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Running Head: Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality
Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality Name PSY 265 Axia College
This was a turnabout from the Greek and Roman cultural influences. it is seen as abomination. to others. Homosexual stereotypes have been influenced by Western culture since the time of the Romans. that continues to this day. Discussions on the issues surrounding To some. 2005). 1999). Scientific and historical elements have impacted both social views of homosexuality and homosexuals own self-perceptions.Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality |2 A homosexual is an individual who is romantically and/or sexually attracted to a member of their own biological sex. . Women were seen as being useful primarily for child bearing (Peterson. Christians went so far as to condemn homosexuality in the 15 th century. Western culture is the first historical perspective we will discuss here. some men would assume more feminine identities through their mannerisms and dress (Nevid. but others prefer to hold a masculine demeanor. The social norms and stereotypes that we see surrounding homosexuality in our current culture come from the development of Western culture over this time span. Western culture has been more accepting of male-male homosexuality than it has of femalefemale homosexuality. This conflict between these two Western cultural elements. Some male homosexuals do carry themselves in a feminine way. After the fall of the Roman Empire. homosexuality is acceptable and even natural. homosexuality are often highly charged with emotion and controversy. Christian culture began to be the dominant influence in Western culture. These individuals comprise the most vilified minorities in all of history. Rathus & Fichner-Rathus. The stereotype of flamboyance in male homosexuals that they evidenced is still carried forward today. Christianity and Antiquity. In Roman culture. Western culture has held men in higher esteem throughout its recent history. They are also one of the most enduring.
Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality |3 Scientific and biological factors have also influenced self-perceptions among homosexuals of both sexes. Genetic factors may influence the development of homosexuality (Nevid. Homosexuals face prejudice and open discrimination due to their gender identity. Some researchers also believe that a link may exist between homosexual males and homosexual individuals on the mother’s side of the family due to this X sex chromosome. Rathus & Fichner-Rathus. Researchers have pondered all of the elements that contribute to the development of homosexuality for decades. Nevid. 2005). Rathus & Fichner-Rathus (2005) state “researchers have found evidence linking a region on the X sex chromosome to a gay male sexual orientation. “Gender nonconformity is failure to conform to the gender-role stereotype that is consistent with one’s anatomic sex. This may be considered a stereotype since it is not a universal occurrence. This is another aspect of homosexuality. Scientific evidence about the development of gender identity would help dispel many of the myths and some of the prejudices that have arisen if the evidence is irrefutable. . Gender nonconformity may be rooted in both environmental and genetic factors.” This X chromosome is given to the child by its mother. This may lead these individuals to experience a lack of confidence and for them to begin to question their own role in the development of their homosexual orientation. Rathus & Fichner-Rathus.” (Nevid. Homosexual males may exhibit more feminine behaviors during childhood and homosexual females may exhibit more masculine behaviors. Several studies indicate that an individual’s sexual orientation may be influenced by heredity. 2005).
many support groups and organizations exist that can offer assistance to homosexuals trying to adjust to their new lives. Lifestyles among homosexuals vary as greatly as lifestyles of their heterosexual counterparts. It is not uncommon for suicidal thoughts to occur during this stage. Even after the homosexual individual has accepted their own sexual orientation and come out to their friends and family. . It is reasonable for these individuals to fear that they will be discriminated against when they come out. Rathus & Fichner-Rathus. Denial may also be a part of this process.Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality |4 It can be traumatic for homosexuals to come to terms with their sexual orientation as it develops. The process of ‘coming out’ involves first coming out to oneself. 2005). A person may start with those closest to them. Friends. Homophobia complicates the coming out process for individuals who wish to make their homosexuality known. Coming out to oneself involves achievement of self-definition. The next step in a person ‘coming out’ is to do so with others. They may experience anger. This can be a highly charged process for an individual. society and family members all have their own position on homosexual orientation. This is difficult for all young people and doubly so for a homosexual. Individuals who are known to have strong feelings against homosexuals are called homophobic. they will have ongoing difficulties due to social adjustments that need to be made. For individuals who choose to be openly gay. denial or flat out rejection from their families and friend when they come out (Nevid. Society carries stereotypical perspectives of how gay people will behave. Their own feelings may be confused initially and social norms dictate that they are not supposed to feel this way. These are often false. but not always.
My own sexual orientation has been determined by a number of influences. there may. but then again. This would include the “don’t ask. military.S. I cannot say that my genetics have any role in my orientation. such as the U. Societal oppression. Homosexuality is a minority life. First. prejudice and discrimination accompany this life. Scientific and historical perspectives play active parts in perceptions of homosexuality. It has become more socially acceptable in recent years for homosexuals to be open in their lives. Treatment of homosexuals as minorities will most likely continue into the near future based on the long past. don’t tell” policy which allows homosexuals to serve in the military with the intent of deterring discrimination against homosexual individuals. I am biologically female. I am attracted only to men. policies exist about homosexual people. . I do not feel I was nurtured to be other than conforming or that society pushed me in any way. Some price is always exacted by society for members who do not conform.Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality |5 In some organizations. making me openly heterosexual. so I was gender conforming from an early age. There may never be a scientific explanation for homosexuality. I exhibited behaviors with feminine characteristics when I was young.
MA: Allyn and Bacon.org/gay-history/gay-literature/homosexuality-debate/greekhomosexuality-ethics/greek-roman-homosexuality.. World History of Male Love. J.Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality |6 References H.) Boston. "Eternal Debate".gay-arthistory.A. S.S..html Rathus. L. . The Eternal Debate in Classical Times Retrieved on July 12. and Fichner-Rathus. (6th ed. Nevid. 2009 from http://www. Peterson (1999). Human sexuality in a world of diversity. (2005).