Mexicans-Americans comprise the biggest minority group in the United States, settling in almost every state around the country. The first Mexican immigrants arrived in the southwestern states in the 18th century and thus most of these individuals still continue to flourish in these areas. The significant size of this population has thus led to reforms in specific legislations, in order to include this minority group into the American society. Legislative reform has been observed in the areas of education, healthcare and other forms of social services.
However, it is also important to understand that specific social issues may be differentially perceived by society. The issue of homosexuality has been under intense scrutiny by both the general public and social analysts. The causative factors and effects of homosexuality on society, health, education and religion have been investigated in the last few decades, especially after the disclosure that the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was first reported among homosexuals.
Homosexuality is thus now considered as an integral part of an individual’s sexual orientation, yet each ethnic group has been observed to have its specific features (King et al. 2008). The association between risky behavior and victimization has also been established between homosexual youth. A previous study has shown that homosexual students were the most frequent victims in incidents such as drug abuse, suicide and risky sexual activities (Bontempo and D’Augelli, 2002).
It is thus important to determine the causative factors that trigger this specific gender to adapt such behavior. Based on the general issues linked to homosexuality, it is yet important to understand that each culture may have unique features that are integration into this gender identity. There are a growing number of reports that describe homosexuality among different countries and cultures. One interesting topic would be that of homosexuality among Mexican-American, as these individuals carry some form of historical migration and settling in the United States.
It would thus be interesting how homosexuality entered this culture, amidst their efforts in finding and ultimately establishing their identity in the United States. Several social, religious and historical facts regarding the Mexican culture should be reviewed in order to fully understand the condition of homosexuality among Mexican-Americans. One unique feature of Mexican-Americans is the influence of religion on each individual. These individuals are mostly Catholics, just like most countries which were under the rule Spanish rule in the 16th century.
However, the occurrence of homosexuality has still increased through the decades, yet most of these orientations were hidden from the family during the adolescent ages. There are currently several reports that have been published in scientific journals and these describe specific features and behaviors of Mexican-American homosexuals. One of the most recent reports described the health inequalities among Mexican-American homosexuals (Ortiz-Hernandez et al. , 2009). These individuals were found to consume alcohol and smoke cigarettes at an earlier age that homosexuals of other cultures.
This results in a higher incidence of pulmonary and cardiovascular disorders, as well as cases of violence and physical abuse. Interestingly, female Mexican-American homosexuals were also observed to consume alcohol and smoke at a far greater extent than their male counterparts. An earlier population-based survey conducted by Tang et al. (2004) showed the same behavior among Mexican-American homosexuals, wherein smoking incidence was 70% higher among homosexual men than heterosexual men.
The report suggested that one reason behind this discrepancy in smoking occurrence in this population was the lower level of education of these individuals, which is generally associated with poor health activities. Another factor that influenced this disparity in smoking among homosexuals is the low socioeconomic status of these individuals. Male homosexuals are often classified in the low-income bracket and this has been used as a common predictor for smoking.