Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

We could define our sexual orientation disconnected from our sex

Besides our sex, sexual orientation has become a major criterion in comparing people. So can one say: he has five children, three daughters and two sons, two homos and three straights. Homosexuality and heterosexuality combine people’s sex or gender with sexual preference. So, a man who needs a fellow man for sexual unity is called a homosexual man.

But there is another way to categorize people by sexual orientation – possibly not better or worse, but different. These two possibilities next to each other may show how arbitrary it is to go by only one or the other.

Sexual orientation can be defined loose from the sex of the one having the preference. We could speak of gynophiles (people attracted to women) and androphiles (people who have a sexual preference for men). Gynophiles, people who feel like being intimate with women, would be heterosexual men and lesbian women. Androphiles, people inclined to fancy men, would be homosexual men and heterosexual women. Practically, how could this be useful?

Take the following example. A family with two children. The son is gay, the daughter is straight, and so is the father but the mother is lesbian. Researchers would be interested what correlation there could be between a lesbian mother and a homosexual son. Or what is the chance that if one of the children has one orientation, the other would have the other. This all spouts from how we got used to define sexual orientation.

Same family, but we now name them differently. The parents are both gynophiles and the children are both androphiles. This would lead to different questions from social scientists. What is the chance that all children raised by a gynophile couple (straight man and lesbian woman / two straight men / two lesbian women) would be all androphiles?

More examples

Questions about family and friendship dynamics can be biased by only defining sexual orientation as the relationship between people’s sexes (men attracted to men) and not as the other possibility: defining only to what sex attracted (people attracted to men). One could investigate if there is a difference between to what kind of men different categories of androphiles, straight women and gay men, are attracted. Or what kind of men gynophiles, straight men and lesbian women, like as platonic friends.

Tony and Miriam set out to set up the office from scratch. They each had their own responsibilities to meet the deadline, but also many joint projects. They enjoyed their time together and over the weeks became best friends. Their chemistry may have been helped by their genders and sexual preferences. Miriam, as a heterosexual woman, is charmed by ‘la petite difference‘ with him. Tony, on the other hand, as a homosexual man (homo means same), is pleased with their commonality as androphiles.

Androphiles who are dating always need to ask themselves if they’re not enchanted by a self-confident charmer who would turn out to be a violent powerholic as soon as the front door closes. There are also violent female spouses, making the home front hell, but violent men sometimes murder, which demands of androphiles to watch out for this a tad more.

Advertisers could talk about attracting gynophile customers (those sexually interested in women) or targeting the androphile market (those attracted to men).

Lastly, above, I claimed that there is no qualitative difference between using homosexual / heterosexual and androphile / gynophile. Yet, one could say that the first dichotomy refers to not / yes capable of producing the next generation with their favorite partner choice. That may seem a preferred classification. However, sexuality clearly is not just for procreation.

(This was true even beyond our present times, now contraceptives have untangled sexuality and reproduction and now we live much longer lives with greater demands on and expectations of our intimate relationships. Research shows that in the past, even 60% of all men never had progeny that had any offspring, while only 20% of all women stayed without on-living descendants. In other words, sexuality has always been important besides for having children.)

This, by the way, is not a biological abnormality. Many organs and functions of our bodies have dual purposes. Our eyes can tear from sadness but also to wash off irritants. Our kidneys “filter” (it works much more complicated than filtering) our blood but also promote the creation of red blood cells. The heart pumps our blood but also produces a hormone involved in lowering blood pressure in many ways. And sex is fit for reproduction and for bonding with a spouse.

Our understanding of sexual orientation and human interaction may be broadened and enriched by using, next to heterosexual and homosexual, also the terms androphile and gynophile. Let’s begin popularizing the terms.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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