The full text of this article in PDF format can be obtained by clicking here. Attempting to promote their cause as a civil rights instead of as a moral issue, they want special legal protection for, and cultural acceptance of, their lifestyle. Especially within the church, are not Christians called to be loving and inclusive?
The term gay is frequently used as a synonym for homosexual; female homosexuality is often referred to as lesbianism. At different times and in different cultureshomosexual behaviour has been variously approved of, tolerated, punished, and banned. Homosexuality was not uncommon in ancient Greece and Romeand the relationships between adult and adolescent males in particular have become a chief focus of Western classicists in recent years.
Judeo-Christian as well as Muslim cultures have generally perceived homosexual behaviour as sinful. Others—from factions within mainstream Protestantism to organizations of Reform rabbis—have advocated, on theological as well as social grounds, the full acceptance of homosexuals and their relationships.
The topic has threatened to cause outright schisms in some denominations. The conflicting views of homosexuality—as a variant but normal human sexual behaviour on one hand, and as psychologically deviant behaviour on the other—remain present in most societies in the 21st century, but they have been largely resolved in the professional sense in most developed countries.
Their claims of success, however, are controversial. Wherever opinion can be freely expressed, debates about homosexuality will likely continue. Selected theories of homosexuality Psychologists in the 19th and 20th centuries, most of whom classified homosexuality as a form of mental illness, developed a variety of theories on its origin.
His contemporary Sigmund Freud characterized it as a result of conflicts of psychosexual development, including identification with the parent of the opposite sex. Others have looked at social influences and physiological events in fetal development as possible origins.
It is likely that many instances of homosexuality result from a combination of inborn or constitutional factors and environmental or social influences. By the 21st century, many societies had been discussing sexuality and sexual practices with increased candour.
Together with a growing acceptance of homosexuality as a common expression of human sexuality, long-standing beliefs about homosexuals had begun to lose credence.
In the 20th-century United Statesa field known as sex research was established among the social and behavioral sciences in an effort to investigate actual sexual practice. Researchers such as Alfred Kinsey reported that homosexual activity was a frequent pattern in adolescence, among both males and females.
About half as many women in the study reported predominantly homosexual activity. A range of more recent surveys, concerning predominantly homosexual behaviour as well as same-gender sexual contact in adulthood, have yielded results that are both higher and lower than those identified by Kinsey.
Instead of categorizing people in absolute terms as either homosexual or heterosexual, Kinsey observed a spectrum of sexual activity, of which exclusive orientations of either type make up the extremes. Most people can be identified at a point on either side of the midpoint of the spectrum, with bisexuals those who respond sexually to persons of either sex situated in the middle.
Situational homosexual activity tends to occur in environments such as prisonswhere there are no opportunities for heterosexual contact. Contemporary issues As mentioned above, different societies respond differently to homosexuality. In most of Africa, Asiaand Latin Americaboth the subject and the behaviour are considered taboo, with some slight exception made in urban areas.
In Western countries, attitudes were somewhat more liberal. Although the topic of homosexuality was little discussed in the public forum during the early part of the 20th century, it became a political issue in many Western countries during the late 20th century.
This was particularly true in the United States, where the gay rights movement is often seen as a late offshoot of various civil rights movements of the s. After the Stonewall riotsin which New York City policemen raided a gay bar and met with sustained resistance, many homosexuals were emboldened to identify themselves as gay men or lesbians to friends, to relatives, and even to the public at large.
In much of North America and western Europethe heterosexual population became aware of gay and lesbian communities for the first time.
Many gay men and lesbians began to demand equal treatment in employment practices, housing, and public policy. Although conditions for gay people had generally improved in most of Europe and North America at the turn of the 21st century, elsewhere in the world violence against gay people continued.
In Ecuador a gay rights group called Quitogay received so much threatening e-mail that it was given support by Amnesty International. Even in parts of the world where physical violence is absent, intolerance of homosexuality often persists. There are, however, some signs of change.
In the late 20th century gay men and lesbians proudly revealed their sexual orientation in increasing numbers.
Elsewhere in the world AIDS was transmitted principally by heterosexual sex, but in the United States and in some European centres it was particularly prevalent in urban gay communities.
The disease also took a heavy toll on the arts communities in these centres, and virtually none of the artistic output of gay men in the late 20th century was untouched by the topic and the sense of great loss.
Lesbians, especially those uninvolved with intravenous drugs and the sex trade, were probably the demographic group least affected by AIDS. However, most shared with gay men the desire to have a secure place in the world community at large, unchallenged by the fear of violence, the struggle for equal treatment under the law, the attempt to silence, and any other form of civil behaviour that imposes second-class citizenship.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:This carefully documented article examines what the Old Testament, New Testament, and Jesus actually teach on the issue of homosexuality.
It also includes a . Some claim Jesus never said anything about homosexuality and therefore is neutral on the topic. Not true. Jesus was unequivocal in saying that to understand marriage and the sexual union, we must go back to the beginning and see how God created humanity and to what end.
Between the two extremes, many view homosexuality as nothing more than an alternative lifestyle. “When I was in school,” says Daniel, 21, “even straight kids felt that if you had a problem with the idea of homosexuality, you were prejudiced and judgmental.”. "Homosexuality as a Deviance" The view that homosexuality is deviant allows society to discriminate against certain people.
Words Dec 15th, 7 Pages Deviance is a behavior that does not conform to social norms, therefore is socially created. Here are the 10 countries where homosexuality may be punishable by death: Yemen: According to the penal code, married men can be sentenced to death by stoning for homosexual intercourse.
Jul 20, · What the Bible Says About Homosexuality God created marriage, which he defines as the lifelong and exclusive covenant of one man and woman. Same-sex desires and same-sex orientation are part of our broken and disordered sexuality owing to God’s subjection of the created order to futility because of man’s sin.