What is sexuality?

What is sexuality?

"Sexuality has a lot of richness and complexity because it is simply one of the capabilities of a rich and complex being: the human being."

(Julian Fernandez de Quero)

Sexuality is a term that is immediately associated with sex. However, have you ever really wondered what human sexuality encompasses?

There are three aspects of sexuality that interact with each other: the biological aspect, the psychological aspect, and the social aspect..

These three fundamental aspects of sexuality can not be dissociated from each other, because they would then lose all their meaning. The bio-psycho-social unity implies a configuration towards the sexual one which favors the blossoming of the personality.

Here is the definition of human sexuality according to the World Health Organization (WHO):

"Sexual health is the integration of the somatic, emotional, intellectual and social aspects of the sexual human being, so as to achieve enrichment and development of personality, communication and love".

Taking into account these factors essential to human sexuality, let us look at each of these three aspects a little closer:

Sexuality from a biological point of view

The biological aspect is surely the one we think about when conceptualizing sexuality.

This is a very reductive vision, which does not take into account the body diagram as a unit. The integration of the body as a whole within sexuality allows us to understand that we are sexual beings, from the moment we are born, until the day we die.

This implies that both children, adolescents, adults and older people have a sexuality.

When we focus solely on the biological aspect of sexuality, we focus on sex, through the genitals and reproduction as finality.

However, it is possible to broaden this biological aspect and make it more meaningful when it interacts with the other factors mentioned above.

"It is our body that learns and we can only accomplish this task through a complete body diagram.Focusing only on certain parts of the body or indicating only certain functions supposes that we reject the pleasure of knowing correctly. others ".

Sexuality from a social point of view

This aspect of sexuality relates to our desires, through the integration of learned behaviors and the acquisition of various customs. That's why there are different sexual beliefs in each culture, depending on the historical context, and how we act.

Our political, religious and cultural influences somehow regulate the norms and determine what is right or wrong. This then gives rise to many sexual limitations to stay in what is considered "normal".

As human beings, most of our fears have to do with not wanting to feel rejected, isolated or strange. For this, we obey and transmit the messages we have internalized, transforming them into values ​​and rules of conduct.

The way a specific population lives their sexuality is the result of socialization.However, becoming aware of these behaviors and attitudes that we internalized without questioning them, can help us to adapt and modify them, from the knowledge to the development of our own personality.

It means breaking down those limits and mistaken beliefs that were imposed on us at the moment of the socialization process, to live out our sexuality as something positive and different for everyone. This is why it would be more appropriate to speak of "sexualities" in the plural.

In this sense, sex education plays an important role because, thanks to knowledge, the process of awareness is launched, so that each individual feels free to decide and choose how to live and enjoy his own sexuality.

Sexuality from a psychological point of view

After the involvement and integration of the body diagram, the experience of the body (biological aspect), socialization and our way of acting (social aspect), comes the psychological aspect.

The psychological factor involved in sexuality is characterized by all thoughts, imagination, attitudes and tendencies.

The psychological aspect of sexuality goes much further. It is about knowing how we feel, both towards ourselves and towards others, always taking into account emotions, feelings, pleasure and thought; the fruit of experience and the acquisition of knowledge.

In the development of our personality, we acquire from our birth an individual vision of sexuality. This meaning will evolve and will vary at each stage of our life. That's why we talked about "sexualities" in the plural above.

We feel things differently, and the emotions that live in us are different, even if the situation is the same.

Thus, each person has a different way of expressing pleasure; and what gives pleasure to some people may be unpleasant according to others.

Dealing with this aspect requires a deep knowledge of what we feel and want, empowering ourselves to share it, or not, through a relationship.


After analyzing the three aspects involved in the concept of sexuality, we can conclude that:

Sexuality is involved in all stages of our lifebecause we are sexual beings from our childhood until our death. Moreover, sexuality is not something static but rather dynamic, which varies as we change.

Information and knowledge we acquire about sexuality from an outside point of view influences our own knowledgeboth to ourselves and to our relationships with others.

There is no single sexuality which would apply to everyone or who would determine how to live the pleasure.

However, there are as many sexualities as individuals, with its particularities determined by personality, knowledge and personal experience.

By considering this, we can detach ourselves from what is considered "normality", and take the path we want, without fear or guilt, by exploring and taking advantage of our sexuality to the fullest.

"Sexuality is not what we believe, nor what we are told. There is not one sexuality, but many ".
(Albert Rams)

Bibliography used to write the article:

-Coronado, A. (2014). Concepto de sexualidad. Granada: Institute of Sexology Al Ándalus (no publicado).

-Quero, J. F. (1996).Practical guide of the sexualidad masculina: claves para conocerte mejor.Temas de hoy.

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