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F23-204 Sexual Orientation, Sexual Identity, Gender, and Gender Identity: A Deep Dive

Total Credits: 6 including 6 Category I CEs

200 Adults, Couples & Families |  700 Professional Growth & Development
Wayne Pawlowski, MSW, LICSW
Course Levels:
7 Hours 30 Minutes



Think you understand sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender, transgender, and gender identity? If so, do you know what a “demisexual” is? How about a “skoliosexual?” How about someone who identifies as “agender?” What’s the difference between a transgender female and a drag queen? Starting with a deep dive into the complexity of human sexuality and human sexual development, this workshop will define these identities along with many other emerging identities. It will clearly explain the distinctions/differences among sexual orientation, sexual identity, biological gender, and gender identity. In addition, it will explore how erotic orientation, romantic orientation, and affectional orientation come together to explain an individual’s “sexual orientation.” It will examine the evolving use of the words “they” and “them” as they are currently being used to identify some gender variant individuals, and it will discuss the importance of social workers having their “pronouns” on written and/or printed material. In addition, it will address the current legal attacks on drag queens and gender-affirming care for young people. Personal attitudes, values, feelings, and beliefs about all these aspects of sexuality will also be explored as well as how these personal A/V/F/Bs impact work with clients. This workshop is designed for social workers in all settings, all areas of practice, and all levels of experience.   



Wayne Pawlowski, MSW, LICSW Related Seminars and Products

Wayne V. Pawlowski is an independent trainer and clinical social worker based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Washington, D.C. Wayne has worked for 40 years in sexuality education and reproductive heath. Previously, he was the Director of Training for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington D.C. and Director of Counseling for Preterm Center for Reproductive Health Care in Washington, D.C. Wayne is a nationally and internationally recognized trainer and educator, having provided training in all fifty states as well as fourteen nations. Wayne’s work has been recognized with such awards as the first annual “Educators Award” from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (1995), the “Mary Lee Tatum Award” from Planned Parenthood (2004), and the “Sex Education Workshop of the Year Award” from the National Sex Education Conference (2014). He is a retired Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in the District of Columbia, and an AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists) Certified Sexuality Educator and Supervisor.


Agenda & Learning Objectives


8:50 – 9:00 Log On/Registration  


9:00 – 10:30 

  • Welcome, Overview, Introductions, Expectations 

  • Biological Gender and Intersexuality 

  • Gender Identity – Cis and Trans 


10:30 – 10:45 Break 


10:45 – 12:30 

  • Gender Transition 

  • The Politics of Trans-Youth 


12:30 – 1:30 Lunch 


1:30 – 3:00 

  • Sexual Orientation and Sexual Identities 

  • Attitudes, Values, Feelings and Beliefs:  Their Impact on Our Work 


3:00 – 3:15 Break 


3:15 – 4:30 

  • Importance of Pronouns 

  • Provider Self-Disclosure 

  • Left-Overs and Wrap Up 


4:30 Closure 



Upon the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define a variety of sexual identities.   

  • Define a variety of gender identities, including “cisgender.”   

  • Explain the distinctions among sexual orientation, sexual identity, biological gender, transgender, and gender identity.   

  • Define erotic orientation, romantic orientation, and affectional orientation.   

  • Explain how these three orientations combine to influence an individual’s sexual orientation.   

  • Identify some of participants’ personal attitudes, values, feelings, and beliefs about sexual and gender diversity and how these A/V/F/Bs impact their work with all clients.    

  • Explain why identifying one’s “pronouns” is important for social workers who work with or hope to work with sexual and/or gender minority clients.   

  • Explain the difference between a transgender female and a drag queen.  

  • Articulate the pros and cons of disclosing one’s sexual orientation, sexual identity, and/or gender identity to clients.   

Bibliography & References




The following three references are not books or research articles; rather, they are teaching/training manuals that include lengthy academic bibliographies and lists of resources. These three manuals contain all the academic and non-academic references anyone could want. In addition, they contain up-to-date information and easy to use/adapt teaching/training activities that address orientation, gender, and transgender issues.    


Orientation:  Teaching About Identity, Attraction and Behavior; Terri Clark, Tracie Gilbert, Karen Rayne and Bill Taverner editors, Center for Sex Education, Planned Parenthood of North, Central and Southern NJ, 2020.   


The Teaching Transgender Tool Kit:  A Facilitator’s Guide to Increasing Knowledge, Decreasing Prejudice and Building Skills; Eli Green and Luca Maurer.  Available at  This publication is sold out in physical/hard copy form but is available digitally. 


Trans Bodies, Trans Selves:  A Resource for the Transgender Community; Laura Erickson-Schroth, ed, Oxford University Press, 2014.   



Asexuality Is a Sexual Orientation, Not a Sexual Dysfunction; Bella DePaulo Ph.D., Psychology Today, September 5, 2016.   


Is Gender Identity Fluid or Fixed? What We Know About Other Animals Might Help Inform the Debate; Jay Schwartz, Genetic Literacy Project, 2019.  


The Gender Spectrum: A Scientist Explains Why Gender Isn’t Binary, Cade Hildreth, MS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with Specialization in Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, Self-Published Online, 2021.   


Homosexual Identity Formation: A Theoretical Model; Vivienne C. Cass Ph.D, Journal of Homosexuality, 1979. – This is an old but ground-breaking and essential article.  Available from NIH, National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information. 

A Quick Guide to the Cass Theory of Lesbian & Gay Identity Formation Kindle Edition is available from Amazon; Vivienne Cass Ph.D.    


Also, see the following citation for a critical analysis of this work, published in 2021. 

Cass's Homosexual Identity Formation: A Critical Analysis; Kristopher M. Goodrich and M. Kathryn Brammer, Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 2021.   


1.7% of Sexual Minority Adults Identify as Asexual; Rachel Dowd, UCLA School of Law, Williams Institute, August 8, 2019. – Press Release/Summary/Review of Asexual and Non-Asexual Respondents from a U.S. Population-Based Study of Sexual Minorities; Esther D. Rothblum,  Evan A. Krueger, Krystal R. Kittle, and Ilan H. Meyer, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49, 757 -767,  2020.   

Press Release: Article: - This citation includes a wealth of academic references.   


4.5% Of Adults in the US Identify as LGBT; Rachel Dowd, UCLA School of Law, Williams Insititute, March 5, 2019. 


Understanding Sexual Orientation; Staff of Psychology Today, Psychology Today, Date Unknown.            

5 Tips for Exploring Sexual Fluidity or Orientation; Jennifer Guttman, Psy.D. Psychology Today, April 15, 2021. 


The Second Adolescence of LGBTQ+ Adulthood; Adam James Cohen, LMFT; Psychology Today, May 16, 2023. 


It Is Now 50 Years Since Gay People Were “Cured”:  How being gay went from a mental disorder to a human-rights movement; Group For The Advancement of Psychiatry, Psychology Today, April 12, 2023. 


What's A Skoliosexual? - There's a lot more out there beyond "hetero," "homo" and "bi;” Noah Michelson, The Huffington Post, 2015.   


Stop Using Phony Science to Justify Transphobia; Simon(e) D. Sun, Scientific American, 2019.   


What The Science On Gender-Affirming Care For Transgender Kids Really Shows; Heather Boerner, Scientific American, May, 2022/Reprinted March, 2023. 



Gay, Straight, and In-Between. The Sexology of Erotic Orientation; John Money, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. – One of the most influential, early books that addressed sexual orientation. Also, see the following book for an up-dated discussion of Money’s work.   


The Man Who Invented Gender:  Engaging the Ideas of John Money; Terry Goldie, UBC Press, 2014.   

Course Completion & CE Information

Category I Maryland BSWE Requirement

The Office of Continuing Professional Education at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education programs. This workshop qualifies for {6} Category I Continuing Education Units. The Office of Continuing Professional Education is also authorized by the Maryland Board of Psychologists and the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to sponsor Category A continuing professional education.

Please refer to the tab "Live Interactive Webinar Policies & FAQs" for UMSSW Office of CPE policies regarding all live interactive webinar related matters.

Target Audience

Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists

We welcome anyone interested in the topic!


Late Fees and Refunds

Fee & Registration:

Cost is $130 and includes CE credit. Registering after 10/19/23 will incur an additional $20 late fee. Cancellations* must be received 24 hours in advance prior to the workshop to receive a refund or an account credit.


*ALL cancellations will be subjected to a $35.00 administration fee.

Live Interactive Webinar Platforms


The Office of Continuing Professional Education hosts Live Interactive Webinars through two platforms: Zoom and WebEx.

Both platforms offer high quality and user-friendly webinar platforms for our registrants.


System Requirements:

  • Operating Systems: Windows XP or higher; MacOS 9 or higher; Android 4.0 or higher.
  • Internet Browser: Google Chrome; Firefox 10.0 or higher.

Our system is not compatible with the Safari web browser.

  • Broadband Internet Connection: Cable, High-speed DSL and any other medium that is internet accessible.

**Please have your device charging at all times to ensure that your device does not lose power during the webinar.


Course Interaction Requirements:

To participate in Live Interactive Webinars, you MUST have a device that allows you to view the presentation on screen and hear the instructor at all times. We do not allow participants to call-in from their phones or mobile devices and solely listen to the presentation. Participation in Live Interactive Webinars is mandatory.

Webinar Policies & FAQs

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