Societies of homosexuals
Many societies in the past were not aware about the existence of homosexuals in their communities. It is not clear whether lesbians and gays existed in those days however in the current modern world it is no longer an issue of surprise to meet these people and hear them speak openly about their sexual orientation. Among those who highly rejected the practice of homosexuality were Christian religious leaders. Even though some Christian denominations and other religions still reject the practice of homosexuality among their ‘flock’ , we have seen some prominent church leaders confess openly about their homosexual behavior.
Many theories have been put forward to explain this behavior that has seemed to be so rampant in the modern world. It has been observed that some people support this modern practice of homosexuality while others don’t. This paper examines essential ism, social construction and sexual scripts in relation to issues facing gay, bisexuals and lesbian people. It further justifies the importance of a bill that will protect civil rights of the gays and lesbians, what the bill should cover and its consequences to the society at large.
Social construction ism is a theory that explains how a particular phenomenon in a given society develops. This concept of social construction may seem to be both natural as well as obvious to the members of the society who accepts it even through it is invented by people who belong to a culture that makes it possible to invent the fact. Social constructs results from the vast choices that human beings have but not as a result of natural laws or even divine laws. Social construction focuses on establishing how people as well as groups of people contribute in creating what they perceive as a reality amongst themselves.
It looks at the different ways in which a particular social phenomena is socially created, institutionalized as well as transformed into a tradition by members of a particular society. Social constructs are usually thought to be either unintended or even unconscious. The people themselves construct the social reality who through their knowledge and interpretation act and facilitates this dynamic process. According to Berger and Luckmann, whatever is perceived to be a reality in any society is constructed by people who share their perceptions on the same.
(Fiona J, 2005, p. 210-218; Stein E,1992, P. 345-348) According to most religions, homosexual lifestyle results from an individual’s choice. They regard it as unnatural and reject the issue that gays and lesbians need to be protected under the law. They highly believe that gays and lesbians should be discriminated against as a way of punishing them for making such kind of a choice. Whereas many people have believed that sexual orientation is an individual’s choice, gays and lesbians highly believe that it is not their choice.
To be a lesbian or a gay is a biological function. They equate homosexuality with race or even sex in the sense that sexuality is innate. They therefore have a strong belief that lesbians and gay issues are normal. As a result they have courageously come out to demand their rights. Gays ad lesbians’ marriages have now become common and some countries have legalized them. Just like bisexuals, gays and lesbians have their own traditions that unites them and enables themselves to espouse a ‘we’ feeling.
Bisexual has for a long time been seen as the normal sexuality but the society itself through the perception of its members determines what is normal. With the increase in cases of homosexuality in many societies in the world, many people have already accepted it as normal and thus members of a particular group define what is normal as well as how normal people should behave. Homosexuality and bisexuality are therefore social constructs. (Thumma S, Gray E, 2004, p. 297-303) According to John Gagnon and William Simon (American sociologists) social behavior is a social script.
(Kimmel M, 2007, p. 62-63) The society in which individual lives highly influences his or her social behavior. Sexual behavior therefore follows a single or combination of scripts which are not only socially provided by the environment but also individually internalized. Generally, social scripts tells what to do or what rules they should play in the society as well as how they should behave under different circumstances. The rules and regulations that govern the conduct of people defines the behavior of people in different situations.
Just like the other human behaviors, sexual behavior has its own kinds of scripts and thus a scripted behavior. Whether an individual is a lesbian, gay or bisexual, he/she follows the scripts that determines his/her behavior according to his/her sexual orientation. Every person has his/her own roles to play in any relationship under the rules and regulations that the society perceives to govern his/her sexual orientation. Every person has his/her own roles to play in any relationship under the rules and regulations that the society perceives to govern his/her sexual orientation.
It should be noted that homosexual sex scripts remain a question of concern after being treated as very different from those which are heterosexual in nature. According to James Parl, “Animal sexual behavior is often quite complex, but it is stereotyped for each species. The same pattern of competition, ‘courtship’, and mating is found in that species thru-out the world. The scientific study of animal sex can provide valuable information about the sexual anatomy and hormones we share with other animals, but human sexual behavior has now moved beyond the genetically-given patterns of sex found in the animal kingdom……
People who find that they have homosexual sex-scripts (who find themselves responding to members of the same sex) are often surprised by this discovery. And many of them try to change their sexual responses. But very few have found ways to modify their sex-scripts. What they thought was a change of sex-script may easily have been: (1) putting greater emphasis on other imprinted sex-scripts; (2) controlling sexual behavior while the sexual orientation remains; (3) making merely verbal or mental changes, moral reformation; (4) transcending sex-scripts to create specific sexual bonding.
” (Park J, http://www. tc. umn. edu/~parkx032/syn-sex. html ) According to essential ism any group characteristic is fixed. No variations among members of any society or even over time are allowed under essentialist. Sociologically, the metaphysical claim of essential ism normally faces conflation of biological reductionism. This has been evident by the efforts of sociologists to distinguish between gender and sex. There has been also wide discussions which have been aimed at drawing a distinction between nature and nurture.
According to Monique Witting, physiology of the body is usually caught up in social construction process. According to essential ism every society develops social norms as dictated by their culture on matters of sexuality. Such norms define what the society perceives to be normal sexuality. This leads to the development of legal framework that governs the individual sex acts by clearly specifying a person’s qualification in terms of roles, age, status and relatedness. (Price J, Shildrick M, 1999, )
Since many societies did not have many cases of lesbians and gay (homosexuality) in the past, they unanimously held that bisexual activities were the normal and as a result, they took it as the expected sexual behavior. Essentialist s have therefore rejected the issue of homosexuality since they are themselves conservatives in nature. To them, the biological make up of an individual should be the guiding principle in matters concerning sexual behavior. (Arthur Lipkin, 1999, p. 15-18) Lesbians and gays represents sex minority groups.
This means that such people are highly discriminated against and therefore need to be protected. Just like the other human beings, lesbians and gays need to be respected. They are human beings and therefore not exempted from enjoying human rights. Many people especially the ethnocentric ‘religious right folk’ criticize homosexuals by accusing them of being immoral, sinful, perverse and harmful not only to themselves but also to the society at large. Lesbians and gays have for a long time been mistreated and oppressed. Such people are usually discriminated against when it comes to employment.
The legal framework of many constitutions of the world nations do not recognize that the homosexuals have their rights despite the fact that their sexual orientation may not be what the society expects from them. Many people have been demonised simply because they are homosexuals. Some children have even been reported to have been chased away by their parents and family members after being discovered to be gays or lesbians. The churches and other religious denominations also prevent gays and lesbians from attending their religious ceremonies because of their beliefs that such people are sinful.
A bill should therefore be passed to protect the civil rights of gays and lesbians. Just like the other people, lesbians need to live, earn a living, marry and do what every human being is guaranteed by the human rights. Such a bill should ideally cover the following; employment issues where every individual should be guaranteed equal opportunity irregardless of whether he/she is bisexual, gay, lesbian or not. Employers should never be allowed to mistreat or lay off an employee just because of discovering that his/her sexual orientation is lesbian or gay (homosexual).
Secondly, every person should be guaranteed to marry the person of his/her choice irregardless of sex. Gays and lesbians’ marriages should be legally recognized. The other area is property ownership. Whether a person is a gay, lesbians or bisexual he/she should be allowed to own property in any part of the world. Another important area that the bill should cover is the freedom of movement. We have witnessed people protesting against lesbians and gay visitors in their countries. Gays and lesbians should be given the freedom to visit any part of the world without favor or fear of rejection.
Gays and lesbians should also enjoy the freedom of expression. They should never be stopped from convening meetings provided that the correct procedure is followed as stipulated by the constitution of the country. The bill should also allow lesbians and gays to adopt children if they wish. The fact that a person is a gay or a lesbian does mean that they do not want to have children. The bill should also guard children from being sexually molested by gays or lesbians. Many people did not think that sex between people of the same sex could be possible.
They therefore trusted people with their children of the same sex and believed that the children were safe. This bill should therefore ensure that all people who molest both children and other people sexually are subjected to appropriate sanctions that must be clearly stated in the bill. Such a bill will have both positive and negative consequences which can either be intended or unintended. First, it will ensure fairness in terms of distribution of resources. This is because all people will have equal opportunity to employment and property ownership.
Social inequity will highly reduce and the gap between the least well off and the most well off will be minimized. Discrimination will highly reduce. Secondly, people will properly understand each other especially on matters concerning sexual orientation. This will ensure lesbians and gays enjoy the freedom of speech,. Movement and any other freedom as their basic right just like bisexuals. The bill will also reduce population growth rate. This is because people many will not be willing to have children as a result of their disinterest in having sex with people of the opposite sex.
Consequently, there will eventually, the country will experience scarcity of manpower and as a result, economic development and growth will slow in the long run. The bill will also reduce the cases of rape. It should be noted that lesbians and gays who are denied the freedom to enjoy sex according to their sexual orientation are put at risk of committing rape crimes. If only such a bill can be passed, such people will get to enjoy their intimate relationships. This bill will however impact negatively on the family institution.
Ideally, a family has for a long time been perceived to be made up of parents and children. In the case of lesbian and gay marriage, the highest possibility is that adoption is the only way for having children. In case gay or lesbian spouses get a child whether intentionally or unintentionally, the child will never live to enjoy the benefits of having both parents. They will therefore be at risk of becoming deviants as a result of poor socialization. Other than the family, religion will also receive a big blow since this will be seen to authorise something that has already been seen as evil.
The religion and the family are inseparable and non of them can exist without the other. Those people who participate in religious activities are the same people whom you will find in homes coordinating various activities. These two institutions provide an important ingredient of social control. Formalizing lesbianism will weaken both of them and ass a consequence, crime will increase, HIV/AIDS will spread even more and more social and economic problems will arise. References Arthur Lipkin, 1999, Understanding Homosexuality, Changing Schools, West view press) Fiona J.
Hibberd, Inc NetLibrary, 2005, Unfolding Social Construction ism, Springer James Park, The Sex-Script Hypothesis: Toward a Comprehensive Theory of Human Sexuality, Retrieved from http://www. tc. umn. edu/~parkx032/syn-sex. html on 21st May, 2008 Kimmel M, 2007, The Sexual Self: The Construction of Sexual Scripts, Vanderbilt University press Price J, Shildrick M, 1999, Feminist Theory and the Body, Taylor and Francis Stein E,1992, Forms of Desire: Sexual Orientation and the Social constructionist controversy, Rout ledge Thumma S, Gray E, 2004, Gay Religion, Rowman AltamiraSample Essay of AssignmentExpert.com