Changing Views on Homosexuality

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Changing Views on Homosexuality
Margaret Smith
PSY303: Abnormal Psychology
Submitted April 19, 2010

If you live in a metropolitan city like Atlanta, as I do, you may notice that the gay culture is mixed in with the rest of the multi-cultural happenings of the city. Having a large gay community is just another unique feature to Atlanta, GA. Although other cities may not have as large a grouping, the gay community is growing across the states. Men and women are feeling more open to express their homosexual lifestyle and this is in part due to the changing views of sexual behavior and homosexuality.

Homosexual behavior is defined as sexual behavior with a member of one’s own sex (Sarason & Sarason, 2005). Prior to the 1970s, homosexuality was considered to be a diagnosable psychiatric disorder and was listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Homosexuality was viewed almost as a disease that people needed to be cured of. Research revealed that homosexual men and women did not differ in psychological adjustment from heterosexual men and women (Sarason & Sarason, 2005).

There has been the debate of whether a person is born gay or if homosexuality is a learned behavior. In my opinion, I believe that a person is born gay and does not chose or learn this sexual behavior from others. I’ve witnessed a relative grow up and noticed behavior as child that suggested he may be gay. As an adult, he informed the family that he is in fact gay. This came as a shock to no one and when asked when he knew he was gay, he stated that he knew all along. It is thought that if people no longer viewed homosexuality as a behavior that people chose to partake in, that less emphasis would be placed on trying to “cure” homosexuality. Dr. Glenn Wilson and Dr. Qazi Rahman, authors of the book Born Gay, state that there is no single gay gene, but genes do contribute and consider the effect of sex hormones to which fetuses are...
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