Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality

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According to Rathus, Nevid, and Fichner-Rathus, (2005) the term homosexuality denotes sexual interest in members of one’s own anatomic sex and applies to both_ _men and women. Homosexual males are often referred to as gay males and homosexual females or referred to as lesbians. Gay males and lesbians have existed throughout history. The historical and scientific perspectives on homosexuality have shaped the way gay individuals perceive themselves in various ways. These perspectives may also be beneficial to heterosexuals' understanding of others in our world of sexual diversity. When looking at historical perspectives, religion and past societies' sexual behavior is addressed. Although past Greek and Roman cultures were frequently involved in homosexual relationships, the Christian religion denounced those sexual associations and made their beliefs and intentions clear that this behavior was not to continue, for example, according to the book of Genesis in the Holy bible, the city of Sodom was destroyed by God as a punishment as a punishment for sexual activity with members of the same sex. The legal system became intertwined with the Christian belief that homosexuality was sinful and would punish inappropriate sex acts as criminal offenses (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). Another perspective to consider is heritage. Traditionally, in many cultures, there are specific roles for the male and the female. When family is the "primary social unit" as we find in Latino and Latina American culture, anything but the designated gender roles is not acceptable (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). Interestingly enough, males can be sexual with other males without being considered gay (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). Women cannot be sexual with other women though because that would be a threat to the traditional male dominance in that culture. Women also need to be virgins when they marry men so any sexual acts before marriage are prohibited. Specific...
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