Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality

Topics: Homosexuality, Gender, Sexual intercourse Pages: 3 (935 words) Published: September 13, 2009
Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality

Throughout the ages homosexuality has been documented. Within our culture, homosexuality has been largely condemned. Though recently, homosexuality is seemingly more accepted than it once was. Historical and scientific perspectives on homosexuality might have an impact on how a homosexual individual view them self within critical world views. However, these perspectives may also hold benefit to heterosexuals' understanding of sexual diversity in the worlds.

When examining the historical perspectives, one addresses sexual behaviors of past societies' and religion. Although in the past homosexual relationships were common based in Roman and Greek cultures, Christianity denounced those sexual associations and made their belief and intentions clear that this behavior were not to continue. 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).

Heritage is another perspective to consider. Traditionally, in many cultures, there are specific roles for men and women. When family is the "primary social unit" as we find in the Latin American culture, anything outside of the designed gender roles are not acceptable (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). Interestingly enough, men can be sexual with other males without being considered gay (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). However women cannot be sexual with other females because that is seen as a threat to the traditional male dominance in this culture. Women also expected to be virgins when they marry, therefore, any sexual acts before marriage are prohibited. Specific gender roles in many cultures around the world lay the basis for what is consider correct and incorrect for males and females regarding sexual orientation. Cross-species studies have also been done to research homosexual behaviors in the animal...
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