Heterosexual Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

Heterosexuality is a very common sexuality in the world today. This is what it means, what it looks like, and how to identify it!

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Over the past several decades, the revolution of sexuality has impacted countless people worldwide. While normal sexuality has been a concept for hundreds or even thousands of years, people who don’t fall into a typical sexual orientation have become more vocal and honest about their feelings. The world has grown to understand that the past assumption that sexuality is one specific thing is not up to date with how people experience life and sexuality in the modern world. 

However, it is still essential to categorize people who fall into the most common kind of romantic attraction and sexual behavior — Heterosexuality. This is the most common kind of sexuality globally and the most traditional way to experience sexual attraction to a person. Even though it is certainly not the only kind of sexual attraction, it is still essential to understand what it is and how it differs from other types of sexuality. 

This is what the term heterosexual is, what heterosexual people do, and how to differentiate heterosexual people from people with less typical sexuality.

What Is Heterosexuality? 

Heterosexuality is one of the most common categories of sexual identity that people find themselves in. The definition of heterosexuality is the sexual and romantic attraction to people of the opposite sex.

Males are attracted to females, and vice versa. Opposite-sex attraction and sexual practice are done with people of the same sex and typically share a different gender identity. 

A common way to refer to heterosexuality more fundamentally is with the more colloquial synonym “straight.” For example, straight women and men are defined as heterosexual, and are heterosexual men and women are the same as straight people. 

A common misconception in the world is that being cisgender and straight are the same thing. While being straightforward and cisgender is very common, it’s essential to recognize that these are mutually exclusive identities.

Cisgender identifies with your gender as being the same as the sex you were assigned at birth. However, many people who are cisgender are homosexual, pansexual, or bisexual

What Does Heterosexuality Look Like? 

Throughout the history of the world, heterosexuality has been the primary means of reproduction and procreation among people in the world. It has also been the most common sexual preference, even to the point that other sexualities and gender identities have been looked down on in the past.

However, as the stigma of heterosexuality being the default sexuality has been broken down, many people have been able to look past compulsory heterosexuality and heteronormativity and find their true identities in other sexualities and gender identities. 

Even with this affirmative action towards other sexualities, heterosexuality is still by far the most common sexuality in the world, making up roughly 94.4% of people. These preferences for people of the opposite sex and manifestation of sexual passion receive the most recognition and normality by most people. 

How does Heterosexuality Differ from Other Sexualities? 

From the late 19th century to the 1960s, a lot of underground research and development went into understanding different sexualities and identities that people identified with. As these boundaries of knowledge were worked through, it became more and more important to understand how people of all kinds differed from people that were heterosexual. 

Here are how people have come to understand how heterosexuality is not the only or the default sexuality throughout the world. 


Homosexuality is when a person is attracted to someone of the same sexuality. These people include gays and lesbians, and in many ways, it is the exact opposite of heterosexuality. Whereas straight people are attracted to those of the opposite sex, homosexual people are attracted to those of the same sex. It’s one of the most common kinds of sexualities globally, after heterosexuality. 

This sexuality also incorporates the Kinsey scale. This scale is helpful for people who are experiencing sexual and romantic attraction to people of both the same and the opposite sexes. It illustrates the continuum of sexuality between being purely straight and being strictly homosexual.


Pansexuality is another sexuality in the world. It is the attraction to people of all sexualities and gender identities. While heterosexuality is exclusive to the allure of just the perceived opposite sex, pansexuality is open to virtually all kinds of sexuality. 


Transgender people are people that don’t identify with the gender that they were assigned at birth. While gender and sexuality are different within the world of advanced sexuality, it’s still important to know that these people aren’t going to experience sexuality in the same way as most people. 


Asexuality is a term used for people who lack an appetite for sex in general. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t enter into romantic relationships, called aromanticism. Not all asexuals are aromantic, and vice versa. But at any rate, understanding who these people are and how to relate with them is very important. 


As the Western world, and especially the United States, are slowly advancing in how people of sexualities are treated relative to people who are heterosexual, it’s important to remember what they are compared to.

Even though heterosexuality is one of the most common kinds of sexuality in the world and sexual identity isn’t something that can necessarily be effectively compared, it’s still essential to have a baseline of your own understanding. 

If you want to advance your ability to understand the world at large, one of the most important things for you is to learn how to use your language in new ways. It’s critically important to understand how words and language work because that can lead you to communicate better. 

Good communication is the starting point of proper advancement in the world, so if you want to truly grow, take a look around — we’re here to help you grow into a better and more knowledgeable person! If you’re going to increase your communication ability, feel free to check out our blog here at The Word Counter!

We are constantly putting up more articles and resources that will enable you to understand communication much more effectively and learn how to talk with people in new ways!


  1. Heterosexual Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com
  2. HETEROSEXUAL | Cambridge English Dictionary
  3. More Adult Americans Are Identifying as L.G.B.T., Gallup Poll Finds | New York Times
  4. What Is the Kinsey Scale? | Very Well Mind