A standard dictionary simply defines a lesbian as a female homosexual. The term lesbian is nothing new. It originated to refer to an inhabitant of the Isle of Lesbos. Our present day connotation of the world evolved from references to Sappho, a Lesbian poet whose verse detailed her emotional ties to other women. It has been estimated that lesbians account for approximately 10-12% of the female population. Many myths exists concerning lesbianism. It is believed by some that all lesbians are very masculine or butch. The butch lesbian isn’t acting out just because she can’t get a man as some people would believe.
While some prefer to be butch, lesbians range in size, shape and appearance with just as much diversity as the heterosexual population. It is also believed by some that women become lesbians because of bad experiences with men. Lesbianism is not equal to hatred of men. It’s also not true that lesbians just have not found a good man. Many women just prefer the emotional and sexual bonds that are formed with other women. It is that simple. Some estimates state that three quarters of lesbians are involved in committed relationships, dispelling any myth that homosexuals cannot be monogamous.
The break-up rate for lesbians is about the same as the rate for heterosexual partners. Many lesbian couples stay together for decades. Lesbianism is more than just sexual orientation. It is a way of life. Many of the issues that lesbians deal with are different than those dealt with by heterosexual women. A great dichotomy exists between the sexual health issues of heterosexual women and lesbians. Heterosexual women are at a much greater risk of contracted sexually transmitted diseases. While lesbians are definitely not immune to STD transmission, as of 1990 only four cases of AIDS were reported from woman-to-woman contact.