It may seem obvious what it means to be gay (attracted to the same sex) or heterosexual (attracted to the opposite sex), but what does sexual orientation mean? 

We asked that question to Dr. Meredith Chivers at a Special IMPACT interview series at a SpeakOUT event at Center on Halsted, Chicago, IL.

Dr. Meredith Chivers says that everybody has a sexual orientation and sexual drive that we don’t consciously think about.  Who we are attracted to is an automatic process.

Dr. Chivers has appeared on numerous TV shows, published extensively on topics of sexuality, and even shared sex column advice for Savage Love. She is an Assistant Professor at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. Her Sexuality and Gender Laboratory, SageLab, is dedicated to understanding gender differences and similarities in sexuality, including sexual psychophysiology, sexual orientation, and sexual functioning. Here's what she had to say:

(Note if the video below doesn't load you can view it here: 


Dr. Mustanski is the Director of the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program at Northwestern University. You can follow the Sexual Continuum blog by becoming a fan on Facebook. He periodically live tweets from research conferences on sexuality and you can follow him @sexualcontinuum.

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