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Jump to navigation Jump to search “Hetero” redirects here. For the comedy stock character type, see straight man. This article is about heterosexuality in humans. For heterosexuality in other animals, see Animal sexual behaviour. Heterosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between persons of the opposite sex or gender. The term heterosexual or heterosexuality is usually applied to humans, but heterosexual behavior is observed in all mammals and in other animals. The current use of the term heterosexual has its roots in the broader 19th century tradition of personality taxonomy.
It continues to influence the development of the modern concept of sexual orientation, and can be used to describe individuals’ sexual orientation, sexual history, or self-identification. Some reject the term heterosexual, as they feel that the word only refers to one’s sexual behavior and does not refer to non-sexual romantic feelings. The word can be informally shortened to “hetero”. Heterosexual symbolism dates back to the earliest artifacts of humanity, with gender symbols, ritual fertility carvings, and primitive art.