The Term Lesbian is a term most widely used in the English language to describe sexual and romantic desire between females. The word may be used as a noun, to refer to women who identify themselves or who are characterized by others as having the primary attribute of female homosexuality, or as an adjective, to describe characteristics of an object or activity related to female same-sex desire. More information visit Lesbian UK or DIVA Magazine.
Lesbian as a concept, used to differentiate women with a shared sexual orientation, is a 20th-century construct. Although female homosexuality has appeared in many cultures throughout time, not until recently has lesbian described a group of people. In the late 19th century, sexologistspublished their observations on same-sex desire and behavior, and designated lesbians in Western culture as a distinct entity. More information visit Gay Women.
As a result, women who became aware of their new medical status formed underground subcultures in Europe and North America (from unearthed). Further broadening of the term occurred in the 1970s with the influence of second wave feminism. Historians since have re-examined relationships between women in history, and have questioned what qualifies a woman or a relationship as lesbian. The result of such discussion has introduced three components to identifying lesbians: sexual behavior, sexual desire, or sexual identity. Further information available from the Lesbian & Gay Foundation.