Gays and Other Victims of Stigma
How many gays and lesbians are there in the United States? The answer depends on the definition of what constitutes being a gay or lesbian. Various studies state a lesbian or gay are a person with one or more of these characteristics: (1) same-sex feelings- being attracted to a person of the same gender, (2) same-sex behavior- having sex with same-gender person, and (3) identifying oneself as gay or lesbian. Myths about Homosexuality
Myth: Gay men are more likely to be “promiscuous”-- sexually active—than straight men because they are homosexual rather than heterosexual. Reality: Being promiscuous has nothing to do with being gay. It is a product of heterosexual society, which socializes men, both gay and straight, to be more sexually active than women. Myth: Children raised in a homosexual home are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems. Reality: Children raised in homosexual homes are just as mentally healthy as those brought up in heterosexual homes. Myth: When children grow up in homosexual homes, they are likely to become gay. Reality: Children brought up by homosexual parents are no more likely than children raised by straight parents to become gay and identify themselves as gay. Myth: Teenagers are aware of their homosexuality that they often call themselves gay or lesbian. Reality: Today teens usually avoid using the labels “gay” or “lesbian”. One popular myth about gay men is that they are typically effeminate and lesbians are masculine. Gays walk like women, talk like women, or just look like women. Lesbians are believed to walk, talk, and look like men. In reality, it is difficult to differentiate gays and lesbians from straights. Most gay men look and act like straight men and it is hard to differentiate lesbian women from straight women because of the same reason, unless they dress masculine. Another myth is that gays and lesbians play only...