Homosexuality Essay, Research Paper
What exactly is a homosexual? It is a person sexually attracted to a person of their own sex. Why do people become homosexuals? This is a question that has been asked ever since the first homosexual person “came out of the closet.” People do not choose to become homosexuals. There has never been a proven theory of why people become homosexuals. There are three theories that try to explain why people become homosexuals, they are: the Biological theory, Psychiatric theory, and the Sociological theory.(Thio, 211) The Biological theory is broken down into three different parts. The first one is the hormone theory which states that homosexual men have a low level of male sex hormones and a homosexual female have a low level of female sex hormones.(IBID, 211) the second one is the genetic theory. The genetic theory states that people are born gay and society only helps their homosexuality advance. Researchers announced that there is even a “gay gene”.(Nardo, 66) The last Biological theory is the brain theory. The brain theory states that a person who has a smaller brain is most likely going to be gay.(Thio, 211) The Psychiatric theory has evolved through many different thoughts about what is homosexuality. At first, psychiatrists thought that it was a mental illness. After it was proven not to be an illness many assumed that homosexuals were going through sexual orientation disturbance. Psychiatrists helped gays to accept themselves as being homosexuals. Another psychiatric theory was that homosexuals had a bad parent-son relationship when they were growing up.(IBID) The last theories are the Sociological theories. Sociological theories state that society affects a person’s sexual preference. The biological predisposition says that some people are more likely to become gay when they are born than other people.(IBID, 212) The socializing process states that children will decide their sexuality from contact with their parents during the sensitive stages of growth.(IBID) So depending on what kind of nurturing a child receives will determine whether they will grow up to become homosexuals.
Homosexuality is a very controversial subject. Some people do not accept it as well as do others. Things that affect a society are the 5 institutions: religion, family, education, politics, and economy. Religion is one institution that has strong influence on homosexuality. Two religions used in this research paper are Mormon and Christian. Mormons consider homosexuality very sinful. They believe that one should love the sinner hate the sin.(www1) In the Bible, read by Christians, it considers homosexual actions wrong.(Bender, 204) In the New Testament of the Bible, Paul says that homosexuality is way for people to turn their backs away from God. It also says that this is leading away from what is “natural”.(IBID) Christian parents have said that child having a homosexual relationship is a painful problem to face.(IBID, 199)
If a teen is having feelings that he might be gay and is trying to cope with those feelings, they see that they will have to deal with the society’s hostile attitudes about homosexuals. (Nardo, 65) Parents often hope and pray that their child will grow up to be “normal”. This does not always happen and causes frustration in the family.(Bender, 199) If a homosexual’s family is against homosexuality they will stay in the “closet” (keep their feelings secret) to avoid letting their family down or to avoid being mistreated or excluded. Families suffer from homophobia, or fear of homosexuals. This leads to the social disease of gay bashing.(Basso, 215)
Schools are typically hostile environments for homosexual youths. Schools are not prepared to deal with the various sexual orientations of students. Staff members often view homosexual youths negatively. Peers also share the same bias as do the school staff.(Nardo, 65) This makes teenagers feel like they need to keep their sexual identity a secret. Not being open about sexuality causes some teenagers to stay in the closet for the rest of their lives; it also causes the heterosexual teenagers to remain homophobic and not accept homosexuals. One report stated that 21 percent of teenagers who try to keep their homosexuality a secret attempt suicide by the age of twenty.(IBID, 69)
Many homosexuals have had at least one partner of the opposite sex. This is because they may have not realized that they were homosexuals yet or they knew but were trying to live the way society says you should, as heterosexuals.(Gravelle, 71) It is normal for a person to having homosexual feelings or experiences.(Madaras, 222)
Recently people have changed their beliefs about homosexuality. The church’s views of homosexuality is one area where beliefs have been changed. Religious groups who used to interpret the Bible as condemning homosexual behavior allow homosexuals to become ministers.(Bender, 199) Medical studies have proven that homosexuality is not a sickness or abnormal condition as some had thought before.(Nardo, 69) Also in society political views have changed. There are groups who are pro-homosexuality. The Gay Rights Activists put on demonstrations to fight for the rights of homosexuals.(IBID, 70) we celebrate Gay Pride day with many different parades and state legislatures are even trying to grant minority status to homosexuals so that no one can discriminate against them.(Bender, 199)
There are more than just two types of sexuality. There are people who are heterosexual, homosexual, and also bisexual. Bisexual people are attracted to people of both sexes. There are also variations within the three groups. Someone can be between bisexual and homosexual, or heterosexual and bisexual, or even heterosexual and homosexual.(Bull, 112)
This research paper will use case studies and information from different sources to try and prove by thesis that most teenage boys become homosexuals because of how they are nurtured in society.
Recently the number of homosexual people has increased.(Basso, 214) This does not mean that more people are becoming homosexuals. The reason that this number is increasing is that people are becoming more open about their sexuality.(IBID) Many guess that about 10 percent of teenagers are homosexuals.(Nardo, 64) A recent study estimated that 3 to 5 percent of men are gay.(IBID) This study is not totally accurate because many people do not want others to know that they are homosexuals. A safe estimation of gay teenagers would be as few as 50 to 60 and as many as 250 out of 2,500 students.(IBID, 65) Also, 5 percent of heterosexual men say that they have had interest in homosexual activity or that they have had some type of physical relation with a man.(Family Doctor) 92% of heterosexual men say that they have not had a homosexual experience past the age of 12.(IBID)
Even with the Gay Rights Activists, homosexuals are still treated poorly.(Nardo, 70) For example: the case of Matthew Shepard. Matthew was a college student at the University of Wyoming. The 21 year old homosexual man fought for gay rights while he was in college.(www3) One night, fellow students of UW lured him into a campus bar by telling Shepard that they were gay. Shepard proceeded to talk to them about gay rights. Finally when the boys left the bar they told Shepard “Guess what. We’re not gay. And you’re gonna get jacked.”(www3) They then drove him to a remote area where they tied him to a fence and beat him into a coma. After that they left him tied to the fence in the freezing cold, naked. He was discovered 18 hours later by a man passing by on a bicycle. When he was found he was still in a coma and had suffered hypothermia. He died 5 days later. The two men who beat Matthew were charged with murder. In their testimony they claimed that Shepard was hitting on them and so they beat him in defense, also known as “gay panic”.(www2) Matthew Shepard was killed because he was gay. This shows that society still does not totally accept homosexuals and causes many homosexual boys to stay in the closet.
Other examples of gay people in society are those of Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche. Ellen DeGeneres was the star of the hit series “Ellen”. At the beginning of the series everyone thought that it was going to be a big hit. Later, there was a rumor that Ellen’s character would announce her homosexuality. After months of talk Ellen came out of the closet and was the first ever gay lead actress on a regular series. The “coming out” episode produced great ratings, an Emmy, and a Peabody Award. As the series became more and more centered on the characters sexuality the ratings began to drop and the series was not renewed.(www4) After Ellen announced that she was a lesbian, Angie and Debbie Winans composed a song, “Not Natural.” The song addressed homosexuality and sexual immorality.(www5) Another example of a homosexual celebrity in society is Ellen DeGeneres’ girlfriend Anne Heche. She is known as the woman who switched teams for Ellen.(www6) Her success in the movie Volcano influenced her to the possible damage that being a lesbian could have on her leading-lady status. Her relationship with DeGeneres was her first-time lesbian relationship.(IBID) When Heche was younger her father led a secret life. Even though he was married to a woman, he spent a great deal of time at gay bars. He later died of AIDS because he did not want to let his secret out in order to protect his family.(IBID)
Gordon is a seventeen year old homosexual boy. He has gone through much harassment and abuse by fellow classmates who are straight. He knows that is was not his choice to be gay, but his classmates do not. He even says that if he could have chosen his sexuality he would have chosen to be straight. Gordon said that he knew when he was between 5 and 7 years old that he was different from others.(Nardo, 66)
Richard is also a seventeen year old boy who is homosexual. He remembers that when he was around eight or nine he felt different. When he and his friends were little they used to think that girls were disgusting, but then his friends started to like girls and he did not. He then felt his attraction for boys. He was scared to tell his friends because they were very discriminating towards gay people. He did eventually tell a guidance counselor and his parents who accepted it very well.(IBID, 67)
Jerry is a sixteen year old boy who is also homosexual. When Jerry told his guidance counselor, he did not take the news well. The guidance counselor did not know what to do accept do research. When Jerry told his parents he was kicked out of his house. Jerry’s parents had raised him just like any other parents had.(IBID , 68)
Greg is a 1988 graduate from Fairfax High; he went through a project where the school had teacher training, counseling for students, and discussions on gay issues in the classroom. This helped him no longer feel different, but just like everyone else. Greg was able to be accepted by the people at the school due to the program that helped others learn more about homosexuals and how they are different from others.(IBID 72)
The Johnson family has two kids, one boy and one girl. The socializing process is applied to their family situation to how mother nurturing habits will affect homosexuality. If the mother provides more physical nurturing to her girl than to her boy as expected by a heterosexual society then they will be likely to become heterosexual. If a mother provides more physical nurturing to her boy than to her girl then both children will have a greater chance of growing up to be homosexuals. Children can feel like members of the opposite sex when they are treated in that manner.(Thio, 212)
All of the boys said that when they were around the ages of 5-7 they felt different from the other boys. When their friends started to like girls, they then noticed an attraction towards boys. The fact that they felt different and the facts that some of their families did not accept homosexuality and some did, helps their choice of wanting to be open about their sexuality or to keep their feelings in the closet.(Thio, 211) With the feelings of all of these boys, the biological predisposition seems to be the right theory. This means that they have greater chances of being gay than other children. The combination of the biological theory of genetics and sociological theories add to a teen’s homosexuality. A teen’s genetics gives them the predisposition to have greater chances of being gay.
Teenage males do not become homosexuals by the nurturing of society. The nurturing of society only stimulates the biological predisposition that is within a person. In the case of Greg, he had feelings that he was different and since his school helped others understand homosexuality he felt comfortable enough to come out of the closet.(Nardo, 72) Anne Heche dated men for a long time. When she became famous and society had accepted her as a leading actress she decided to come out of the closet. She did this not only because she thought they would accept her, but her father had died because he was not open about his sexuality.(www6) The same thing happened with Ellen DeGeneres. She was famous and she came out of the closet. She was the first gay leading character in a series. Her ratings were high even though having a gay leading character was unusual. As people were overexposed to it her ratings dropped and her show ended.(www4)
My thesis was wrong because teenage boys do not become homosexuals because of the nurturing of society. The nurturing of society helps the teens with a biological predisposition decide whether they want to express themselves freely or hide themselves to avoid humiliation. In the case of Anne Heche since her father died because he kept his sexuality a secret she decided not to keep hers a secret. Also, because the school that Greg went to accepted homosexuality he felt more open to expose his sexuality.(Nardo, 72)