Homosexuality is said to be a preference for affiliation and sexual activity with a person of the same sex. The potential for homosexual behavior appears to be a basic part of human sexuality, since many people experience homosexual interest, curiosity, or activity at some point in their lives. Homosexual behavior has also been observed in most animal species. Many homosexuals prefer to be called gay or, in the case of women, lesbian because of the exclusively sexual connotation of homosexual. When individuals engage in both heterosexual and homosexual behaviors, they are said to be bi-sexual.
A wide degree of diversity exists among the types of individuals who identify themselves as homosexuals. The popular stereotype of the homosexual as a sexually promiscuous make who cannot or will not maintain a relationship reflects one type. There are, however, many other gay people, female and male, who have formed long lasting, sometimes lifelong relationships. Additionally, many homosexuals raise children, alone or with partners. (Bullough 35)
Gay persons are in every kind of job and are of every political persuasion. Some are very open about their homosexuality, and some are more private. Some view their orientation as a biological condition and others as a preference. Some lesbians claim men's dominance over women as one of the reasons they choose women as partners. (Bullough 43)
Homosexuality has been common in most cultures throughout history. Despite tolerant periods, however, in ancient Greece, for example, homosexuality has been widely condemned. Both Judaism and Christianity view homosexuality as sinful. This condemnation was put into written law, and as a result, homosexual activity was consid...
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...-14) As more gays have identified themselves publicly, they have also formed more public organizations. There are gay newspapers and journals, gay political groups, and gay legal action committees. These groups support candidates for public office, fight battles in cases such as child custody, and work in other areas to eliminate discrimination.
Yearly Gay Pride marches in major cities are intended to foster awareness by society. (Thompson 14)
Boswell, J. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980
Bullough, V. Homosexuality: A History. New York, NY: New American Library, 1979.
Duberman, M. Hidden From History. New York, NY: NAL Books, 1989.
Ruse, M. Homosexuality. New York, NY: Blackwell, 1988.
Thompson, M. Gay Spirit: Myth and Meaning. New York: St. Martins Press, 1987.
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