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The American Psychiatric Association stated: "To date there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality.
Similarly, no specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse." Research into how sexual orientation may be determined by genetic or other prenatal factors plays a role in political and social debates about homosexuality, and also raises fears about genetic profiling and prenatal testing.
Simon Le Vay has criticized Hirschfeld's theory of an early bisexual stage of development, calling it confusing; Le Vay maintains that Hirschfeld failed to distinguish between saying that the brain is sexually undifferentiated at an early stage of development and saying that an individual actually experiences sexual attraction to both men and women.
According to Le Vay, Hirschfeld believed that in most bisexual people the strength of attraction to the same sex was relatively low, and that it was therefore possible to restrain its development in young people, something Hirschfeld supported.
Diamond, which followed women identifying as lesbian, bisexual, or unlabeled, found that "more women adopted bisexual/unlabeled identities than relinquished these identities," over a ten-year period.
The study also found that "bisexual/unlabeled women had stable overall distributions of same-sex/other-sex attractions." Diamond has also studied male bisexuality, noting that survey research found "almost as many men transitioned at some point from a gay identity to a bisexual, queer or unlabeled one, as did from a bisexual identity to a gay identity." In the 1940s, the zoologist Alfred Kinsey created a scale to measure the continuum of sexual orientation from heterosexuality to homosexuality.
A bisexual identity does not necessarily equate to equal sexual attraction to both sexes; commonly, people who have a distinct but not exclusive sexual preference for one sex over the other also identify themselves as bisexual.
heteroflexible, homoflexible, men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women may also be used to describe sexual identity or identify sexual behavior.
Some sources state that bisexuality encompasses romantic or sexual attraction to all gender identities or that it is romantic or sexual attraction to a person irrespective of that person's biological sex or gender, equating it to or rendering it interchangeable with pansexuality.
Kinsey himself disliked the use of the term bisexual to describe individuals who engage in sexual activity with both males and females, preferring to use bisexual in its original, biological sense as hermaphroditic, stating, "Until it is demonstrated [that] taste in a sexual relation is dependent upon the individual containing within his anatomy both male and female structures, or male and female physiological capacities, it is unfortunate to call such individuals bisexual." The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior, published in 1993, showed that 5 percent of men and 3 percent of women considered themselves bisexual and 4 percent of men and 2 percent of women considered themselves homosexual.
More modern studies estimating the demographics for bisexuality have varied.and environmental factors (including fraternal birth order, where the number of older brothers a boy has increases the chances of homosexuality; specific prenatal hormone exposure, where hormones play a role in determining sexual orientation as they do with sex differentiation; The American Psychological Association has stated that "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people".