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Heterosexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by romantic love or sexual desire exclusively for members of the opposite gender, contrasted with homosexuality and distinguished from bisexuality and asexuality.

Heterosexualism is a term that is used synonymously with both "heterosexism" and "heterosexuality".

In addition to referring to a sexual orientation, the term heterosexuality is also used for sexual behavior (or sexual activities) between people of the opposite sex. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterosexual [May 2004]

Hetero- comes from the Greek word heteros, meaning "different" (for other uses, see heterozygote, heterogeneous), and the Latin for sex (that is, gender). The term "heterosexual" was coined shortly after and opposite to the word "homosexual" by Karl Maria Kertbeny in the 1860s. Heterosexual was first listed in Merriam-Websters's New International Dictionary as a medical term for "morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex," but in 1934 in their Second Edition Unabridged it is a "manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex; normal sexuality." (Katz, 1995) --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterosexual [May 2004]

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