Here's what we know: Homosexuality is normal. Between 2 and 11 percent of human adults report experiencing some homosexual feelings. Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions" to people of. Homosexuality can refer to both attraction or sexual behavior between people of the same sex, or to a sexual orientation. When describing the latter, it refers to.
Homosexuality has a number of causal factors that influence its origination in individuals; these factors will be addressed shortly. In addition, homosexuality has. The term 'homosexuality' was coined in the late 19th century by a German psychologist, Karoly Maria Benkert. Although the term is new. Government should protect gay people from discrimination because homosexuality is an unalterable aspect of their identity. These two answers.
A new study of nearly individuals finds that many genes affect same-sex behavior, including newly identified candidates that may. Here's what we know: Homosexuality is normal. Between 2 and 11 percent of human adults report experiencing some homosexual feelings. German Health Minister Jens Spahn sent a clear, important signal on Monday when he declared that "homosexuality is not a disease and.
Health Disease Mental Smoking Drugs. Laws Homosexuality laws Civil union California ban. Homosexuality is the condition of "sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one's own sex. Homosexuality has a number of causal factors that influence its origination in individuals; these factors will be addressed shortly.
In addition, homosexuality has a variety of effects on individuals and society. Next, some of the historical events, religious matters, and legal matters relating to homosexuality will be covered. Finally, there is a large body of research on the causes and effects of homosexuality. For more information please see: Homosexuality and biblical interpretation and Homosexuality and the Bible and Atheism and homosexuality and Atheism and the persecution of homosexuals.
In addition, there are numerous other references that also condemn the lifestyle, such as 1 Kings NASB : "The remnant of the sodomites who remained in the days of his father Asa, he expelled from the land. For more information please see: Causes of Homosexuality.
Homosexuality is sometimes also defined in terms of an attraction, preference, orientation, or identity. The term "orientation" is particularly favored by those who are promoting public acceptance of homosexuality. For more information please see : Homosexuality and Genetics. A common argument is that an inclination to homosexuality is inborn and immutable.
It is widely believed that the public will become more accepting of homosexuality if they are convinced that it is inborn and immutable. For example, neuroscientist and homosexual Simon Levay stated: " Eight major studies of identical twins in the United States, Australia and Scandinavia during the last two decades indicate that homosexuals were not born that way. William Byrne and Bruce Parsons stated in "There is no evidence that at present to substantiate a biological theory.
Tahir I. Jaz, M. In the s, approximately ten percent of homosexuals claimed to be "born homosexual" according to a large scale survey However, in a survey in the s, with the homosexual rights homosexuality increasingly becoming active, thirty-five percent claimed to be born that way.
Neil Whitehead is a research scientist and biochemist from New Zealand and his wife Briar Whitehead is a writer. Whitehead coauthored a book with with his wife entitled My Genes Made Me Do it - a scientific look at sexual orientation which argues that there is no genetic determinism in regards to homosexuality homosexuals are "not born that way" and that there is abundant documentation that individuals are able to leave homosexuality and become heterosexuals.
This evidence comes from missionaries who commonly spend 25 years of their lives living in one culture, far more than almost any anthropologist Overall they can be considered as reliable witnesses.
For example, in contrast to groups like the Sambia in the New Guinea highlands, where homosexuality was compulsory, only about percent of Western Dani also in the New Guinea highlands practiced it.
However, in another group of Dani who were genetically related, homosexuality was totally unknown. Missionaries report that when they were translating the Bible into Dani for this group, their tribal assistants, who knew their own culture intimately, were nonplused by references to homosexuality in Romans 1; they did not understand the concept. Another missionary, with the same group for 25 years, overheard many jests and sexually ribald exchanges among the men, but never a single mention of homosexuality in all that time.
When Dani went to help with missionary work among the Sambia, they were astounded at some of the homosexuality practices they saw for the first time. Although it is always difficult for a foreigner to be completely sure whether a rare and stigmatized behavior exists, it is certainly true that if three such different experiences of homosexuality can occur in groups of people so closely related genetically, genetically enforced homosexuality is an impossibility.
In fact, MLK saw homosexuality as probably a culturally induced "problem" and he believed that homosexuals could become ex-homosexuals. Michael, John H. Gagnon, Edward O. Laumann, and Gina Kolata stated the following:. Dean Hamer is a researcher often cited to show that there is empirical data supporting the notion of genetic determinism in regards to homosexuality.
News organizations like National Public Radio and Newsweek have done news stories regarding his work. In regards to the issue of homosexuality and choicegiven the existence of ex-homosexuals and given the existence of human cultures where homosexuality has apparently not existedthe position that homosexuality is ultimately a choice in individuals or at the very least can be a choice in individuals has strong evidential support.
In short, there is a strong argument that one can leave homosexuality. Another other factor that makes engaging in homosexual acts a bad choice for individuals is the significantly higher rates of domestic violence in homosexual couples. In addition, according to experts homosexual murders are relatively or quite common and often homosexual murders are very brutal.
Also, the homosexual population has a greater propensity to engage in illegal drug use. Immutability is the inability of a thing to be changed. For example, it is impossible to change a dog into a cat. Likewise, it is impossible to change one's racealthough with makeup or plastic surgery has made it possible to alter one's racial appearance. The immutability of membership in a group is an important consideration in determining the level of scrutiny given to a law against that group under the Equal Protection Clause.
There has been much debate over whether homosexuality is immutable despite the existence of ex-homosexuals. Often the argument is made that it's either genetically determined and thus immutableor that it is entirely a matter of choice. Given this dichotomy, the premise that "I didn't choose to be gay" yields the conclusion that it must be genetically determined.
However, the search for a " gay gene " has proved elusive. Many others, including most scientists, have a much less 'black and white' view.
They propose that it is determined by a complex interaction of many factors, some of which could be genetic, homosexuality probably also include psychological, environmental and cognitive factors, and is shaped at a very early age. Simon LeVay wrote: "It's important to stress what I didn't find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn't show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work.
Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain. Since I look at adult brains, we don't know if the differences I found were there at birth or if they appeared later. See also: Homosexuality and frontal lobe injury and Religiosity and larger frontal lobes and Atheism and brain function.
The frontal lobe plays a role in controlling sexual behavior. According to the medical journal article and its abstract entitled Neurological control of human sexual behaviour: insights from lesion studies which was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry :. Disinhibited sexual behaviour has been reported following damage to the frontal lobes, particularly the orbitofrontal region of the limbic system.
An association between temporal lobe abnormalities and paedophilia has been reported homosexuality Mendez and colleagues. In regards to the question of whether or not homosexuality is a permanent condition, one of the earliest historical records regarding of the existence of ex-homosexuals is a letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian Christian church.
The Apostle Paul taught that homosexuality is a sin when he wrote homosexuality following:. Today people still report leaving homosexuality and becoming heterosexual through their Christian faith. Homosexuality LaBarbera is the President of Americans for Truth which is a organization which counters the homosexual agenda. Peter LaBarbera stated the following regarding Christian ex-homosexuals who reported being transformed by the power of God:.
In respect to Peter LaBarbera's statement above regarding homosexuals overcoming homosexuality through the power of God, in a study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and eleven men participated in this study. Whitehead and Briar Whitehead state in their aforementioned book the following regarding ex-homosexuals overcoming homosexuality :. West mentions one man who was exclusively homosexual for eight years, then became heterosexual See also: Denials that ex-homosexuals exist.
Harry is simply in denial. The denial that homosexuality is a choice by homosexual activists and liberals is similar to the behavior of fat acceptance movement activists who insist that being overweight is never a choice and ostracize ex-overweight people see: fat acceptance movement for details. A survey finds homosexual men seek to leave homosexual lifestyle to heal emotional pain and for spiritual reasons rather than outside pressure.
In addition, there is other data that supports the above survey findings. For additional information please see : Homosexuality and biblical interpretation and Homosexuality and the Bible and Atheism and homosexuality. In respect to homosexuality and the Biblesound Bible exegesis and Bible exposition demonstrates that the Bible condemns homosexuality. Alex D. Montoya states that "The Christian needs to befriend and witness to the homosexual with such lovecompassionand wisdom that such will respond to the saving grace of God.
The Bible clearly associates the city of Sodom with homosexuality Genesisalthough the Bible associates with Sodom other sins as well. Claims that the primary reason for Sodom's judgment was inhospitality are not supported by sound Bible exegesis. Genesis The following was reported in respect to Dr. Bryant Wood 's archaeological work in relating to the biblical city of Sodom:. Bryant Woodin describing these charnel houses, stated that a fire began on the roofs of these buildings.
Eventually the burning roof collapsed into the interior and spread inside the building. This was the case in every house they excavated. Such a massive fiery destruction would match the biblical account that the city was destroyed by fire that rained down from heaven. Wood states, "The evidence would suggest that this site of Bab edh-Drha is the biblical city of Sodom. Wood provides some additional material in relation to the find being the homosexuality city of Sodom.
For related information see : Homosexuality and promiscuity and Homosexuality Statistics. According to the researchers, All total, As a result, The three-year study on the sexual habits of Chicago's citizens will appear in the upcoming book, "The Sexual Organization of The City" University of Chicago Pressdue out this spring. Studies report that homosexual couples have significantly higher incidences of violent behavior. For example, a recent study by the Canadian government states that "violence was twice as common among homosexual couples compared with heterosexual couples".
In June ofthe journal Nursing Clinics of North America reported the following regarding homosexuality and domestic violence:.
Along with bisexuality and heterosexuality , homosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual—homosexual continuum. The most common terms for homosexual people are lesbian for females and gay for males, but gay also commonly refers to both homosexual females and males.
The percentage of people who are gay or lesbian and the proportion of people who are in same-sex romantic relationships or have had same-sex sexual experiences are difficult for researchers to estimate reliably for a variety of reasons, including many gay and lesbian people not openly identifying as such due to prejudice or discrimination such as homophobia and heterosexism.
Many gay and lesbian people are in committed same-sex relationships, though only in the s have census forms and political conditions facilitated their visibility and enumeration. Krafft-Ebing's book was so popular among both laymen and doctors that the terms "heterosexual" and "homosexual" became the most widely accepted terms for sexual orientation.
Many modern style guides in the U. Gay especially refers to male homosexuality,  but may be used in a broader sense to refer to all LGBT people. In the context of sexuality, lesbian refers only to female homosexuality.
The word lesbian is derived from the name of the Greek island Lesbos , where the poet Sappho wrote largely about her emotional relationships with young women.
Although early writers also used the adjective homosexual to refer to any single-sex context such as an all-girls school , today the term is used exclusively in reference to sexual attraction, activity, and orientation.
The term homosocial is now used to describe single-sex contexts that are not specifically sexual. There is also a word referring to same-sex love, homophilia. Some synonyms for same-sex attraction or sexual activity include men who have sex with men or MSM used in the medical community when specifically discussing sexual activity and homoerotic referring to works of art. The range of acceptable use for these terms depends on the context and speaker. The American LGBT rights organization GLAAD advises the media to avoid using the term homosexual to describe gay people or same-sex relationships as the term is "frequently used by anti-gay extremists to denigrate gay people, couples and relationships".
Societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships have varied over time and place, from expecting all males to engage in same-sex relationships, to casual integration, through acceptance, to seeing the practice as a minor sin, repressing it through law enforcement and judicial mechanisms, and to proscribing it under penalty of death.
In cultures influenced by Abrahamic religions , the law and the church established sodomy as a transgression against divine law or a crime against nature. The condemnation of anal sex between males, however, predates Christian belief. It was frequent in ancient Greece; "unnatural" can be traced back to Plato.
Many historical figures, including Socrates , Lord Byron , Edward II , and Hadrian ,  have had terms such as gay or bisexual applied to them. Some scholars, such as Michel Foucault , have regarded this as risking the anachronistic introduction of a contemporary construction of sexuality foreign to their times,  though other scholars challenge this. In social science, there has been a dispute between "essentialist" and "constructionist" views of homosexuality.
The debate divides those who believe that terms such as "gay" and "straight" refer to objective, culturally invariant properties of persons from those who believe that the experiences they name are artifacts of unique cultural and social processes. The first record of a possible homosexual couple in history is commonly regarded as Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum , an ancient Egyptian male couple, who lived around BCE. The pair are portrayed in a nose-kissing position, the most intimate pose in Egyptian art , surrounded by what appear to be their heirs.
The anthropologists Stephen Murray and Will Roscoe reported that women in Lesotho engaged in socially sanctioned "long term, erotic relationships" called motsoalle.
Evans-Pritchard also recorded that male Azande warriors in the northern Congo routinely took on young male lovers between the ages of twelve and twenty, who helped with household tasks and participated in intercrural sex with their older husbands. Among indigenous peoples of the Americas prior to European colonization, a common form of same-sex sexuality centered around the figure of the Two-Spirit individual.
Typically, this individual was recognized early in life, given a choice by the parents to follow the path and, if the child accepted the role, raised in the appropriate manner, learning the customs of the gender it had chosen. Two-Spirit individuals were commonly shamans and were revered as having powers beyond those of ordinary shamans. Their sexual life was with the ordinary tribe members of the same sex. The Spanish conquerors were horrified to discover sodomy openly practiced among native peoples, and attempted to crush it out by subjecting the berdaches as the Spanish called them under their rule to severe penalties, including public execution , burning and being torn to pieces by dogs.
Hardwick that a state could criminalize sodomy , but, in , overturned itself in Lawrence v. Texas and thereby legalized homosexual activity throughout the United States of America. Same-sex marriage in the United States expanded from one state in to all fifty states in , through various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes referendums and initiatives , and federal court rulings.
In East Asia , same-sex love has been referred to since the earliest recorded history. Homosexuality in China , known as the passions of the cut peach and various other euphemisms, has been recorded since approximately BCE. Homosexuality was mentioned in many famous works of Chinese literature.
The instances of same-sex affection and sexual interactions described in the classical novel Dream of the Red Chamber seem as familiar to observers in the present as do equivalent stories of romances between heterosexual people during the same period. Confucianism , being primarily a social and political philosophy, focused little on sexuality, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Opposition to homosexuality in China originates in the medieval Tang Dynasty — , attributed to the rising influence of Christian and Islamic values,  but did not become fully established until the Westernization efforts of the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China.
The Laws of Manu mentions a "third sex", members of which may engage in nontraditional gender expression and homosexual activities. The earliest Western documents in the form of literary works, art objects, and mythographic materials concerning same-sex relationships are derived from ancient Greece. In regard to male homosexuality, such documents depict an at times complex understanding in which relationships with women and relationships with adolescent boys could be a part of a normal man's love life.
Same-sex relationships were a social institution variously constructed over time and from one city to another. The formal practice, an erotic yet often restrained relationship between a free adult male and a free adolescent, was valued for its pedagogic benefits and as a means of population control, though occasionally blamed for causing disorder.
Plato praised its benefits in his early writings  but in his late works proposed its prohibition. Little is known of female homosexuality in antiquity. Sappho , born on the island of Lesbos , was included by later Greeks in the canonical list of nine lyric poets. The adjectives deriving from her name and place of birth Sapphic and Lesbian came to be applied to female homosexuality beginning in the 19th century. The narrators of many of her poems speak of infatuations and love sometimes requited, sometimes not for various females, but descriptions of physical acts between women are few and subject to debate.
In Ancient Rome , the young male body remained a focus of male sexual attention, but relationships were between older free men and slaves or freed youths who took the receptive role in sex. The Hellenophile emperor Hadrian is renowned for his relationship with Antinous , but the Christian emperor Theodosius I decreed a law on 6 August , condemning passive males to be burned at the stake.
Notwithstanding these regulations taxes on brothels with boys available for homosexual sex continued to be collected until the end of the reign of Anastasius I in Justinian , towards the end of his reign, expanded the proscription to the active partner as well in , warning that such conduct can lead to the destruction of cities through the "wrath of God".
During the Renaissance , wealthy cities in northern Italy — Florence and Venice in particular—were renowned for their widespread practice of same-sex love, engaged in by a considerable part of the male population and constructed along the classical pattern of Greece and Rome. From the second half of the 13th century, death was the punishment for male homosexuality in most of Europe. Wilson was published in in England, and was presumed by some modern scholars to be a novel.
The edition of John Cleland 's popular novel Fanny Hill includes a homosexual scene, but this was removed in its edition. Also in , the earliest extended and serious defense of homosexuality in English, Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplified , written by Thomas Cannon , was published, but was suppressed almost immediately. Desire is an amatory Impulse of the inmost human Parts.
Between and Karl Heinrich Ulrichs published a series of twelve tracts, which he collectively titled Research on the Riddle of Man-Manly Love. In , he became the first self-proclaimed homosexual person to speak out publicly in defense of homosexuality when he pleaded at the Congress of German Jurists in Munich for a resolution urging the repeal of anti-homosexual laws.
Although medical texts like these written partly in Latin to obscure the sexual details were not widely read by the general public, they did lead to the rise of Magnus Hirschfeld 's Scientific-Humanitarian Committee , which campaigned from to against anti-sodomy laws in Germany , as well as a much more informal, unpublicized movement among British intellectuals and writers, led by such figures as Edward Carpenter and John Addington Symonds.
Beginning in with Homogenic Love , Socialist activist and poet Edward Carpenter wrote a string of pro-homosexual articles and pamphlets, and "came out" in in his book My Days and Dreams. In , Elisar von Kupffer published an anthology of homosexual literature from antiquity to his own time, Lieblingminne und Freundesliebe in der Weltliteratur.
There are a handful of accounts by Arab travelers to Europe during the mids. Two of these travelers, Rifa'ah al-Tahtawi and Muhammad as-Saffar, show their surprise that the French sometimes deliberately mistranslated love poetry about a young boy, instead referring to a young female, to maintain their social norms and morals. Israel is considered the most tolerant country in the Middle East and Asia to homosexuals,  with Tel Aviv being named "the gay capital of the Middle East"  and considered one of the most gay friendly cities in the world.
On the other hand, many governments in the Middle East often ignore, deny the existence of, or criminalize homosexuality. Homosexuality is illegal in almost all Muslim countries. However, the probable reason is that they keep their sexuality a secret for fear of government sanction or rejection by their families. In ancient Sumer , a set of priests known as gala worked in the temples of the goddess Inanna , where they performed elegies and lamentations.
In ancient Assyria , homosexuality was present and common; it was also not prohibited, condemned, nor looked upon as immoral or disordered. Some religious texts contain prayers for divine blessings on homosexual relationships. Some scholars argue that there are examples of homosexual love in ancient literature, like in the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh as well as in the Biblical story of David and Jonathan.
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the relationship between the main protagonist Gilgamesh and the character Enkidu has been seen by some to be homosexual in nature.
In many societies of Melanesia , especially in Papua New Guinea , same-sex relationships were an integral part of the culture until the middle of the s. The Etoro and Marind-anim for example, viewed heterosexuality as sinful and celebrated homosexuality instead.
In many traditional Melanesian cultures a prepubertal boy would be paired with an older adolescent who would become his mentor and who would "inseminate" him orally, anally, or topically, depending on the tribe over a number of years in order for the younger to also reach puberty. Many Melanesian societies, however, have become hostile towards same-sex relationships since the introduction of Christianity by European missionaries.
The American Psychological Association , the American Psychiatric Association , and the National Association of Social Workers identify sexual orientation as "not merely a personal characteristic that can be defined in isolation. Rather, one's sexual orientation defines the universe of persons with whom one is likely to find the satisfying and fulfilling relationships": . Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as a characteristic of the individual, like biological sex, gender identity, or age.
This perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is always defined in relational terms and necessarily involves relationships with other individuals. Sexual acts and romantic attractions are categorized as homosexual or heterosexual according to the biological sex of the individuals involved in them, relative to each other. Indeed, it is by acting—or desiring to act—with another person that individuals express their heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.
This includes actions as simple as holding hands with or kissing another person. Thus, sexual orientation is integrally linked to the intimate personal relationships that human beings form with others to meet their deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy.
In addition to sexual behavior, these bonds encompass nonsexual physical affection between partners, shared goals and values, mutual support, and ongoing commitment. The Kinsey scale , also called the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale,  attempts to describe a person's sexual history or episodes of his or her sexual activity at a given time. It uses a scale from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual , to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual.
In both the Male and Female volumes of the Kinsey Reports , an additional grade, listed as "X", has been interpreted by scholars to indicate asexuality. Often, sexual orientation and sexual identity are not distinguished, which can impact accurately assessing sexual identity and whether or not sexual orientation is able to change; sexual orientation identity can change throughout an individual's life, and may or may not align with biological sex, sexual behavior or actual sexual orientation.
People with a homosexual orientation can express their sexuality in a variety of ways, and may or may not express it in their behaviors. Coming out of the closet is a phrase referring to one's disclosure of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and is described and experienced variously as a psychological process or journey.
The first phase is that of "knowing oneself", and the realization emerges that one is open to same-sex relations. The second phase involves one's decision to come out to others, e. The third phase more generally involves living openly as an LGBT person.
At this age, they may not trust or ask for help from others, especially when their orientation is not accepted in society. Sometimes their own families are not even informed. According to Rosario, Schrimshaw, Hunter, Braun , "the development of a lesbian, gay, or bisexual LGB sexual identity is a complex and often difficult process. Unlike members of other minority groups e. Rather, LGB individuals are often raised in communities that are either ignorant of or openly hostile toward homosexuality.
Outing is the practice of publicly revealing the sexual orientation of a closeted person. Many commentators oppose the practice altogether,  while some encourage outing public figures who use their positions of influence to harm other gay people.
Lesbians often experience their sexuality differently from gay men, and have different understandings about etiology from those derived from studies focused mostly on men. For information specific to female homosexuality, see Lesbian. This is the only major piece of research into female sexuality that has looked at how women understand being homosexual since Kinsey in The research yielded information about women's general understanding of lesbian relationships and their sexual orientation.
Women gave various reasons for preferring sexual relations with women to sexual relations with men, including finding women more sensitive to other people's needs. Since Hite carried out her study she has acknowledged that some women may have chosen the political identity of a lesbian.
Julie Bindel , a UK journalist, reaffirmed that "political lesbianism continues to make intrinsic sense because it reinforces the idea that sexuality is a choice, and we are not destined to a particular fate because of our chromosomes. Early 20th-century writers on a homosexual orientation usually understood it to be intrinsically linked to the subject's own sex.
For example, it was thought that a typical female-bodied person who is attracted to female-bodied persons would have masculine attributes, and vice versa. Transgender and cisgender people may be attracted to men, women or both, although the prevalence of different sexual orientations is quite different in these two populations see sexual orientation of transwomen.
An individual homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual person may be masculine, feminine, or androgynous , and in addition, many members and supporters of lesbian and gay communities now see the "gender-conforming heterosexual" and the "gender-nonconforming homosexual" as negative stereotypes. However, studies by J. Michael Bailey and K. Zucker have found that a majority of gay men and lesbians report being gender-nonconforming during their childhood years.
Reliable data as to the size of the gay and lesbian population are of value in informing public policy. Measuring the prevalence of homosexuality presents difficulties. It is necessary to consider the measuring criteria that are used, the cutoff point and the time span taken to define a sexual orientation. The research must measure some characteristic that may or may not be defining of sexual orientation.
The number of people with same-sex desires may be larger than the number of people who act on those desires, which in turn may be larger than the number of people who self-identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. A study by the CDC in which over 34, Americans were interviewed, puts the percentage of self-identifying lesbians and gay men at 1. In October , Gallup started conducting annual surveys to study the demographics of LGBT people, determining that 3.
The poll attributes the rise to greater willingness of younger people to reveal their sexual identity. In recognition of the scientific evidence,  the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM in , stating that "homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities.
Thus, mental health professionals and researchers have long recognized that being homosexual poses no inherent obstacle to leading a happy, healthy, and productive life, and that the vast majority of gay and lesbian people function well in the full array of social institutions and interpersonal relationships. The consensus of research and clinical literature demonstrates that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality.
The Chinese Society of Psychiatry removed homosexuality from its Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders in after five years of study by the association. However, the experiences of discrimination in society and possible rejection by friends, families and others, such as employers, means that some LGB people experience a greater than expected prevalence of mental health difficulties and substance misuse problems. Although there have been claims by conservative political groups in the USA that this higher prevalence of mental health difficulties is confirmation that homosexuality is itself a mental disorder, there is no evidence whatever to substantiate such a claim.
Most lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who seek psychotherapy do so for the same reasons as heterosexual people stress, relationship difficulties, difficulty adjusting to social or work situations, etc. Whatever the issue, there is a high risk for anti-gay bias in psychotherapy with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients. The appropriate application of affirmative psychotherapy is based on the following scientific facts: .
Although scientists favor biological models for the cause of sexual orientation,  they do not believe that the development of sexual orientation is the result of any one factor.
They generally believe that it is determined by a complex interplay of biological and environmental factors , and is shaped at an early age. The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in Pediatrics in Despite numerous attempts, no "gay gene" has been identified.
However, there is substantial evidence for a genetic basis of homosexuality, especially in males, based on twin studies ; some association with regions of Chromosome 8 , the Xq28 locus on the X chromosome , and other sites across many chromosomes.
Sanders et al. Starting in the s, potential epigenetic factors have become a topic of increased attention in genetic research on sexual orientation. Research into the causes of homosexuality plays a role in political and social debates and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing. Since homosexuality tends to lower reproductive success, and since there is considerable evidence that human sexual orientation is genetically influenced, it is unclear how it is maintained in the population at a relatively high frequency.
There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor that conclude that sexual orientation change efforts work to change a person's sexual orientation. Those efforts have been controversial due to tensions between the values held by some faith-based organizations, on the one hand, and those held by LGBT rights organizations and professional and scientific organizations and other faith-based organizations, on the other. Many of these individuals and groups appeared to be embedded within the larger context of conservative religious political movements that have supported the stigmatization of homosexuality on political or religious grounds.
No major mental health professional organization has sanctioned efforts to change sexual orientation and virtually all of them have adopted policy statements cautioning the profession and the public about treatments that purport to change sexual orientation. The American Psychological Association states that "sexual orientation is not a choice that can be changed at will, and that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors They do, however, encourage gay affirmative psychotherapy.
The American Psychological Association "encourages mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation when providing assistance to individuals distressed by their own or others' sexual orientation and concludes that the benefits reported by participants in sexual orientation change efforts can be gained through approaches that do not attempt to change sexual orientation".
Scientific research has been generally consistent in showing that lesbian and gay parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents. Patterson for the American Psychological Association found that the available data did not suggest higher rates of homosexuality among the children of lesbian or gay parents.
The terms " men who have sex with men " MSM and " women who have sex with women " WSW refer to people who engage in sexual activity with others of the same sex regardless of how they identify themselves—as many choose not to accept social identities as lesbian, gay and bisexual.
The terms are seen as problematic by some, however, because they "obscure social dimensions of sexuality; undermine the self-labeling of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people; and do not sufficiently describe variations in sexual behavior". In contrast to its benefits, sexual behavior can be a disease vector.
Safe sex is a relevant harm reduction philosophy. These safer sex recommendations are agreed upon by public health officials for women who have sex with women to avoid sexually transmitted infections STIs :. These safer sex recommendations are agreed upon by public health officials for men who have sex with men to avoid sexually transmitted infections:.
When it was first described in medical literature, homosexuality was often approached from a view that sought to find an inherent psychopathology as its root cause. Much literature on mental health and homosexual patients centered on their depression , substance abuse , and suicide. Although these issues exist among people who are non-heterosexual , discussion about their causes shifted after homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual DSM in Instead, social ostracism, legal discrimination, internalization of negative stereotypes, and limited support structures indicate factors homosexual people face in Western societies that often adversely affect their mental health.
Gay and lesbian youth bear an increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, school problems, and isolation because of a "hostile and condemning environment, verbal and physical abuse, rejection and isolation from family and peers". Suggested reasons for this disparity are that 1 LGBT youths may be specifically targeted on the basis of their perceived sexual orientation or gender non-conforming appearance, and 2 that "risk factors associated with sexual minority status, including discrimination, invisibility, and rejection by family members Higher rates of family rejection were significantly associated with poorer health outcomes.
On the basis of odds ratios, lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8. Crisis centers in larger cities and information sites on the Internet have arisen to help youth and adults.
Most nations do not prohibit consensual sex between unrelated persons above the local age of consent. Some jurisdictions further recognize identical rights, protections, and privileges for the family structures of same-sex couples, including marriage. Some countries and jurisdictions mandate that all individuals restrict themselves to heterosexual activity and disallow homosexual activity via sodomy laws.
Offenders can face the death penalty in Islamic countries and jurisdictions ruled by sharia. There are, however, often significant differences between official policy and real-world enforcement.
Although homosexual acts were decriminalized in some parts of the Western world , such as Poland in , Denmark in , Sweden in , and the England and Wales in , it was not until the mids that the gay community first began to achieve limited civil rights in some developed countries. During the s and s, most developed countries enacted laws decriminalizing homosexual behavior and prohibiting discrimination against lesbian and gay people in employment, housing, and services.
On the other hand, many countries today in the Middle East and Africa, as well as several countries in Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific, outlaw homosexuality. In , the Supreme Court of India upheld Section of the Indian Penal Code ,  but in overturned itself and legalized homosexual activity throughout India.
In the European Union , discrimination of any type based on sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Since the s, many LGBT people in the West, particularly those in major metropolitan areas, have developed a so-called gay culture.
To many, [ who? Yet not all LGBT people choose to participate in "queer culture", and many gay men and women specifically decline to do so. To some [ who? With the outbreak of AIDS in the early s, many LGBT groups and individuals organized campaigns to promote efforts in AIDS education, prevention, research, patient support, and community outreach, as well as to demand government support for these programs.
The death toll wrought by the AIDS epidemic at first seemed to slow the progress of the gay rights movement, but in time it galvanized some parts of the LGBT community into community service and political action, and challenged the heterosexual community to respond compassionately. Publicly gay politicians have attained numerous government posts, even in countries that had sodomy laws in their recent past. LGBT movements are opposed by a variety of individuals and organizations.
Some social conservatives believe that all sexual relationships with people other than an opposite-sex spouse undermine the traditional family  and that children should be reared in homes with both a father and a mother.
Policies and attitudes toward gay and lesbian military personnel vary widely around the world. Some countries allow gay men, lesbians, and bisexual people to serve openly and have granted them the same rights and privileges as their heterosexual counterparts. Many countries neither ban nor support LGB service members. A few countries continue to ban homosexual personnel outright. Most Western military forces have removed policies excluding sexual minority members.
Of the 26 countries that participate militarily in NATO , more than 20 permit openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people to serve. The other two generally do not: China bans gay and lesbian people outright, Russia excludes all gay and lesbian people during peacetime but allows some gay men to serve in wartime see below.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East region that allows openly LGB people to serve in the military. While the question of homosexuality in the military has been highly politicized in the United States, it is not necessarily so in many countries. Generally speaking, sexuality in these cultures is considered a more personal aspect of one's identity than it is in the United States.
According to the American Psychological Association , empirical evidence fails to show that sexual orientation is germane to any aspect of military effectiveness including unit cohesion , morale, recruitment and retention.
Societal acceptance of non-heterosexual orientations such as homosexuality is lowest in Asian, African and Eastern European countries,   and is highest in Western Europe, Australia, and the Americas. Western society has become increasingly accepting of homosexuality since the s. In , Professor Amy Adamczyk contended that these cross-national differences in acceptance can be largely explained by three factors: the relative strength of democratic institutions, the level of economic development, and the religious context of the places where people live.
In , the American Psychological Association , American Psychiatric Association and National Association of Social Workers stated in an amicus brief presented to the Supreme Court of California : "Gay men and lesbians form stable, committed relationships that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential respects. The institution of marriage offers social, psychological, and health benefits that are denied to same-sex couples.
By denying same-sex couples the right to marry, the state reinforces and perpetuates the stigma historically associated with homosexuality. Homosexuality remains stigmatized, and this stigma has negative consequences. California's prohibition on marriage for same-sex couples reflects and reinforces this stigma". They concluded: "There is no scientific basis for distinguishing between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples with respect to the legal rights, obligations, benefits, and burdens conferred by civil marriage.
Though the relationship between homosexuality and religion is complex, current authoritative bodies and doctrines of the world's largest religions view homosexual behaviour negatively.
Some teach that homosexual desire itself is sinful,  others state that only the sexual act is a sin,  others are completely accepting of gays and lesbians ,  while some encourage homosexuality.
On the other hand, voices exist within many of these religions that view homosexuality more positively, and liberal religious denominations may bless same-sex marriages. Some view same-sex love and sexuality as sacred, and a mythology of same-sex love can be found around the world. Gay bullying can be the verbal or physical abuse against a person who is perceived by the aggressor to be lesbian , gay , bisexual or transgender, including persons who are actually heterosexual or of non-specific or unknown sexual orientation.
In the US, teenage students heard anti-gay slurs such as "homo", "faggot" and "sissy" about 26 times a day on average, or once every 14 minutes, according to a study by Mental Health America formerly National Mental Health Association.
In many cultures, homosexual people are frequently subject to prejudice and discrimination. These attitudes tend to be due to forms of homophobia and heterosexism negative attitudes , bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. Heterosexism can include the presumption that everyone is heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the norm and therefore superior.
Homophobia is a fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexual people. It manifests in different forms, and a number of different types have been postulated, among which are internalized homophobia, social homophobia, emotional homophobia, rationalized homophobia, and others. When such attitudes manifest as crimes they are often called hate crimes and gay bashing. Negative stereotypes characterize LGB people as less romantically stable, more promiscuous and more likely to abuse children, but there is no scientific basis to such assertions.
Gay men and lesbians form stable, committed relationships that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential respects. LGBT people, especially lesbians, may become the victims of " corrective rape ", a violent crime with the supposed aim of making them heterosexual. In certain parts of the world, LGBT people are also at risk of " honor killings " perpetrated by their families or relatives.
In Morocco , a constitutional monarchy following Islamic laws, homosexual acts are a punishable offence. With a population hostile towards LGBT people, the country has witnessed public demonstrations against homosexuals, public denunciations of presumed homosexual individuals, as well as violent intrusions in private homes.
The community in the country is exposed to additional risk of prejudice, social rejection and violence, with a greater impossibility of obtaining protection even from the police. In , Abderrahim El Habachi became one of the many homosexual Moroccans to flee the country for fear, and sought shelter in the United Kingdom.
Homosexual and bisexual behaviors occur in a number of other animal species. Such behaviors include sexual activity , courtship , affection , pair bonding , and parenting ,  and are widespread; a review by researcher Bruce Bagemihl shows that homosexual behavior has been documented in about species, ranging from primates to gut worms. The motivations for and implications of these behaviors have yet to be fully understood, since most species have yet to be fully studied.
A review paper by N. Bailey and Marlene Zuk looking into studies of same-sex sexual behaviour in animals challenges the view that such behaviour lowers reproductive success, citing several hypotheses about how same-sex sexual behavior might be adaptive; these hypotheses vary greatly among different species. Bailey and Zuk also suggest future research needs to look into evolutionary consequences of same-sex sexual behaviour, rather than only looking into origins of such behaviour.
Category:LGBT culture. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about homosexuality in humans. For homosexuality in other species, see Homosexual behavior in animals. Romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. Sexual orientation. Homosexuality Bisexuality pansexuality polysexuality Asexuality gray asexuality Demographics Biology Environment.
Social attitudes. Prejudice , violence. Academic fields and discourse. Queer studies Lesbian feminism Queer theory Transfeminism Lavender linguistics. For other uses, see Poof disambiguation. Main article: Terminology of homosexuality. See also: Homosexuality in ancient Egypt. See also: Homosexuality in ancient Peru. Further information: Homosexuality and Judaism and The Bible and homosexuality.
Main articles: Sexual identity and Sexual fluidity. Main article: Same-sex relationship. Main article: Coming out. Main article: Demographics of sexual orientation. Main article: Homosexuality and psychology. Main articles: Biology and sexual orientation and Environment and sexual orientation. Further information: Xq Main article: Gay gene.
Rh system. Main article: Sexual orientation change efforts. Main article: LGBT parenting. See also: LGBT adoption. Men who have sex with men may donate blood; No deferral. Men who have sex with men may donate blood; No deferral, except for blood transfusions 1. Men who have sex with men may donate blood; Temporary deferral 1. Men who have sex with men may not donate blood; Permanent deferral 1. No Data. Main article: LGBT rights by country or territory.
Worldwide laws regarding same-sex intercourse and state of expression and association. Rings indicate areas where local judges have granted or denied marriages or imposed the death penalty in a jurisdiction where that is not otherwise the law or areas with a case-by-case application.
Same-sex sexual activity legal 3. Male same-sex sexual activity illegal. Same-sex sexual activity illegal. All countries and territories listed that where annexed or established into reichskommissariat s by Nazi Germany during World War II where restored as independent countries or reincorporated into their previous countries during or after the war and thus re-legalized same-sex sexual activity in those areas.
Libya's laws against same-sex sexual activity where thus extended to the annexed Aouzou Strip. The Aouzou dispute was concluded on 3 February , when the judges of the International Court of Justice by a majority of 16 to 1 decided that the Aouzou Strip belonged to Chad. Monitored by international observers, the withdrawal of Libyan troops from the Strip began on 15 April , and was completed by 10 May The formal and final transfer of the Aouzou Strip from Libya to Chad took place on 30 May , when the sides signed a joint declaration stating that the Libyan withdrawal had been effected.
Same-sex sexual activity had also never been criminalized in continent of Antarctica. Further information: LGBT social movements. This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Sexual orientation and military service. Further information: Societal attitudes toward homosexuality. No data. Main article: Religion and homosexuality. Main article: Gay bullying. Further information: Heterosexism and Homophobia. Further information: Rape. Main article: Homosexual behavior in animals. LGBT portal. American Psychological Association.
Archived from the original on 8 August Retrieved 10 August Retrieved 21 December Cengage Learning. Retrieved 11 February The most recent literature from the APA says that sexual orientation is not a choice that can be changed at will, and that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing.
Elsevier Health Sciences. No conclusive evidence supports any one specific cause of homosexuality; however, most researchers agree that biological and social factors influence the development of sexual orientation. Delivering Culturally Competent Nursing Care. Springer Publishing Company. Retrieved 10 February Moreover, belief that homosexuality is determined by nature predisposes homosexuals to accept their sexual orientation as natural and to live a homosexual lifestyle; furthermore it fosters the belief that they cannot change and live as a heterosexual even if they want to.
On the other hand, some homosexuals fear the development of a genetic "cure. If homosexuality is primarily fostered by the environment, e. Indeed, they have a moral obligation to do so, in order to reject behavior that is sinful and unhealthy, and find fulfillment in the normative structure of the monogamous heterosexual family. The power of belief to shape an individual's identity would argue that accepting the view that one's homosexuality is genetically determined means to participate in a particular social construction in which that identity becomes permanent.
Much research on the biology of homosexuality has sought to demonstrate an innate biological and even a genetic basis for this sexual orientation. To date the results have been equivocal. Several studies, including pioneering work by neuroscientist Simon LeVay, have demonstrated that there are notable differences between the physiology of a heterosexual male and a homosexual male.
These differences are primarily found in the brain , inner ear, and olfactory sense. LeVay discovered in his double-blind experiment that the average size of the INAH-3 in the brains of homosexual men was significantly smaller than the average size in heterosexual male brains.
This study has come under criticism for not taking into account the fact that all of the brains of homosexual men he studied were from men who had died of AIDS , which was not equally true of the heterosexuals whose brains he studied. Still, similar size differences were found when comparisons were made of the INAH-3 measurements in only the brains of those in each group who died from complications due to AIDS, although that sample group was too small to be definitive.
Some people have interpreted LeVay's work as showing that some people are born homosexual; however, in LeVay's own words:. It's important to stress what I didn't find. I did not prove that homosexuality was genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn't show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain. INAH-3 is less likely to be the sole gay nucleus of the brain than a part of a chain of nuclei engaged in men and women's sexual behavior….
Since I looked at adult brains we don't know if the differences I found were there at birth, or if they appeared later. Homosexual behavior has been observed in the animal kingdom, especially in social species, particularly marine birds and mammals.
While animal behavior cannot easily be extrapolated to humans, homosexual advocates seize upon this data to suggest that homosexual behavior is part of the order of nature and not contrary to nature. Critics point out that much of the homosexual behavior observed in animals is situational, occurring only when there is no opportunity for heterosexual activity, for example in the crowded conditions of zoos where the animals are penned in, or as a means of social cooperation in raising young.
It thus may be analogous to the situational homosexuality found in prison and the military where otherwise heterosexual humans may resort to homosexual activity. The strongest evidence for genetic inheritance of a particular trait or condition would be to find higher incidence in identical twins.
Bailey and Pillard studied the sexual orientation of male siblings in the same family. They found that if one sibling was homosexual, the chance of the other sibling also being homosexual was 52 percent for an identical twin, 22 percent for a fraternal non-identical twin, and 10 percent for adopted or non-twin brothers. A study of Australian identical twins found a much lower correlation.
Well-run studies of identical twins who were separated at birth and raised in different households will be needed to confirm or deny the linkage. Dean Hamer of the National Cancer Institute used chromosome mapping to attempt to identify some genetic markers responsible for same-sex attraction, the so-called "gay gene. At this point, research attempting to demonstrate biological causes of homosexuality are regarded skeptically by many mainstream biologists.
The research has been suggestive, but it is plagued by methodological problems including poor sampling, lack of rigorous control groups, and lack of replicability by other researchers. Comments like this are typical:. Supposing these genetic studies are borne out by further research; how does one interpret them? Quite a number of diseases , mental disorders and disabilities have a genetic component, including Huntington's disease, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis , schizophrenia, alcoholism and autism.
On the other hand, normal traits such has left-handedness and skin color are also genetic. Hence, finding a genetic factor in homosexuality does not in itself prove that homosexuality is within the range of normal behavior. Furthermore, as genetic research proceeds with the goal of finding methods of gene manipulation to effect cures for illnesses like diabetes and autism, the same could potentially be done for homosexuality.
Neither do such studies prove that genes are the cause of homosexuality. If homosexuality were strictly caused by genes—as is, for example, skin color—then percent of identical twins of homosexuals would become homosexual; but Bailey and Pillard find that the percentage is around 50 percent.
This means that some other cause must contribute the other 50 percent—Dr. The other factor is likely to be environmental. Schizophrenia presents similarly: genes account for about 50 percent and the other 50 percent is environmental.
There is some yet unknown synergy between genes and environment that together produces homosexuality. Some researchers speculate that some environmental effect may trigger the "gay gene" to full expression—perhaps an event in early childhood. More likely, the gene or genes may confer a certain heightened susceptibility to same-sex attraction that will become fixated based on life-choices made after puberty. In short, both nature and nurture may be involved.
Psychologist Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing 's Psychopathia Sexualis was the first scientific discussion of homosexuality. After interviewing many homosexuals, both as his private patients and as a forensic expert, Krafft-Ebing arrived at the conclusion that homosexuality is an anomalous process of embryonic development that leads to a "sexual inversion" of the brain.
Today the neurobiology of the masculinization of the fetal brain is fairly well understood. If there are few androgen receptors people with Androgen insensitivity syndrome or too much androgen females with Congenital adrenal hyperplasia there can be physical and psychological effects. While lesbianism is linked with a higher amount of masculinization than is found in heterosexual females; however, the data as regards male homosexuality shows no significant correlation.
Failure to confirm the prenatal hormone theory does not mean that some other developmental mechanism may be at work, perhaps in early childhood. Even if such a mechanism were found, we would be far from knowing whether this mechanism was the result of the genetic factor mentioned above or an independent factor, perhaps environmental. The variety of the specific social constructions of homosexuality across cultures above supports the view that a large component of homosexuality is socially conditioned and learned behavior.
In societies with age-structured homosexuality such as Ancient Greece , homosexual youths upon maturity would take on heterosexual patterns of life.
The social argument for homosexuality dates back to the ancient Greeks. Aristophanes in the Symposium viewed homosexuality as a desire by men to share a long-term fulfillment of the soul. He believed that two souls are longing to be together, however sexual desire alone is not strong enough to create that bond; rather it is the cultural environment that allows or forbids the relationship to occur.
The view that much homosexuality is socially constructed is supported by clear instances of situational homosexuality. Situational homosexuality occurs when there is no opportunity for heterosexual activity, as in prison , the military, and monastic orders. In prisons for example, homosexual behavior is commonplace and provides a way of asserting dominance and requiring submission.
In some tribes of Papua New Guinea insemination of adolescent boys by the warriors of the tribe was mandatory. Most "situational homosexuals" are heterosexual in other social contexts. Yet there is no bright line between situational homosexuality and other homosexualities. For example, the well-known pederasty of ancient Greece mentioned above, was expected of well-bred youths as society regarded it beneficial to their education.
Psychologists , particularly in psychoanalytic or developmental traditions, speculated that formative childhood experiences underlie sexual orientation. Classically, Sigmund Freud believed that all children go through a stage in their psychosexual development when they are bisexual and have the potential for either heterosexual or homosexual expression, from which they normally make the transition to heterosexuality in adulthood.
Those who turn to homosexuality as adults he believed had experienced some traumatic event that arrested their sexual development. Contemporary psychologists look at problems in parental and family dynamics in childhood that create issues of gender identification later in life. Among psychologists who regard homosexuality as a treatable condition, the prevailing theory is that homosexual feelings, thoughts, and desires are symptoms of deeper psychological issues. They represent a defensive response to conflicts in the present, a way to compensate for the pain and discomfort of an unresolved childhood trauma, archaic emotions, frozen feelings, and wounds that never healed.
They also represent a reparative drive to fulfill unmet homo-emotional love needs of the past—an unconscious drive for bonding with the same-sex parent.
Elizabeth Moberly and Joseph Nicolosi developed the term "homo-emotional love need. A homo-emotional love need is an unconscious drive for bonding between a son and his father, or between a daughter and her mother. It is rather a hidden, unconscious drive buried deep in the psyche. This is a variation of the general principle that applies to people's choice of partners in heterosexual relationships, which are conditioned by unconscious childhood needs.
Harville Hendrix states,. Reparative therapist Richard Cohen rejects the view that homosexuality is a sexual condition at all.
He calls homosexuality "same-sex attachment disorder"  and describes three underlying drives to same-sex attractions:. It is an attachment disorder, whereby the individual feels separated from parents, self, body, and others. The result is a "Same-Sex Attachment Disorder.
Cohen further lists ten psycho-social wounds that can destabilize the formation of healthy attachments and contribute to the formation of homosexual attachments: . That homosexuality is no longer generally viewed as a treatable disease by mental health professionals is mainly due to the APA's position that homosexuality should be regarded not as a disorder but rather within the range of socially acceptable sexual expression. Therefore, there are ethical and political issues surrounding treating homosexuality as a disorder.
Yet helping clients in this way may leave an unresolved ache in the soul, if that person is inwardly crying out for recovering his or her original heterosexual being. Those who do believe homosexuality to be a condition have developed programs similar to alcohol and drug treatment programs in which clinicians help homosexuals overcome their preference for homosexual behavior and attraction to people of the same sex, as well as developing satisfying heterosexual relationships.
These treatment programs are run by religious groups and psychotherapists. Therapists recognize the futility of simply "toughing it out" in a heterosexual marriage or striving to "pray away" unwanted homosexual feelings:. Reparative therapists have developed a four-stage plan of therapy that begins with behavior change and continues over several years of to build up a healthy sense of self and deal with childhood wounds through non-sexual bonding in a supportive context supervised by the therapist.
Generally, traditional religious teachings condemn homosexuality as unnatural, abhorrent to God, and not leading to human fulfillment. Homosexuality, however, is rarely singled out but is classified among the several illicit sexual practices that are inimical to marriage and family, or among the failings on the path of self-control required of those pursuing a religious vocation. In response to the modern view that homosexuality is within the range of natural sexual attractions, some liberal religious groups have adopted an open stance towards homosexuals.
According to the Torah , "[A man] shall not lie with another man as with a woman, it is a toeva abomination " Leviticus Like many similar commandments, the stated punishment for willful violation is the death penalty , although in practice rabbinic Judaism rid itself of the death penalty for all practical purposes 2, years ago.
Rabbinic Jewish tradition understands this verse to prohibit all forms of homosexual contact between men. Rabbinic works ban lesbian acts of sex as well. Many liberal Jewish congregations are accepting of homosexuals. Reform Judaism does not argue that normative Jewish law can change to validate homosexual sex; the argument is that this law, like many of the laws in the Torah, is archaic and no longer binding in today's modern culture.
Reform and Reconstructionist congregations now welcome members regardless of sexual orientation, and some rabbis have been known to perform same-sex marriages. Traditional Christianity is firm in rejecting all forms of homosexuality. The condemnation in Leviticus mentioned above is confirmed by passages in New Testament, such as Acts which explicitly advised that Gentile converts were to keep from sexual immorality.
The first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans contains the only explicit mention of lesbianism in the Bible, calling it "against nature:". God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another….
Romans God's judgment on homosexuality is illustrated by the fate of Sodom from whence comes the term 'sodomy' and Gomorrah, after a mob surrounded Lot's house and demanded that he bring out the men who had come to lodge with them.
The men of Sodom surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.
By offering his daughters, Lot was protecting the guests who had taken refuge in his home—an act of great hospitality—from the mob who were intent on homosexual rape. The cities were subsequently burned with fire and brimstone, a deserved punishment. The unnaturalness of the intended crime was made worse by the fact that the guests were in fact angels. In the New Testament, the Epistle of Jude refers to this incident when describing an earlier unnatural union, between angels and human women in Genesis , which is said to have brought disaster upon the earth, when the sons of God took wives from among the daughters of men.
It can also be interpreted as a reference to the relations between Lucifer and Eve at the Fall of Man :. And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Jude RSV. Some Christians therefore make the connection between homosexuality and demon possession, the activity of fallen angels. Since angels are without gender, the behavior of fallen angels with one another and with humans could be a spiritual prototype of homosexuality. From early Christianity until recent times, the leading lights of the church have universally condemned homosexuality as among the worst of all sexual sins.
In the Medieval church, Thomas Aquinas denounced sodomy as second only to bestiality as the worst of all sexual sins, and Hildegard of Bingen in Scivias condemned sexual relations between women as "perverted forms.
In recent years, many liberal Christians have come around to accept the view that homosexuality is an innate condition rather than a moral fault. Some major denominations, such as the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Church and some Presbyterian and Anglican churches welcome members regardless of sexual orientation, and some ministers in these churches even perform same-sex marriages.
There is even a new denomination, the Metropolitan Community Church, that ministers specifically to the gay community. Christians in these churches have developed doctrinal stances that support open ministries to homosexuals. Taking an historicist interpretation of scripture, they conclude that past scriptural prohibitions must give way to the modern understanding of homosexuality as the outworking of an orientation. Some consider that scripture has a thoroughgoing patriarchal bias, which expresses itself in a disapproval of all gender-transgressive sexual practices; present-day readings must account for this.
The inclusion of the "unclean" Gentiles in the early Church is sometimes said to be a model for the inclusion of other peoples called "unclean" today. Above all, these churches regard homosexuals as first and foremost human beings created in the image of God, and take Jesus' imperative to seek and find the "lost sheep" as requiring ministry to this group that the church has disregarded for so long. Ordination of gay clergy, however, has led to heated controversy, as many are not willing to accept homosexuals in a position of spiritual authority.
The Anglican Communion encountered discord that caused a rift between African except Southern Africa and Asian Anglican churches on the one hand and North American churches on the other when some American and Canadian churches openly ordained gay clergy and began blessing same-sex unions. Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, and leave the wives your Lord created for you? Nay, but ye are froward disobedient folk. Qur'an All major Islamic sects disapprove of homosexuality,  and same-sex intercourse is an offense punishable by execution in six Muslim nations: Saudi Arabia , Iran , Mauritania , Sudan , Somalia and Yemen.
Islam tolerates same-sex desires by viewing them as a temptation; sexual relations, however, are seen as a transgression of the natural role and aim of sexual activity. Islamic law governs the physical actions, not a person's inner thoughts and feelings. Thus, same-sex intercourse is punishable under the Sharia, but homosexuality as an attraction is not against the Sharia.
Indeed, the Qur'an's realism about pederastic impulses is seen in its description of the rewards in Paradise for those who abstain from such impulses; there believers are attended by perpetually young virgin lovers, women and men, houri and ghilman Among the religions that originated in India , including Hinduism , Buddhism, Jainism , and Sikhism , teachings regarding homosexuality are less clear than among the Abrahamic traditions.
However, most contemporary religious authorities view homosexuality negatively, and when it is discussed, it is discouraged or actively forbidden. Sexuality is rarely discussed openly in Hindu society, and homosexuality is largely a taboo subject—especially among the strongly religious.
The ancient Hindu law codes such as the Manu Smriti refer to both female and male homosexuality as a punishable crime. Several Hindu texts, such as Manu Smriti  and Sushruta Samhita, assert that some people are born with either mixed male and female natures, or sexually neuter, as a matter of natural biology.
Such people worked as hairdressers, flower-sellers, servants, masseurs, and prostitutes. Today, many people of this "third gender" hijras live throughout India, mostly on the margins of society, and many still work in prostitution, or live as beggars.
Buddhism discourages sexual behavior that would disturb the equanimity of the practitioner or of others, and Buddhism is often characterized as distrustful of sensual enjoyment in general. The Abhidhamma states that a pandaka cannot achieve enlightenment in his or her own lifetime, but must wait for rebirth as a normal man or woman.
Historically, in Japanese Shingon Buddhism , relationships between male priests and young male acolytes were the norm, especially during the Edo period. The third of the Five Precepts of Buddhism states that one is to refrain from sexual misconduct; this precept is usually understood to include homosexuality. The Dalai Lama interprets sexual misconduct to include lesbian and gay sex, and indeed any sex other than penis-vagina intercourse, including oral sex, anal sex, and masturbation or other sexual activity with the hand.
Nevertheless, he urges "respect, compassion, and full human rights for all including gays. Sikh Punjabi society is conservative and intoleration of homosexual behavior. In , the world's highest Sikh religious authority described homosexuality as "against the Sikh religion and the Sikh code of conduct and totally against the laws of nature," and called on Sikhs to support laws against homosexuality. Chastity is one of the five virtues in the fundamental ethical code of Jainism.
For laypersons, the only appropriate avenue for sexuality is within marriage, and homosexuality is believed to lead to negative karma. The Confucian moral code emphasizes a person's responsibility to family and society.
Confucians are expected to get married and have children; this is their responsibility to their parents and their ancestors. A male's duty is to have male children to pass on his family name; a female's duty is to bear her husband male children to carry on his family name.
Homosexuality cannot result in reproduction; this is the main reason why Confucians disapprove of it. However, there are records of married men who took male lovers, which was seen as a private matter. Confucianism stresses an individual's obligations of filial piety to his parents and loyalty to his country. If a one's parents forbade one from engaging in homosexuality, or if the state outlawed homosexuality as was the case in China between and , one would be expected to comply with these orders.
Daoism stresses the relationship between yin and yang : two opposing forces which maintain harmony through balance. The Daoist tradition holds that males need the energies of females, and vice versa, in order to bring about balance, completion, and transformation.
Heterosexual relations is seen as the physical and emotional embodiment of the harmonious balance between yin and yang. Homosexuality is seen as the union of two yins or two yangs, and therefore unbalanced; hence it does not lead to human fulfillment. New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.
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