Essay on Gay Identity versus Jewish Identity

Essay on Gay Identity versus Jewish Identity

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Each individual forms his or her own sexual preference in response to interactions with males and females in the world. These responses to the external world by the internal world (in the mind and body) are governed by genetic make-up, brain-chemistry, brain-anatomy and hormone levels (CITE) . Perhaps a young boy, when exposed to an experience of kissing another boy at the age of 8, may feel an attraction toward the boy whereas the same experience with a girl does not produce the same feelings of attractions. These feelings could be caused by environmental factors, but are interpreted in a liked or disliked way. Let's say this same homosexual young man belongs to the Orthodox Jewish Community. His Orthodox Jewish identity is based on the writings of the Torah and rabbinical interpretations of the Torah--but mostly the Torah. Furthermore, because such writings influence formation of his self identity that's believed--by the orthodox Jewish community--to be the identity given to him by God, such writings and commandments are not compromised by this boy's community. Such laws include: thou shall not lie with another man (Bavier, 1972). Reminders to follow the Torah and to base one's identity on such Torah writings are compulsatory in the Orthodox Jewish religion (Bavier, 1972). Consequently, the Orthodox Jewish identity--of this young boy--given by the Torah becomes a burden on him especially if he is in the closet. Homosexual feelings go on for years without their disclosure but their repression, and this boy feels guilty and shameful of his sexual identity which is not compatible with an Orthodox Jewish identity. The feelings of homosexual attraction are concealed to not be cut off from their Orthodox Jewish community (Coyle, 20...


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... on the psychology of homosexual Orthodox Jewish young man and their homosexual identity is for them to completely abandon their homosexual identity. This is virtuous since he would be choosing the happiness of many while negating the happiness of just one person, himself. In the end this seems an honorable choice to favor the happiness of others to negate his own sexual appetites.



Works Cited


Bavier, Richard (1972). The Study of Judaism; Bibliographical Essays.

Coyle, A. D. (2000). Jewish gay men’s accounts of negotiating cultural, religious, and sexual identity: A qualitative study. Journal of Psychology And Human Sexuality. 1221-48.

Cotton, S., Zebracki , K., Rosenthal, S.L., Tsevat, J., &Drotar, D. (2006). Religion/ Spirituality and adolescent health outcomes: A review. Journal of Adolescent Health 38(4), 472-480. Doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth. 2005.10.005.

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