Lesbians its-The secret language of lesbian love - BBC News

Can a biological male be a lesbian? This paradigm says that a transwoman can count as a lesbian; and that many do. Though precise statistics are unavailable, many transwomen are exclusively female-attracted. When transition occurs, this pattern of attraction usually persists. Hence some transwomen self-identify as lesbians.

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Levy, Ariel March 2, This is you. Avoid contact with a partner's menstrual blood and with any visible genital lesions. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. My Capricorn groundedness makes us a good match, allegedly. They served as victims of blackmail or anti-gay violence, but more often as criminals. Whenever we docked at port, we were offered a bunch of different excursions vetted by Lesbians its and Olivia, and Lesbiians had generously Swinger education to book one Lesbians its me. She knew she had to find the community to which she felt she Leshians. But there is also the danger that people within their own communities may turn on them.

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A lesbian is a homosexual woman.

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Based on an online survey, participants, with a mean age of Study 2 replicated the factorial solution from study 1, through confirmatory factorial analysis, in addition to seeking complementary evidence of construct validity and reliability, being carried out with gays and lesbians, with a mean age of Despite increasing visibility and social and legal recognition, lesbian and gay couples LGs still live under varying degrees of adversity, especially in the homophobic context of discrimination, oppression and even violence based on their sexual orientation Puckett et al.

In this way, negative social attitudes affect the lives of sexual minorities on a daily basis, which can result in an internalization process of stigma associated with sexual orientation.

IH is related to socially constructed myths and stereotypes about homosexuality; and, furthermore, it constitutes a stressor that can lead people to self-devalue and direct negative feelings back to themselves, resulting in psychic conflict and low self-esteem e. Thus, IH is described by the literature as one of the main risk factors of the LG population leading to negative physical, mental and well-being health outcomes e. Studies have shown, for example, that internalized homophobia is positively associated with depression and anxiety e.

However, it is important to be careful not to pathologize LG people, because not all people who experience internalized homophobia develop psychic disorders. Scientific evidence indicates that the presence of protective resources can ameliorate the effects of IH on the psychological suffering of sexual minorities, such as coping strategies, community connection, disclosure of sexual orientation to friends, and social support e.

In addition, researchers should not associate IH with individual pathology. That is, internalized homophobia is not a disease, or a personality trait, much less a condition of a single individual.

Internalized homophobia is a widely debated construct due to the complexity involved in its concept and operationalization. In general, the scales constructed to measure it, involve three main dimensions see Berg et al. Studies have shown that disclosure of sexual orientation can be a risk mechanism in a given context, especially in environments marked by homophobic prejudice, with concealment being an adaptive strategy and not necessarily an indicator of high IH e.

A total of gay and bisexual men with a mean age of 37 years participated in the study. These last two factors show reliability indices below the minimum level of 0. In addition, the study was also limited by the size of the sample, compared to the size of the instrument 26 items. More recently, Costa, Pereira, and Leal evaluated the psychometric parameters of the instrument for the Portuguese population, in which self-identified LGB men and women participated.

Some changes were proposed by the authors: items that mentioned gays were reformulated to include lesbians as well as bisexual people e. Although the internalized homophobia construct is widely used in international samples, even if it has been translated into Portuguese from Portugal, no national studies using the IHS have been identified so far.

Thus, we sought to find evidence of validity of the Internalized Homophobia Scale in a sample of Brazilian gays and lesbians. Two studies were carried out. It is important to emphasize that we have chosen to work with lesbians and gays because it is considered that these populations constitute the majority of individuals who identify themselves as homosexuals Lyons, Trans people transvestites and transsexuals can both assume homosexual and heterosexual sexual orientation.

Even though the literature has often grouped the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender experiences under the LGBT umbrella especially in the attempt to give visibility to this population , it has to be recognized that experiences of sexual orientation and identity among these groups are different.

Study 1 aimed to find evidence of the validity of the internalized homophobia scale in the Brazilian population.

To this end, the instrument sought evidence of validity based on content and internal structure through Principal Component Analysis. The majority of the respondents cohabited with their partners Based on this procedure, four protocols 1. This excluded group did not differ significantly from the analytical sample in terms of sociodemographic characteristics.

In this version, composed of 27 items and distributed into 3 factors, the authors proposed to exclude an item from the instrument Item However, because it is a study that seeks to find evidence of validity for Brazilian gays and lesbians, it was decided to maintain the matrix with 27 statements related to internalized homophobia. All items are written affirmatively and measured on a 4-point Likert scale, from 0 - totally disagree to 3 - strongly agree.

Even though the instrument is written in Portuguese and since the Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement came into effect that unifies the writing of Portuguese in countries in which this language is official, before the application of the questionnaires as such, the IHS had been submitted to content evaluation, being the subject of a discussion with four lesbians and four gays, residents of Fortaleza and with different educational levels.

In addition, two judges, field professionals, answered the instrument and evaluated the content of the test. Some modifications and adaptations were handled by researchers for the purpose of improving the instrument. The main modification was the inclusion of both male and female genders, simultaneously, in the items of the scales, in order to consider both gays and lesbians.

Sociodemographic questionnaire : This questionnaire was composed of 24 questions specific to the objectives of this study. It This questionnaire sought to characterize sociodemographically the participants age, sex, schooling, socioeconomic level, occupation, cohabitation, number of children, among others. The first Portuguese author Costa et al. For data collection, a website was developed, using Google Docs, to host the sociodemographic questionnaire and the Internalized Homophobia Scale.

Protocols were available for 11 months for completion. A non-response to a question was allowed and participants could return to correct the response given to the questionnaire item before finalizing the submission. Participants were informed about the bioethical principles, and also about the objectives and procedures of the study when invited to participate voluntarily in the research, having signed the Terms of Free and Informed Consent form - TFIC.

When an item presented factorial loads in one or more components, it was chosen to be retained in the component with the highest saturation or to eliminate it when the difference between the factor loads were less than 0. As the other items did not show large deviations in their distribution indicating problems of psychometric sensitivity, the PCA was followed with the other 26 items. When the first PCA was carried out, the number of components to be extracted was not determined, with 8 components having their own values greater than 1.

However, since these components did not have good interpretability, the parallel analysis of Horn was followed, reaching four components with their own values above those obtained randomly.

A new PCA was then established, fixing the extraction of four components, following the indication of the parallel analysis.

With In this factorial solution, three more items were excluded because they saturated simultaneously into two components, being ambiguous, and still having a factorial load below 0. Finally, the result revealed a solution of three components, composed of 23 items and with total explained variance of Table 1 presents the items, factor loads and indices of internal consistency.

After gathering the evidence of validity of the Internalized Homophobia scale from a sample of Brazilian LGB participants, the instrument consisted of 23 items. As in the study by Pereira et al. It should be noted, however, that some items 5, 12 and 16 that composed the dimensions, as well as the denomination given to the components of this study and the previous studies of the IHS varied considerably from the original study and the studies carried out in Portugal, which reveals a lack of consensual indications about the items and dimensions to be interpreted.

It is possible that the differences in the dimensionality of the construct can be explained by the lack of clarity of some items. Future studies should understand the specific items that include both dimensions in the different contexts Brazilian, North American and Portuguese and evaluate what the item actually measures.

In the present factorial solution, therefore, the items in relation to public identification, social discomfort and moral and religious acceptance proposed by Ross and Rosser have merged into a single component. What seems interpretable is that the LG person who does not morally accept homosexuality may have difficulties to publicly declare their homosexual sexual orientation, generating some social discomfort.

In relation to the 4 items excluded from the instrument items 4, 7, 9 and 14 , the loss did not cause difficulties related to the construct objective, keeping the explained variance of In fact, the excluded items were problematic and threatened the evidence of validity of the instrument.

However, a second study was conducted using a different sample with the objective of testing the replicability of the factorial solution presented here. Study 2 collected additional evidence of validity of the IHS from a new sample. Through the Confirmatory Factorial Analysis CFA , we attempted to replicate the tri-factorial solution of the previous study and to compare it with alternative factorial models. The reliability coefficients of the instrument were also calculated.

The participants were a total of self-declared lesbians Most of the participants were employed In addition, most of the people in the sample cohabit with their partners, with an average of That is, the version used in this analysis had 23 items. Sociodemographic questionnaire : The same questionnaire previously described in Study 1 was used. The instrument was applied face to face, individually and on paper, in the Brazilian cities of Fortaleza, Aracaju and Uberaba.

Participants were recruited and invited to participate in the survey through social networks and by contact with professional colleagues with the aim to gain access. When making contact with the participants, the snowball method was used, to identify other potential collaborators. Data collection took place from March to February Following the psychometric sensitivity criteria, items with absolute asymmetry and kurtosis values of less than 3 and 7, respectively Kline, were considered.

The indices of the initial general model, with 23 items and three correlated factors Model 1 were tested with alternative models: Model 2 - Tri-factorial, consisting of 19 items and two pairs of correlated errors; Model 3 - Bi-factorial 19 items and five pairs of correlated errors.

The correlation between the errors was established according to the modification index MI. See the description of items in Table 1. The adjustment indices for the three models tested are presented in Table 2. This model revealed a satisfactory adjustment index, especially after the exclusion of four items with factor loads less than 0. Models 2 and 3 presented very close adjustment indices. Figure 1 shows the factorial structure of this model. It is noteworthy that the analysis of the present study confirm, but also diverge from, previous studies conducted in the USA and Portugal.

However, it corroborates the hypothesis of a two-factor solution demonstrated by Pereira and Leal According to the literature, non-acceptance of sexual orientation, social discomfort and challenges in public identification may stimulate internal feelings of discomfort regarding sexual orientation, raising levels of internalized homophobia e.

In regard to the exclusion of the four items due to low saturations items 5, 6, 16 and 18 , Szymanski et al. It should be noted, however, that the removal of these items did not compromise the scale structure or the relationship between concept, construct and measure.

On the contrary, the instrument composed of 19 items proved to be more prudent and the exclusion of items significantly improved the quality of the overall adjustment of the scale.

Variation in scale items can also be improved by allowing greater variability in response options. Another issue that arises is the need to investigate groups with a high awareness of stigma and engaged in the struggle for social rights. Even though the literature suggests that the consciousness of social oppression may lead LG people to expect rejection and social disapproval, with possible impairment in their physical and psychological health Strizzi et al.

Remaining on the question of the perception of social oppression, theorists advocate the idea that IH and the perception of social oppression are different constructs and should be measured separately e. After these analyses, the two-factor model, composed of 19 items, proved to be the most appropriate solution to measure internalized homophobia.

In spite of significant advances and discoveries, some limits were necessary in this study and should to be considered: firstly, the sample was predominantly composed of middle-class, educated people, recruited in urban areas and who maintained a stable marital relationship; which prevents us from making generalizations about gays and lesbians on the whole.

In addition, this sample profile may presumably indicate that such persons would have lower internalized homophobia levels, limiting the variation in scoring of items on the scale, which may affect the accuracy of the estimated correlations with their statistical significance. Future studies should use other recruitment methods to target population segments not considered here. Another question concerns the age range of this sample. It is recognized that the testing of the instrument on adolescents and the elderly could lead to a different structuring, since the level of internalized homophobia may be higher in young people still living through a phase of confirmation of sexual identity, or even for older LGB people who have lived through a time of great social oppression in relation to homophobia.

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Lesbian - Wikipedia

A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The concept of "lesbian" to differentiate women with a shared sexual orientation evolved in the 20th century. Throughout history, women have not had the same freedom or independence as men to pursue homosexual relationships, but neither have they met the same harsh punishment as homosexual men in some societies.

Instead, lesbian relationships have often been regarded as harmless and incomparable to heterosexual ones, unless the participants attempted to assert privileges traditionally enjoyed by men. As a result, little in history was documented to give an accurate description of how female homosexuality was expressed.

When early sexologists in the late 19th century began to categorize and describe homosexual behavior, hampered by a lack of knowledge about homosexuality or women's sexuality, they distinguished lesbians as women who did not adhere to female gender roles and incorrectly designated them mentally ill—a designation which has been reversed in the global scientific community. Women in homosexual relationships responded to this designation either by hiding their personal lives or accepting the label of outcast and creating a subculture and identity that developed in Europe and the United States.

Following World War II , during a period of social repression when governments actively persecuted homosexuals, women developed networks to socialize with and educate each other. Greater economic and social freedom allowed them gradually to be able to determine how they could form relationships and families. With second wave feminism and the growth of scholarship in women's history and sexuality in the 20th century, the definition of lesbian broadened, sparking a debate about sexual desire as the major component to define what a lesbian is.

Some women who engage in same-sex sexual activity may reject not only identifying as lesbians but as bisexual as well, while other women's self-identification as lesbian may not align with their sexual orientation or sexual behavior. Sexual identity is not necessarily the same as one's sexual orientation or sexual behavior, due to various reasons, such as the fear of identifying their sexual orientation in a homophobic setting. Portrayals of lesbians in the media suggest that society at large has been simultaneously intrigued and threatened by women who challenge feminine gender roles , as well as fascinated and appalled with women who are romantically involved with other women.

Women who adopt a lesbian identity share experiences that form an outlook similar to an ethnic identity: as homosexuals, they are unified by the heterosexist discrimination and potential rejection they face from their families, friends, and others as a result of homophobia. As women, they face concerns separate from men. Lesbians may encounter distinct physical or mental health concerns arising from discrimination, prejudice , and minority stress.

Political conditions and social attitudes also affect the formation of lesbian relationships and families in open. She focused on the beauty of women and proclaimed her love for girls. In Algernon Charles Swinburne 's poem Sapphics , the term lesbian appears twice but capitalized both times after twice mentioning the island of Lesbos, and so could be construed to mean 'from the island of Lesbos'. The terms lesbian , invert and homosexual were interchangeable with sapphist and sapphism around the turn of the 20th century.

The development of medical knowledge was a significant factor in further connotations of the term lesbian. In the middle of the 19th century, medical writers attempted to establish ways to identify male homosexuality, which was considered a significant social problem in most Western societies.

In categorizing behavior that indicated what was referred to as " inversion " by German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld , researchers categorized what was normal sexual behavior for men and women, and therefore to what extent men and women varied from the "perfect male sexual type" and the "perfect female sexual type". Far less literature focused on female homosexual behavior than on male homosexuality, as medical professionals did not consider it a significant problem. In some cases, it was not acknowledged to exist.

However, sexologists Richard von Krafft-Ebing from Germany, and Britain's Havelock Ellis wrote some of the earliest and more enduring categorizations of female same-sex attraction , approaching it as a form of insanity Ellis' categorization of "lesbianism" as a medical problem is now discredited. Ellis believed that many women who professed love for other women changed their feelings about such relationships after they had experienced marriage and a "practical life".

However, Ellis conceded that there were "true inverts" who would spend their lives pursuing erotic relationships with women. These were members of the " third sex " who rejected the roles of women to be subservient, feminine, and domestic. The work of Krafft-Ebing and Ellis was widely read, and helped to create public consciousness of female homosexuality. In the absence of any other material to describe their emotions, homosexuals accepted the designation of different or perverted, and used their outlaw status to form social circles in Paris and Berlin.

Lesbian began to describe elements of a subculture. Lesbians in Western cultures in particular often classify themselves as having an identity that defines their individual sexuality, as well as their membership to a group that shares common traits. As women have generally been political minorities in Western cultures, the added medical designation of homosexuality has been cause for the development of a subcultural identity. The notion that sexual activity between women is necessary to define a lesbian or lesbian relationship continues to be debated.

According to feminist writer Naomi McCormick, women's sexuality is constructed by men, whose primary indicator of lesbian sexual orientation is sexual experience with other women. The same indicator is not necessary to identify a woman as heterosexual, however. McCormick states that emotional, mental, and ideological connections between women are as important or more so than the genital. They became a mode of chosen sexual self-expression for some women in the s. Once again, women felt safer claiming to be more sexually adventurous, and sexual flexibility became more accepted.

The focus of this debate often centers on a phenomenon named by sexologist Pepper Schwartz in Schwartz found that long-term lesbian couples report having less sexual contact than heterosexual or homosexual male couples, calling this lesbian bed death.

However, lesbians dispute the study's definition of sexual contact, and introduced other factors such as deeper connections existing between women that make frequent sexual relations redundant, greater sexual fluidity in women causing them to move from heterosexual to bisexual to lesbian numerous times through their lives—or reject the labels entirely.

Further arguments attested that the study was flawed and misrepresented accurate sexual contact between women, or sexual contact between women has increased since as many lesbians find themselves freer to sexually express themselves.

More discussion on gender and sexual orientation identity has affected how many women label or view themselves. Most people in western culture are taught that heterosexuality is an innate quality in all people. When a woman realizes her romantic and sexual attraction to another woman, it may cause an "existential crisis"; many who go through this adopt the identity of a lesbian, challenging what society has offered in stereotypes about homosexuals, to learn how to function within a homosexual subculture.

This identity is unique from gay men and heterosexual women, and often creates tension with bisexual women.

Those who have had sex with men may face ridicule from other lesbians or identity challenges with regard to defining what it means to be a lesbian. Researchers, including social scientists , state that often behavior and identity do not match: women may label themselves heterosexual but have sexual relations with women, self-identified lesbians may have sex with men, or women may find that what they considered an immutable sexual identity has changed over time.

The article declined to include desire or attraction as it rarely has bearing on measurable health or psychosocial issues. How and where study samples were obtained can also affect the definition. The varied meanings of lesbian since the early 20th century have prompted some historians to revisit historic relationships between women before the wide usage of the word was defined by erotic proclivities. Discussion from historians caused further questioning of what qualifies as a lesbian relationship.

As lesbian-feminists asserted, a sexual component was unnecessary in declaring oneself a lesbian if the primary and closest relationships were with women. When considering past relationships within appropriate historic context, there were times when love and sex were separate and unrelated notions.

Because of society's reluctance to admit that lesbians exist, a high degree of certainty is expected before historians or biographers are allowed to use the label. Evidence that would suffice in any other situation is inadequate here A woman who never married, who lived with another woman, whose friends were mostly women, or who moved in known lesbian or mixed gay circles, may well have been a lesbian. But this sort of evidence is not 'proof'.

What our critics want is incontrovertible evidence of sexual activity between women. This is almost impossible to find. Female sexuality is often not adequately represented in texts and documents.

Until very recently, much of what has been documented about women's sexuality has been written by men, in the context of male understanding, and relevant to women's associations to men—as their wives, daughters, or mothers, for example. History is often analyzed with contemporary ideologies; ancient Greece as a subject enjoyed popularity by the ruling class in Britain during the 19th century.

Based on their social priorities, British scholars interpreted ancient Greece as a westernized, white, and masculine society, and essentially removed women from historical importance. In this homosocial environment, erotic and sexual relationships between males were common and recorded in literature, art, and philosophy. Hardly anything is recorded about homosexual activity between women. There is some speculation that similar relationships existed between women and girls.

The poet Alcman used the term aitis, as the feminine form of aites —which was the official term for the younger participant in a pederastic relationship. Historian Nancy Rabinowitz argues that ancient Greek red vase images portraying women with their arms around another woman's waist, or leaning on a woman's shoulders can be construed as expressions of romantic desire. Although men participated in pederastic relationships outside marriage, there is no clear evidence that women were allowed or encouraged to have same-sex relationships before or during marriage as long as their marital obligations were met.

Women who appear on Greek pottery are depicted with affection, and in instances where women appear only with other women, their images are eroticized: bathing, touching one another, with dildos placed in and around such scenes, and sometimes with imagery also seen in depictions of heterosexual marriage or pederastic seduction.

Whether this eroticism is for the viewer or an accurate representation of life is unknown. Women in ancient Rome were similarly subject to men's definitions of sexuality. Modern scholarship indicates that men viewed female homosexuality with hostility. They considered women who engaged in sexual relations with other women to be biological oddities that would attempt to penetrate women—and sometimes men—with "monstrously enlarged" clitorises.

No historical documentation exists of women who had other women as sex partners. Female homosexuality has not received the same negative response from religious or criminal authorities as male homosexuality or adultery has throughout history. Whereas sodomy between men, men and women, and men and animals was punishable by death in Britain, acknowledgment of sexual contact between women was nonexistent in medical and legal texts.

The earliest law against female homosexuality appeared in France in The earliest such execution occurred in Speier, Germany , in Forty days' penance was demanded of nuns who "rode" each other or were discovered to have touched each other's breasts.

An Italian nun named Sister Benedetta Carlini was documented to have seduced many of her sisters when possessed by a Divine spirit named "Splenditello"; to end her relationships with other women, she was placed in solitary confinement for the last 40 years of her life.

Ideas about women's sexuality were linked to contemporary understanding of female physiology. The vagina was considered an inward version of the penis; where nature's perfection created a man, often nature was thought to be trying to right itself by prolapsing the vagina to form a penis in some women.

Medical consideration of hermaphroditism depended upon measurements of the clitoris ; a longer, engorged clitoris was thought to be used by women to penetrate other women. Penetration was the focus of concern in all sexual acts, and a woman who was thought to have uncontrollable desires because of her engorged clitoris was called a "tribade" literally, one who rubs.

For a while, masturbation and lesbian sex carried the same meaning. Class distinction, however, became linked as the fashion of female homoeroticism passed. Tribades were simultaneously considered members of the lower class trying to ruin virtuous women, and representatives of an aristocracy corrupt with debauchery. Satirical writers began to suggest that political rivals or more often, their wives engaged in tribadism in order to harm their reputations. Queen Anne was rumored to have a passionate relationship with Sarah Churchill , Duchess of Marlborough, her closest adviser and confidante.

When Churchill was ousted as the queen's favorite, she purportedly spread allegations of the queen having affairs with her bedchamberwomen. Hermaphroditism appeared in medical literature enough to be considered common knowledge, although cases were rare. Homoerotic elements in literature were pervasive, specifically the masquerade of one gender for another to fool an unsuspecting woman into being seduced.

If found, punishments ranged from death, to time in the pillory , to being ordered never to dress as a man again. Henry Fielding wrote a pamphlet titled The Female Husband in , based on the life of Mary Hamilton , who was arrested after marrying a woman while masquerading as a man, and was sentenced to public whipping and six months in jail.

Similar examples were procured of Catharine Linck in Prussia in , executed in ; Swiss Anne Grandjean married and relocated with her wife to Lyons, but was exposed by a woman with whom she had had a previous affair and sentenced to time in the stocks and prison.

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