Silver-level articleHomosexuality

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Human sexuality

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Were you trying to use the word "gay" as an insult? If so, please grow up.

Homosexuality is the sexual and/or romantic attraction of an individual to another of the same gender. Save for sexual orientation, homosexuals share all the varieties of humanity with heterosexuals, who are attracted to the other sex, or bisexuals, who might be attracted to people of either sex. There are no tangible social, moral, or cultural differences shared by all gay people that would some how differentiate any gay individual from their culture at large.

Homosexuality has a very long history, being written about and depicted since the invention of writing and depicting respectively. Notably, homosexuality was depicted in ancient Greece, China and Japan, thousands of years ago. Homosexuality is also found in virtually every culture around the world, as well as numerous non-human animal species.

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[edit] Oppression

Many modern conservatives oppose the granting of protections and rights such as marriage to homosexuals, both on civil and religious grounds.

On the civil side, those opposed to gay marriage tend to claim that providing these protections would amount to "special rights" (although in most cases these are simply the same rights afforded to all other individuals) and deny that there are special social pressures on homosexuals which would require protection, i.e. "gay-bashing" and discrimination in general.

Before gay marriage laws were an issue, there were even more oppressive sodomy laws. The Supreme court case of Lawrence v. Texas struck down sodomy laws in Texas and 13 other states, Biological Exuberance was used evidence that homosexual behavior is found abundantly in nature. [1]

Christian anti-gay-marriage activists generally fall back on various translations of the Old Testament to justify their view of (male) homosexuality as an abomination, while, of course, ignoring those rules laid down in those sections of the Bible that would personally inconvenience them. Homophobes often use the word "pervert" to refer to homosexuals. Strangely enough, their own obsession with the sex lives of complete strangers is apparently not perverse in the least. Many largely religious groups claim that gay individuals can be "cured" of their homosexuality through reparative therapy, and that the existence of alleged "ex-homosexuals" proves that homosexuality is always a choice rather than a predisposition. Again interestingly, these attempts at reparative therapy are seen as doing "the Lord's work" rather than being a kind of brainwashing.

Male gay sex, like cussing your parents and being held in contempt of court, is one of the many "crimes" for which the Bible demands the death penalty. However, it is obvious yet unspoken that it is the worst of these "crimes", which is why Christians are devoting most of their attention to stopping anything that has anything remotely to do with gay sex.

Conservatives have also stated that if gay marriage is legalized, bestiality and other disgusting acts would become socially acceptable as it would create a downhill slope of morality where we'll all eventually end up marrying our pets because they have Stockholm syndrome and are just so damn cute![2]

[edit] Words

In modern English, and the US in particular, the word "gay" usually refers to homosexual men, whereas "lesbian" refers only to homosexual women (occasionally "gay" refers to both). It's important to know that "Gay" is also an ordinary family name[3][4] or given name[5] and even name of places[6]) Many other words are also used, and while some are crude epithets used only by bigots, many of these self-same words have arguably been taken over by homosexuals in order to neutralize them. Examples of the latter include "queer", "dyke" and, to a lesser extent, "fag". Notably, sex advice columnist Dan Savage who is gay used to have his letter writers address him as "Hey Faggot".

[edit] Men who have sex with men

"Men who have sex with men" is a term for men who choose to have sex with men, whether or not they actually self-identify as gay or bisexual--examples may include sex workers, prisoners, sailors, or people who just like a little man-on-man action every now and again but who don't see that behavior as part of a broader gay identity.

The phrase is often used in clinical settings such as in the prevention and treatment of STDs, where a person's sexual history is more relevant than their orientation.

[edit] Anti-homosexuality culture on the Internet

Many right-wing, or religiously motivated organizations are obsessed with the phenomenon of same-sex relations. Normally the excuse is given that they aren't saying it's bad, it's the Bible. But of course, they usually don't take other things as seriously.[7] And how should we interpret the relevant section of the bible?[8]

[edit] In schools

Some modern and fundamentalist conservative movements, particularly in America, believe that public schools are "indoctrinating" students to promote, convert to, or generally accept homosexuality as "normal".[9] This view has become more prominent in the latter half of the twentieth century following the sexual revolution of the 1960s, after which homosexuals became more accepted by mainstream society. However, the evidence to support the claim that homosexuals are trying to convert students (let alone the existence of ideological justification for doing so) is scarce non-existent. This idea, referred to as an arm of the homosexual "agenda", is a result of the acceptance of homosexuality by mainstream society and teaching about homosexuality in schools. However, the teaching about homosexuality has been interpreted by anti-homosexual and religious movements as an attempt to convert, rather than educate, students.

While there has been a noticeable lack of teaching gayness in schools, there has been a statistical spike in scared, closeted LGBTQQ kids recently killing themselves rather than go to class the next day, to the point where the President of the United States made a YouTube video about it.[10] Evangelicals responded by saying their kids were bullied first by the kid "being gay" at school, however that works.

[edit] In nature

The bonobo is as closely related to humanity as chimpanzees; frequent bisexual sex is the norm for males and females. [11]

[edit] Hatred and stereotypes

ONENEWSNOW has a filter on its website that replaces the word "gay" with "homosexual". This was "all well and good" until Tyson Gay won a 100 meter semifinal,[12] the results of which are illustrated by this screenshot.

Homosexual-hating bigots often try to hide behind various shallow arguments, such as over the meaning of words like "homophobia",[13] in order to paper over their irrational fears and attitude.

Contrary to the paranoid worries of many such bigots, most gay or bisexual men do not want to touch their men. At all. Ever.

Similarly, most queer women and lesbians will never want to touch them either.[14]

(It must also be noted that most people in general will not want to touch them.)

(And get your hands off that, you're in public for cripe's sake!)

It is a common stereotype (a mistake even made by "gay-friendly" people) that most gay men can be easily identified as the best dressed males in the room, and their uncanny ability to color coordinate. This stereotype includes admitting that, like blacks, they are also usually the best dancers at any club. Continuing in this vein of innuendo, if a man can see the colors fuchsia, periwinkle, chartreuse, or identify more than three shades of white there is a 98.74539475% chance he is gay. There also exists a widely-believed stereotype, even perpetuated within gay culture, that gay men can be identified by a certain accent or way of walking, both of which are perceived as less masculine. (In practice, this is usually put on by them as a subcultural sign for other gay men to identify them, for mutually beneficial cock.) It is felt that lesbians are harder to identify[citation needed] — but skilled 'phobes know that you can always tell them by their sensible shoes, the emasculated male rottweiler they own, the chainsaw they keep in the trunk of their car,[15] or just by being butch tomboys.

Homophobic men are more likely to get a boner watching gay male porn than non-homophobic men, according to this study. "In the homophobic group, 20% showed no significant tumescence, 26% showed moderate tumescence, and 54% showed definite tumescence to the homosexual video; the corresponding percentages in the nonhomophobic group were 66%, 10%, and 24%, respectively. Yes, we *do* force Homophobes to watch gay porn - just like Alex's sufferings in Stanley Kubrick's seminal movie "A Clockwork Orange"."

[edit] Psychological harm

Some research has found a higher incidence of drug use and addiction among homosexuals compared to heterosexuals. Other studies have found a higher degree of personality and psychological disorders.

Two hypotheses exist to explain this disparity between homo- and heterosexual individuals: The first is that homosexuality itself may constitute a disorder. Though once accepted in western psychiatry, in the 1970s the American Psychiatric Association rejected this theory. Before this, gay activists were railing against the APA's classification for years, and they said that there was no science to support homosexuality as a mental illness. Finally, the APA broke down and listened to the gay activists, looked at the data people claimed supported the illness classification, and saw that it was based upon a small clinical sample of men in the 1950s who had sought treatment because they hated being gay. The APA judged the evidence biased. When the psychiatrists looked at the few valid scientific clinical studies available in the 1970s, the scant evidence supported the theory that homosexuality is not an illness. Over time, this has only been proven to be more true now that it is no longer seriously debated. Today, virtually no reputable psychologist nor psychiatrist would counsel that gayness by itself is the cause of mental illness.

The second hypothesis is that this is due to the social stigma and discrimination against homosexual people, often starting in early life; while more sound this is criticised as more "politically correct" by some. Gay children are often ridiculed in schools; even as early as the primary school years, when one might think they're a little too young to be messing with ideas of sexuality, the stigma and rejection begins. "Gay" has been adopted as a slang term for "bad". As a result of this social stigma and rejection, gay people often suffer from depression and a lack of acceptance which in turn could explain lifestyle changes that lead to the increased prevalence of drugs and violence amongst them.

It is now widely accepted among psychologists that with acceptance people can, regardless their sexual orientations, live happy, healthy lives, as homosexuality and bisexuality are harmless sexual preferences that need not be changed.

[edit] Genetics

Homosexual behavior has been observed in the animal kingdom. Mallard Fillmore may very well be a Log Cabin Republican.

There may be genes that predispose men, and perhaps women, to be gay. Research is actively being done but the results are so far inconclusive. It appears environment has an effect as well. A so-called "gay gene," XQ28, was reported as having an influence on sexual orientation. However, the original study failed to be replicated.[16]

The mechanisms which cause an individual to develop a particular sexual orientation are still largely unknown, although most researchers consider it unlikely that any one particular gene or environmental influence is a dominant factor. Prenatal environment has been implicated as one factor.[17] Notably, this means that even though sexual orientation is not completely genetic (as demonstrated by identical twins with different orientations), many people may still be born immutably gay. As suggested by some, prenatal hormonal treatment may have an impact on the fetus's sexual orientation, possibly reducing the probability of homosexuality[18].

Based on a reinterpretation of prior studies, a new hypothesis proposes that epigenetics plays a role in homosexuality. [19] Among the possible explanations are that these epigenetic factors change a person's sensitivity to androgens, thereby altering their orientation.[20]

The Roman Catholic Church tells people who are naturally gay to endure the frustration of celibacy. Fortunately there is no reason to believe that Roman Catholicism or Christianity is immutable.

[edit] Wingnut theories

The recurring theme of the wingnut response to scientific studies that have looked in to the cause of homosexuality seems to be: "Genetics is hard. Let's just make shit up."

  • Growing up with a dominant opposite-gender parent and a weak/absent same-gender parent[21]
  • Having sex with demons makes you gay.[22]
  • The media and "propaganda", according to Russians.[23]
  • Strontium in the water supply.[24]
  • Pornography.[25]
  • Birth Control.[26]
  • Soya. Or so says a WND columnist and Christian minister called Jim Rutz.[27] His reasoning is that soy contains phytoestrogens, which is like taking estrogen supplements. Which will make you gay. A 2008 meta-analysis in Fertility and Sterility says that soy-based phytoestrogens do not increase the estrogen level in men, or decrease testosterone levels.[28] Plus, you know, the Japanese eat shit loads of soy and they still seem to not have run out of heterosexuals.
  • Lack of physical fitness. That's the theory of John Sullivan, Gloucestershire local election candidate for United Kingdom Independence Party, who evidently has never met a Muscle Mary or a gym bunny.[29]
  • (Trigger warning for extreme hate-ideology) Brain-infection or other pathological insult to the brain, as "theorized" by pseudo-scientist Gregory M. Cochran.

[edit] Is it possible to alter one's sexual orientation?

As of 2014, the answer seems to be "no". A growing body of research shows that homosexuality is likely to have a biological origin. Therefore attempts to "cure" it with psychotherapy, reparative therapy, primal therapy or other psychology-oriented approaches are usually unsuccessful, and such methods are mostly quackery. Should the epigenetic hypothesis have merit, it is possible that, somewhere in the future, maybe epigenetic therapy[wp] might be able to alter orientation.[30]

[edit] Love

We will end this article on a note of love, to wash the taste of bigotry out of our mouths. Over the last few decades, homosexuals worldwide have made great strides in regards to being accorded the equal rights they are due, including anti-discrimination rights, the right to dress "queer" or not at their own discretion, adoption rights, and marriage rights in 16 countries and 31 U.S. states plus D.C. and at least 10 Native American tribes (as of October 2014).

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, Bruce Bagemihl. Smith, Dinitia (February 7, 2004). "Love That Dare Not Squeak Its Name". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  2. supposedly
  3. Arnold Gay[1]
  4. [2]Tyson Gay
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_(given_name)
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_(disambiguation)
  7. Wikiquote - The West Wing Features a good quote on the subject. Indeed, what would a good price be for a Georgetown sophomore who speaks fluent Italian and always cleared the table when it was her turn.
  8. Context and analysis of Leviticus 18:22
  9. Traditional Values website regarding homosexuality.
  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzcAR6yQhF8
  11. Balcombe, Jonathan Peter (2011). The Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasure. University of California Press. p. 88.
  12. Homophobic news site changes athlete Tyson Gay to Tyson Homosexual
  13. "Homophobia" is in common usage a synonym of heterosexism and thus refers to fear, hatred or hostility towards homosexual people and whatever is perceived to be a part of their so-called "homosexual lifestyle", but it can be read literally to mean only the fear of homosexuals or homosexuality
  14. And their sexuality does not serve the purpose of fulfilling the stereotypical heterosexual man's polygynous dreams.
  15. This is a true story. (Sure it is.)
  16. Ingrid Wickelgren. Discovery of 'Gay Gene' Questioned. Science, Vol. 284 no. 5414, 1999 p. 571
  17. Effect of birth order on sexual orientation This paper suggests that an immune reaction on behalf of the mother can cause some male children to become gay.
  18. Shari Roan (August 15, 2010). "Medical treatment carries possible side effect of limiting homosexuality". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/15/science/la-sci-adrenal-20100815. 
  19. WR Rice, U Friberg, S Gavrilets (2013) Homosexuality via canalized sexual development: A testing protocol for a new epigenetic model Bioassays 35(9) 764-770.
  20. Richards, Sabrina. "Can Epigenetics Explain Homosexuality?" The Scientist 1 January 2013.
  21. So says Richard Cohen, self-certified "Sexual Re-orientation Coach"
  22. Christian Group Says Demon Sex Makes You Gay, Alternet
  23. STUDY: Half Of Russians Believe The Media Makes You Gay, Queerty
  24. Peruvian mayor: strontium in water makes you gay, BoingBoing
  25. Coburn staffer: Porn makes you gay, Politico
  26. http://jezebel.com/5948186/birth-control-is-turning-the-men-gay-14-lessons-from-the-most-bizarre-anti+contraception-video-ever
  27. Soy is making kids 'gay'
  28. Clinical studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: results of a meta-analysis
  29. Physical excercise prevents you becoming gay, claims UK councillor candidate, Gay Star News
  30. Note extensive use of qualifiers. This kind of treatment is only in early studies for things like diabetic retinopathy and is not even broadly proven for treatment of any medical condition. Along with the still-speculative nature of the epigenetic cause of homosexuality, there's a lot of science to do between now and this hypothetical treatment.
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