Homosexuality Essay

828 words - 3 pages

Homosexuality

Homosexuality is said to be a preference for affiliation and sexual activity with a person of the same sex. The potential for homosexual behavior appears to be a basic part of human sexuality, since many people experience homosexual interest, curiosity, or activity at some point in their lives. Homosexual behavior has also been observed in most animal species. Many homosexuals prefer to be called gay or, in the case of women, lesbian because of the exclusively sexual connotation of homosexual. When individuals engage in both heterosexual and homosexual behaviors, they are said to be bi-sexual.
A wide degree of diversity exists among the types of individuals who identify themselves as homosexuals. The popular stereotype of the homosexual as a sexually promiscuous make who cannot or will not maintain a relationship reflects one type. There are, however, many other gay people, female and male, who have formed long lasting, sometimes lifelong relationships. Additionally, many homosexuals raise children, alone or with partners. (Bullough 35)
Gay persons are in every kind of job and are of every political persuasion. Some are very open about their homosexuality, and some are more private. Some view their orientation as a biological condition and others as a preference. Some lesbians claim men's dominance over women as one of the reasons they choose women as partners. (Bullough 43)
Homosexuality has been common in most cultures throughout history. Despite tolerant periods, however, in ancient Greece, for example, homosexuality has been widely condemned. Both Judaism and Christianity view homosexuality as sinful. This condemnation was put into written law, and as a result, homosexual activity was considered to be a crime; the penalty in early courts was death. Homosexual behavior is still illegal in many countries and U.S. states. Homosexuality occurs, however, even in societies that strongly condemn it. (Boswell 5, 120-124)
With the advent of modern psychiatry, homosexuality came to be seen more as an illness than a sin. Opinions as to the origin and nature of homosexuality were once based solely on the study of maladjusted psychiatric patients. Theories formed from such research suggest that disorders in family relationships, particularly between mother and son, are responsible for homosexual behavior. These theories are not convincing, not only because they are based on the assumption that homosexuals are psychologically abnormal, but also because many heterosexuals also come from families in which there are relationship disorders. (Thompson 12, 228) In 1973 homosexuality was removed from the American Psychiatric...

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