The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, 16 territories, and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. The largest of these territories are Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands which are an official part of the United States. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the U.S. mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.
Human sexuality is the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. A person's sexual orientation may influence their sexual interest and attraction for another person. Sexuality can have biological, emotional/physical or spiritual aspects. The biological aspect of sexuality refers to the reproductive mechanism as well as the basic biological drive that exists in all species, which is hormonally controlled. The emotional or physical aspect of sexuality refers to the bond that exists between individuals, and is expressed through profound feelings or physical manifestations of emotions of love, trust, and caring. There is also a spiritual aspect of sexuality of an individual or as a connection with others. Sexuality impacts and is impacted by cultural, political, legal, and philosophical aspects of life. It can refer to issues of morality, ethics, theology, spirituality, or religion. Some cultures have been described as sexually repressive.
Interest in sexual activity typically increases when an individual reaches puberty. Some researchers assume that sexual behavior is determined by genetics, and others assert that it is molded by the environment. This is the nature versus nurture debate, in which one can define nature as those behavioral traits that are due to innate characteristics, such as instincts and drives. The concept of nurture can be defined as the environmental factors or external stimuli that influence behavior, emotions, and thinking. Biological and physical differences include the human sexual response cycle among men and women.
Human behavior refers to the range of behaviors exhibited by humans and which are influenced by culture, attitudes, emotions, values, ethics, authority, rapport, hypnosis, persuasion, coercion and/or genetics.
The behavior of people (and other organisms or even mechanisms) falls within a range with some behavior being common, some unusual, some acceptable, and some outside acceptable limits. In sociology, behavior in general is characterised as having no meaning, being not directed at other people, and thus is the most basic human action. Behavior in this general sense should not be mistaken with social behavior, which is a more advanced action, as social behavior is behavior specifically directed at other people. The acceptability of behavior depends heavily upon social norms and is regulated by various means of social control. Human behavior is studied by the specialised academic disciplines of psychiatry, psychology, social work, sociology, economics, and anthropology.
Sexual orientation is an enduring personal quality that inclines people to feel romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender. These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, while asexuality (the lack of romantic or sexual attraction to others) is sometimes identified as the fourth category. These categories are aspects of the more nuanced nature of sexual identity. For example, people may use other labels, such as pansexual or polysexual, or none at all. According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation "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".
The term sexual preference largely overlaps with sexual orientation, but is generally distinguished in psychological research. A person who identifies as bisexual, for example, may sexually prefer one sex over the other. Sexual preference may also suggest a degree of voluntary choice, whereas the scientific consensus is that sexual orientation is not a choice. There is no consensus among scientists about why a person develops a particular sexual orientation; however, biologically-based theories for the cause of sexual orientation are favored by experts, which point to genetic factors, the early uterine environment, or both combinations. Moreover, there is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role when it comes to sexual orientation; when it comes to same-sex sexual behavior, shared or familial environment plays no role for men and minor role for women. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the opposite sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex.
Gender studies is a field of interdisciplinary study and academic field devoted to gender identity and gendered representation as central categories of analysis. This field includes women's studies (concerning women, feminism, gender, and politics), men's studies, and LGBT studies. Sometimes, gender studies is offered together with study of sexuality. These disciplines study gender and sexuality in the fields of literature, language, history, political science, sociology, anthropology, cinema, media studies, human development, law, and medicine. It also analyzes race, ethnicity, location, nationality, and disability.
Gender study has many different forms. One view espoused by the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir said: "One is not born a woman, one becomes one". This view proposes that in gender studies, the term "gender" should be used to refer to the social and cultural constructions of masculinities and femininities, not to the state of being male or female in its entirety. However, this view is not held by all gender theorists. Other areas]which?[ of gender study closely examine the role that the biological states of being male or female (anatomical, physiological, and genetical explanations of male and female body parts, structure and nature of functions of body organs, genetic carriers etc.) have on social constructs of gender. Specifically, in what way gender roles are defined by biology and how they are defined by cultural trends. The field emerged from a number of different areas: the sociology of the 1950s and later (see Sociology of gender); the theories of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan; and the work of feminists such as Judith Butler.
An interpersonal relationship is a strong, deep, or close association/acquaintance between two or more people that may range in duration from brief to enduring. This association may be based on inference, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of social, cultural and other influences. The context can vary from family or kinship relations, friendship, marriage, relations with associates, work, clubs, neighborhoods, and places of worship. They may be regulated by law, custom, or mutual agreement, and are the basis of social groups and society as a whole.
The Kinsey Reports are two books on human sexual behavior: Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953), written by Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy and others and published by Saunders. Kinsey was a zoologist at Indiana University and the founder of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction (more widely known as the Kinsey Institute).
Sexual Behavior in the Human Female was based on personal interviews with approximately 6,000 women. Kinsey analyzed data for the frequency with which women participate in various types of sexual activity and looked at how factors such as age, social-economic status and religious adherence influence sexual behavior. Comparisons are made of female and male sexual activities. Kinsey's evidence suggested that women were less sexually active than men in all aspects of sexual life but that they were still more sexual than they were considered at that time.]citation needed[ By the time the book on female sexuality was published, it appeared]who?[ that Kinsey felt that women and men are more alike in the biology of their sexuality than he had previously thought, and that both men's and women's sexuality seemed shaped, not merely repressed, by social and cultural forces.
The demographics of sexual orientation are difficult to establish for a variety of reasons. One of the major reasons for the difference in statistical findings regarding homosexuality and bisexuality has to do with the nature of the research questions. Major research studies on sexual orientation are discussed. Most of the studies listed below rely on self-report data, which poses challenges to researchers inquiring into sensitive subject matter. More importantly, the studies tend to pose two sets of questions. One set examines self-report data of same-sex sexual experiences and attractions while the other set examines self-report data of personal identification as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Fewer research subjects identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual than report having sexual experiences or attraction to a person of the same sex. Several studies of sexual orientation in countries provide comparative perspectives. Tables comparing several U.S. cities' population numbers are also included.
Homophobic settings may mean that some LGBT people may not openly identify as such, and open identification of one's true sexual orientation may depend on the status of LGBT rights in a given location.
A social issue (also called a social problem or a social situation) is an issue that relates to society's perception of a person's personal lives. Different cultures have different perceptions and what may be "normal" behavior in one society may be a significant social issue in another society. Social issues are distinguished from economic issues. Some issues have both social and economic aspects, such as immigration. There are also issues that don't fall into either category, such as wars.
Thomas Paine, in Rights of Man and Common Sense, addresses man's duty to "allow the same rights to others as we allow ourselves". The failure to do so causes the birth of a social issue.
The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction (often shortened to The Kinsey Institute) is a nonprofit research institute at Indiana University. It was established in Bloomington, Indiana in 1947. The institute’s mission is "to advance sexual health and knowledge worldwide." Research, graduate training, information services, and the collection and preservation of library, art, and archival materials are main activities carried out by The Kinsey Institute. The Institute and Kinsey himself have been the subject of much controversy, initially for engaging in open discussion of sexuality.