosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual—homosexual continuum. The most common terms for homosexual people are lesbian for females and gay for males, but gay also commonly refers to both homosexual females and males.
The percentage Definition homosexual family people who are gay or lesbian and the proportion of people who are in same-sex romantic relationships or have had same-sex sexual experiences are difficult for researchers to estimate reliably for a variety of reasons, including many gay and lesbian people openly identifying as such due to prejudice or discrimination such as homophobia and heterosexism.
Many gay and lesbian people are in committed same-sex relationships, though only in the s have census forms and political conditions facilitated their visibility and enumeration.
Krafft-Ebing's book was so popular among both laymen and doctors that the terms "heterosexual" and "homosexual" became the most widely accepted terms for sexual orientation.
Many modern style guides in the U. Gay especially refers to male homosexuality,  but may be used in a broader sense to refer to all LGBT people. In the context of sexuality, lesbian refers only to female homosexuality.
The word lesbian Definition homosexual family derived from the name of the Greek island Lesboswhere the poet Sappho wrote largely about her emotional relationships with young women. Although early writers also used the adjective homosexual to refer to any single-sex context such as an all-girls schooltoday the term is used exclusively in reference to sexual attraction, activity, and orientation.
The term homosocial is now used to describe single-sex contexts that are not specifically sexual. There is also a word referring to same-sex love, homophilia. Some synonyms for same-sex attraction "Definition homosexual family" sexual activity include men who have sex with men or MSM used in the medical community when discussing sexual activity and homoerotic referring to works of art.
The range of acceptable use for these terms depends on the context and speaker. The American LGBT rights organization GLAAD advises the media to avoid using the term homosexual to describe gay people or same-sex relationships as the term is "frequently used by anti-gay extremists to denigrate gay people, couples and relationships".
Societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships have varied over time and place, from expecting all males to engage in same-sex relationships, to casual integration, through acceptance, to seeing the practice as a minor sin, repressing it through law enforcement and judicial mechanisms, and to proscribing it under penalty of death. In cultures influenced by Abrahamic religionsthe law and the church established sodomy as a transgression against divine law or a Definition homosexual family against nature.
The condemnation of anal sex between males, however, predates Christian belief. It was frequent in ancient Greece; "unnatural" can be traced back to Plato.
Many historical figures, including SocratesLord ByronEdward IIand Hadrian have had terms such as gay or bisexual applied to them; some scholars, such as Michel Foucaulthave regarded this as risking the anachronistic introduction of a contemporary construction of sexuality foreign to their times,  though others challenge this.
In social science, there has been a dispute between "essentialist" and "constructionist" views of homosexuality. The debate divides those who believe that terms such as "gay" and "straight" refer to objective, culturally invariant properties of persons from those who believe that the experiences they name are artifacts of unique cultural and social processes.
The first record of possible homosexual couple in history is commonly regarded as Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnuman ancient Egyptian male couple, who lived around BCE.
The pair are portrayed in a nose-kissing position, the most intimate pose in Egyptian artsurrounded by what appear to be their heirs.
The anthropologists Stephen Murray and Will Roscoe reported that women in Lesotho engaged in socially sanctioned "long term, erotic relationships" called motsoalle. Evans-Pritchard also recorded that male Azande warriors in the northern Congo routinely took on young male Definition homosexual family between the ages of twelve and twenty, who helped with household tasks and participated in intercrural sex with older husbands.
Among indigenous peoples of the Americas prior to European colonization, a common form of same-sex sexuality centered around the figure of the Two-Spirit individual. Typically, this individual was recognized early in life, given a choice by the parents to follow the path and, if the child accepted the role, raised in the appropriate manner, learning the customs of the gender it had chosen.