An Objective Criteria for Sexual Orientation
Marty, you said: "... there is no objective standard for "orientation" other than self-declaration."
There is an objective test for "orientation" that has been used in clinical studies for over 50 years.
The subject is wired to a machine designed to measure physiological changes associated with arousal. The person is made comfortable, then shown several series of slides of attractive men and women in alluring poses. Suggestive messages are provided through earphones.
If the person is aroused by persons of the opposite gender, then the person is heterosexual.
If the person is aroused by persons of the same gender, then the person is homosexual.
If the person is aroused by persons of both genders, then the person is bisexual.
This is the standard protocol for clinical studies in this area. People are placed in the appropriate group based on the results of this test.
This technique was the basis of an attempted "cure" for homosexuality in the 1950's and 1960's. The person was hooked up and shown the pictures. He was given a painful electrical shock whenever he was aroused by pictures of men. The idea was that he would eventually learn not to be aroused by these pictures and therefore men in general.
A cow who is shocked when coming into contact with an electric fence, learns to avoid the fence. Thus the term "avoidance therapy." Have you seen the film "A Clockwork Orange?"
Alas, while a cow can choose where to walk and avoid the fence, a man cannot choose not to be aroused when presented with pictures consistent with his orientation.
The fact that this and every other treatment which attempted to "cure" homosexuality failed, was an important component of the mass of data that lead to the understanding that orientation was an inborn trait which is not chosen and cannot be changed.
There is no debate over the definition of homosexuality. Both the scientific and the dictionary definitions are identical. A homosexual is a person who is attracted to (aroused by, has sexual desires for) persons of the same sex. Behavior has nothing to do with the definition.
Didn't you know you were a heterosexual (I assume) for many long years (I hope) before you actually had sex?