Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality
Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Homosexuality
Homosexuality, at least from the point of view of history, has seen many ups and downs. In fact, homosexuality itself could not be easily classified to be similar from other various racial or segregation issues such as skin color, language, culture, or religion because those factors have constantly experience negative treatments in the password in homosexuality, has been pointed out by the literature, has enjoyed relatively different approaches to pending on the culture, the timeline, and even the historical context where it is being applied.
For example, from the point of view of historians and document literature on the subject of anthropology, researchers have uncovered that homosexuality is not a fairly recent occurrence but rather can be traced back as far back as documented history can show itself. For example, in ancient Greek, Celtic, and even prehistoric cultures such as the Indus Valley civilizations and prehistoric Egyptian cultures, homosexuality was already an occurrence that has been around and was actually freely accepted by the society where it was operating in.
In fact, in anthropological texts and research, the subject of homosexual behavior — may be from the point of view of romantic relationships, sexual interaction, and even family institution — was freely accepted in those societies where in a significant measurement of civilization can be made (Isay, 2009). However, one commentary and theory on why homosexuality has arrived to the point of judgment and negative perception it has today has been pointed out by research as a result of strict monotheistic religious beliefs and Scripture.
The three dominating monotheistic religions today on Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. And, both from popular convention and in the understanding of religious texts as well as the popular opinions of the leaders of the faiths, homosexuality ranges from a taboo concept in the reality of society towards even complete banning and be integrated into the religious thought to be illegal and Heretic.
In fact, Islam, being one of the most powerful religions today because of its influence not only in Middle Eastern countries but also in other geographies such as Asia and other Western countries as well, having strict laws against homosexuality and homosexual behavior, continues to influence perception such that many new generations which follow that religion and that faith, although already relatively involved in global issues and global perception because of the Internet and other information communication technology, still look at homosexuality to be illegal and heretic act and concept because their religion states it to be so.
In fact, in all three faiths, a popular Scripture is the city of Sodom and Gomorrah where in the monotheistic God of these religions punish this city because of its homosexual acts such as sodomy and the like. However, as researchers have also indicated, religions which are not classified under the leading monotheistic beliefs have basically taken homosexuality to be either a normal occurrence in human beings or have at least ignored the subject completely where its practitioners are able to say from a very point of view and spectrum that their faiths and spiritualities accept homosexual behavior.
In fact, off all the eastern end not monotheistic religions that are popular in today’s society, it is only Buddhism which freely accepts the reality of homosexuality and has been addressed by many of its search for leaders and discussed in many affair spiritual centers. However, because of the relatively low reach and population count of those belonging to this faith, at least from the point of view of religious commentary on homosexuality, it has not yet been able to pull homosexual perception towards the positive end of the spectrum which is cultural and contextual acceptance.
On the other end of the contextual spectrum of religion, is a scientific approach of homosexual behavior. In such a perspective, origins of homosexuality have been discussed by researchers to be coming from biological factors rather than social factors. This approach has seen popularity only in fairly recent times because of such scientific projects and efforts such as the human genome project and the ability of advanced biology to indicate various genes, indicators, and factors that as researchers have pointed out, have a direct correlation and effect to the fact that individual turns out in the future to be Gay or not.
In fact, this is not only a scientific attempt to explain such factors but has actually been published by many research and academic journals all over the world indicating that scientists have segregated various genetic functions which could associate — or at least highly correlate — an individual’s homosexual behavior with the existence and activation of such genetic functions (Haslam & Levy, 2006). This is the root of the modern argument of where homosexuality originates — if it is brought about by the environment or by genetics.
Such arguments, however, although fairly popular in the homosexual population, or at least in Western cultures where homosexuality is now freely accepted in society with relatively low levels of taboo perception, is not yet completely proven and documented in scientific picture enough to have any significant conclusions on the subject. Another perspective, perhaps the most popular, is an environmental perspective on homosexuality. According to this point of view, which is popular among behavioral scientists, psychologists, and social theorists, homosexuality comes about directly as a result of the environment and other external factors.
Such arguments have developed relative popularity in the 20th century and even in the modern 21st century as behavioral scientists and psychologists have been able to more and more formulate theories that are backed up by statistical and essential data that was created using the scientific method of pointing out homosexual tendencies and the correlation and connection of society, other individuals, peers, and even family members and asked experiences in shaping its occurrence (Lewes & Gilbert, 2009).
As an individual, important processes and most cited upon the occurrence of being homosexual individuals the coming-out process. In fact, the coming-out process itself poses as one of the most significant in major hurdles of homosexuality in today’s society because of the judgment that intrinsically comes about in the process itself.
However, because of the popularity of such perspectives of scientific and behavioral basis of sexuality were in more and more members of society and even countries and classifications have culture as a whole are beginning to accept the validity of such research, evidence, and findings, the coming-out process, although has not been decreased at least from the point of view of difficulty, is today at least not judge as it was judge during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.
Today, as from personal experience, the coming-out process and admitting not only to friends and family members but even to society as a whole the choice and eventual manifestation of sexual orientation has become easier if not more accepted. However, perhaps an interesting analysis is although such historical and scientific perspectives and frameworks have indeed help in the process of society accepted the existence of homosexuality in today’s world, a very difficult approach would be to understand if such perspectives and scientific discoveries have shaped actually being homosexual.
This is difficult to answer because causality is often impossible to connect especially if these perspectives and factors did not indeed have any contributions to being a homosexual individual. However, perhaps one factor that has shaped the choice of sexuality and orientation in today’s world is the ability to recognize that there is such a concept as homosexuality and it is a fairly popular convention and many individuals in the world today are members of that orientation group.
By recognizing such factor in fact, I as an individual have been able to classify myself — an essential need according to behavioral psychologists and sociologists — to a certain part and classification of today’s environment and society and am able to learn much about myself as well as the culture I am living in today.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 21 September 2016
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