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Free «History of Homosexuality» Essay Sample

Introduction

Definition: homosexuality is the romantic or sexual desirability or behavior betwixt the affiliates of the same sex, or as continuing disposition. Throughout the history, homosexuality has been accepted or condemned regarding to various societies’ sexual norms. For those who are condemning, they claims that it is a sin or a disease, and a behavior that is prohibited by law, and those who sail in same boat with it, they look at homosexuality as a way of improving society (modernizing). Homosexuality has a long history, but it extremely increased in the middle of the 20th century.  (William, 2005).

From Patrick, M. & Steve, C. (2005), the history of homosexual began in the Roman Empire, which was ruled for almost 200 consecutive years by men whose homosexual interest, if not exclusive, were sufficiently noteworthy to be recorded for prosperity. Homosexual and altitudes toward it among the Romans, unlike their counterparts Greeks who haven’t received a comprehensive scholarly attention: since Romans were extraordinarily dispassionate about sexuality, Latin writers were under no pressure either to idealize or to suppress accounts of homosexual passion, and Latin literature provides an unusually valuable source of information about gay people and gayness in a cultural setting which included little if any intolerance of them. Unfortunately, most people have access to this data only as filtered through the alembic of the distinct prejudices of modern historians.

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Homosexual literature of the High Middle Ages

However, what is perhaps most striking about the years from 1050 to 1150 is the reappearance fir the first time since the decline of Rome of evidence for what might be called a gay subculture.  Individual authors recording their feelings in isolation, no matter how numerous, probably do not constitute a “sub-culture” in its most common sense; but a network of such persons, conscious of their common difference from the majority and mutually influencing their own and others perceptions of the nature of their distinctiveness, does indicate the sort of change at issue here. A body of homosexuality literature of the proportion and types analyzed below had not been seen in Europe since the first century A.D. and would not be encountered again until the nineteenth.

As with so many matters relating to the subject at hand, the type of analysis possible at present must be largely unsatisfactory. The causes of this efflorescence of homosexual culture remain partly mysterious. They may be related to other cultural currents of the period, such as the rise of what has come to be called “courtly love,” but such trends, although more studied, are not much better understood than the homosexuality culture itself, and it would hinder rather than assist the discussion to try to establish correlations betwixt such undefined concepts. Nor is it apparent that increases in tolerance alone would have had the effect of producing such cultural manifestations; they may be more directly related to the great increases in general literary output of the period or even to learning itself (Taylor Charles et al. 1994). Certainly familiarity with the gay artistic conventions of antiquity had much effect on those of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and it is evident that increases in literacy and prosperity will result generally in artistic reflection on a greater range of social phenomena. On other hand, the literacy arte probably continued to rise at least through the fourteenth century whereas evidence of a homosexual subculture disappears almost entirely after the twelfth. Advances in knowledge in many disciplines will probably be necessary to clarify the nature of so large and complex a development; the most that can be attempted here is a description of it. (Freeman Chris & Lue Soete 1994).

It is worth reiterating as preference to this material that although concern here is with the aspect of the lives which distinguished such writers from the majority. Their romantic interest in persons of their own gender: moreover, they were at the same time affiliates of and participants in the lager culture which surrounded them. The bulk of their literary output dealt with standard religious themes of an entirely orthodox nature. Most of them were prominent churchmen in positions of considerable ecclesiastical authority; none was accused of entering unorthodox opinions, either during his lifetime or subsequently. Baudri of Bourgueli (1046-1130), abbot of the French Benedictine monastery of Saint Peter and later archbishop of Dol, epitomizes the transition from the ascetic passions of the monastic love tradition discussed as the badly erotic poetry more characteristic of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

Homosexuality history in Europe

In historic, the history of homosexuality in Europe varies in duration, depending on the country, region (the notion of a homosexual identity emerges earlier in major cities than in rural areas) and the social class. (An intellectual can be more readily defining himself as homosexual simply because he will have access to the debates on the question of homosexuality, to medical writings, and so forth).

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Depending on how you look at it, the theorists of homosexuality have assigned a wide range of dates to the birth of the homosexuality identity. For some, the presence of homosexual “signals” in clothing and language, and the existence of meeting places, are enough to mark the existence of a homosexual identity. If we take a view, the homosexual identity must have existed from time immemorial, since one can find homosexual codes, camouflaged to a greater or lesser extent, in every society and every era. Others say that the homosexual indemnity could only have been constituted very recently, with the beginnings of gay militancy on the 1970s. (Brouwer, 1999).

Most of Europeans historians of homosexuality, however, agree to date the emergence of a homosexual identity to the end of the 19th century, when the term “homosexual” came into wider use, doctors’ defined homosexuality precisely, and condemnations of homosexual acts were definitively inscribed in the laws of the European countries.

This is a sound view; however, various nuances must be taken into account. The first homosexual generation was deeply marked by the medical theories and the scandals of the turn of the century. Bonded by their shared status as social outcast, they remained very much affected by public opinion until the end of the 19th century; the field of sexual perversion had remained the prerogative of the courts of justice. The law punished acts like sodomy, but did not recognize a particular criminal status. But then, the psychiatrists began to take an interest in sexual perversions. Now, the criminal was defined by his perversion: he was a homosexual, pedophile, sadist, or fetishist. But he was also a victim, (of heredity, his genes, his education), which meant he was not responsible. He no longer belonged in the dock, but at the doctor’s.

Until the mid-19th century, reports on rituals and collections of jurisprudence had provided the bulk of the scientific “knowledge” on homosexuality. However, the law did not define specific categories of perversions nor perverts; it used fuzzy but defamatory terms, which were intended to encourage the reader to recognize the horror of the act without being able to describe it precisely. Moreover, the medical study of homosexuality arises from this incapacity of the law define homosexuals and thus to work out a specific repressive strategy. The most famous work of the time, Psychopathia Sexualis (1885) by Krafft Ebing, is subtitled: “A medico legal study for the use of doctors and lawyers.” Krafft Ebing was a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vienna and a medical examiner; he distinguishes four stages in the constitution of a homosexual personality, from the simple perversion of the sexual instinct to the belief in sex changes. He also distinguishes four stages of homosexuality: the psychosexual hermaphrodite, who preserves some traces of the heterosexual instinct; the homosexual; the effeminate; and the androgyny.

Moreover, the French psychiatrists looked at sexual inversion primarily as it related to Hysteria, and homosexuality was studied only in relation to neurosis; this bias skewed their conclusions in an inevitably perverse and pathological direction. Homosexuality was only an isolated symptom of a general disorder, “degeneracy.” However, the discourse was more innovative than expect. When comes to German, in the midst of nineteenth century, the Nazi regime tolerated the spread of homosexual, as they weren’t against it. In United States, since the Second World War, the homosexuality has been increasing tremendously. Many tribal in United States societies sanctioned homosexual behavior, as distinct from what we conceive of as a homosexual indemnity. The early Europeans explorers and colonists viewed some of these homosexual practices as belonging to a broad category of non procreative sexual acts. This does not mean that the church or state approved of homosexual behavior or eroticism; Christians considered homosexual behavior, particularly sodomy, to be theologically unacceptable. (Cumming, P. and D. Oreopoulos. 1989).

 
 
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During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, opportunities for same-sex erotic activities varied by gender, class, and race. Within the white working class, both men and women were increasing able to form same-sex attachments as more people worked outside the family economy. Homosexual intimacy was probably common among white wage-earning men. Such laborers, often dwelling in cities and large towns, had greater geographic mobility, more access to housing for those were single and higher levels of employment than did women, blacks, or even those who worked in agriculture. Same-sex social situations were extremely common in nineteenth-century America. In such situations, male boding, often an important aspect of social relations in those environments, may have blended with erotic experience. This is not to say that the nineteenth century was “a golden age” of homoeroticism. In the middle class, men had more opportunities than women for same-sex physical intimacy, although same-sex romantic friendships might have had a sexual component for both men and women.   

Demographics of sexual orientation

There are various reliable data regarding to the size of lesbian and gay population; the information has a lot of value in informing public guidelines. For example, the demographics might assist in calculating the costs and advantages of domestic partnership advantages, of the impact of authorizing gay adoption, and of the impact of U.S. martial’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. In addition, the population size of homosexual will assist social scientist to understand a broad assortment of vital questions, such as about the general nature of labor market preferences, discrimination, accumulation of human capital, decisions concerning geographic location, and specialization within households.

Between 1948 and 1953, Kinsey Alfred reported that almost 46% of the male subjects had a sexual intercourse with same sex in their adult lives, and about 37% had almost one homosexual experience. However, this data was criticized by later data’s, but at conclusion they sailed in the same boat. The frequency estimate of homosexual activity differs from one country to another. Another data conducted in 1992, shows that 6.1% of males in Britain were homosexual, whereas in France, the figure was 4.1%. Moreover, from the research conducted in 2003, it shows that more than 12% of Norwegians are homosexual. In 2006, it was estimated in New Zealand that 20% of the population incognito reported a number of homosexual feelings, some of them identifying as homosexual, with a percentage of 2-3%. In 2008 poll, the population of homosexuals in Britons was 13%, and in the United States, during the 2008 Election Day for the presidential election, 4% identified themselves as homosexual, the same percentage as in 2004.

Present Days

Currently, homosexuality has spread in the entire global. There are countries which allow it, and others prohibit it. As a result, there have emerged two religious, those who support it and others against it, many religious who are against homosexuality says that, it is against biblical and they are not following the rules of Jesus, therefore, they discriminate them. For those who read in one script with them, they assist them to make legal marriage, in countries which authorized homosexuality.

The act of homosexuality has spread in many schools in the global, especially in universities, and high schools. It’s therefore necessary for institutions to give advices to their students in order to overcome the impacts of homosexuality. Some impacts of homosexuality are; due to discrimination, homosexuals are spreading HIV/Aid’s, and other sexual diseases at high rate, because they fear other people’s knowing their conditions, especially doctors. Also, the discrimination they face from societies, a student may feel isolated, hence hindering his academic performance. Homosexuality students are in hot water, and necessary measures have to be taken in order to assist them.

Etiology

There are various reasons given by scientists regarding to why individuals engaged themselves in homosexual activities. The major reasons include genetic and environmental factors, probably in amalgamations (Tylecote Andrew 1991). Other factors include prenatal hormone exposure, whereby hormones normally play a responsibility in determining sexual point of reference as they do with sex delineation; and prenatal anxiety on the mother.

Conclusion

Homosexuality is the romantic or sexual desirability or behavior betwixt the affiliates of the same sex, or as continuing disposition. Homosexual activities have increased a long with history, it began in Roman Empire, and since then, it has grown much wider. At present, the there are different perspectives regarding to homosexual, there are some who are against it, and others are with it.

   

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