Sexuality and society
Human sexuality has a very vital role in everyone’s life and society. Understanding human sexuality is itself a complex topic to discuss. However, the topic becomes more complicated when discussed from a sociological point of view. Many researches have been conducted in the past on sociology and sexuality. There are many sociological perspectives which are considerable while talking about human sexuality, however, this paper will primarily discuss and research on the sociological perspective of homosexuality on society.
Regardless of the gender difference that is a male or female, the impacts of human sexuality on society is very prominent. It has a major influence on a person’s own personality, on other’s personalities and most importantly on society. While classifying the sexual orientations of human, usually a person is attracted to the opposite sex and has feelings and sexual desires for the opposite gender, biologically termed as heterosexuals. However, there are some people who do not feel the same way as heterosexuals and have sexual feelings and desires for same sex. These people are attracted to the same gender and are sexually oriented as homosexuals. The third sexual orientation is bisexuality; bisexuals are those humans who are attracted to both the genders that are male and female both and have sexual tendencies for both of them. While the last ones are asexual; they are not attracted towards any sex. Thesis Statement:
Homosexuality or the desires for the same sex that is being ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ has a very deep impact on society. Many societies and religions in the past and at present do not allow or accept homosexuality for its people. From sociological point of view these people are against the biological and usual system of human lifecycle portraying negative impacts on society. Understanding Homosexuality:
All the previous sociological researches including that on human sexuality too, have their basic elemental assumption that human behavior is learned from the surroundings. This statement is clearly elaborated by Kimmel and Fracher; “That we are sexual is determined by a biological imperative toward reproduction, but how we are sexual—where, when, how often, with whom, and why—has to do with cultural learning, with meanings transmitted in a cultural setting”. According to many of the researchers and previous theories it has been concluded that homosexuality is not natural and biological. Researchers and social scientists believe that it is learned from the surroundings and the culture. While a few scientific inquiries suggested that it is a mixture of nature and nurture; while the environmental factors are contributing towards the sexuality of a person some of the hormonal and brain structure also adds to it. Society and Homosexuality:
On a broader perspective, homosexuality can be termed as a product of society; since the social exposure to a person during his adolescence moulds him accordingly for his/her sexual desires. However, societies are much in a conflict over this issue. Many societies across the US and the world do not accept or allow homosexuality or corresponding activities. Homosexuals avoid revealing their sexual orientations in many societies of the world. This is majorly because of intolerance and the negativity towards homosexuality. Sociologists believes that acceptance of homosexuality in societies can increase the number of homosexuals in those societies. As people will start accepting them, there will be chances that more people will like to change their sexual orientation and would become homosexual or bisexual.
Many cases have been evidenced in recent years where change in sexual orientations among adults was noticed. The psychological effects of homosexuality on societies and its member also are of vital importance. Gay practices in public places disturb people and many of the social elements are offended by it. It portrays a great psychological influence on the youngsters particularly children. Many anti-gay movements and petitions have been filed in different countries of the world to create fear and to put an end to homosexuality. However, the consequences were not as it was expected. Many religions across the world do not accept homosexuality as a part of their life or society.
They consider it a practice against the system created and defined by God. Different societies have defined different strict punishments for homosexuality. Many religious families also do not accept any of its family member if he/she is homosexual, thus excluding him from their family. This is a deep social, cultural and religious conflict which has its negative impacts on society and homosexuals as well. Many homosexuals do not reveal their identity and disclose their orientation as gay. This is because of; the conservative religious factor or the intolerance and non-acceptance of society towards him/her. Sociologists have learned that, to many homosexuals, being gay or homosexual is a shame or curse.
They avoid interacting with people at school; work and even home thus become isolated. This is mainly because of the fear that someone does not get to know about their sexuality. Those individuals who have accepted themselves as gay are also being bullied at school, work and by friends and family. Researchers have shown that such homosexual individuals try to commit suicide just to hide their sexuality and to avoid being bullied. The suicide rate among homosexuals is comparatively high as compared to heterosexual individuals.
The role of media, advertising and internet in a society cannot be denied while talking about its sexual boundaries. Many sociologists and researchers have studied the impacts of advertising, television and internet on society particularly sexuality and homosexuality. They are not just conveying the idea in fact through the portrayal of different vulgar and desirable ideas and picture, people particularly young and children try to fit in that place and a sense of desire is created among them. Many ads and television shows in the west at present portray and promote homosexuality as societies have managed to live with them. Many sociologists believe that this factor is greatly affecting the societal scale of heterosexuality. The Societal Acceptance:
The sociological perspective is altering gradually regarding the acceptance of homosexuals in many societies of the world. Different societies and countries are accepting homosexuals and are legalizing them in their territory including USA, Canada, Europe and South America. In response to those anti gay movements, a number of gay rights movements took place in many societies. Moreover, many sociologists put forward the idea of reducing the rate of suicides among these homosexuals and the majors to overcome them. Societies at present are becoming liberal and taking homosexuality as a part of life and human cycle. However, a number of societies still have the same approach of not accepting homosexuality on the basis of culture, religion and other conservative approaches. However, it is said that societies in which homosexuality has been allowed such as the Netherlands and San Francisco in US have greater rates of diseases and health issues. The Social Family Institution:
Disturbance among the family institutions is also created because of homosexuality within or outside the family. According to many sociologists culture and surrounding is one major area that shapes and structures the entire family process. Different practices within families are done because of the age, sex, gender, ethnicity factors. Sociologist also has studied that how families are influenced and affected by homosexuals and their practices and how it has altered the family structure.
The major building block that is ‘family’ in societies where it has been legalized and accepted has fallen apart. It has been researched that as many as 80% of the children in such societies are born outside the family. Homosexuality is also creating a biological barrier for society with its existence and expansion. With more turn out of homosexuals in societies, the definition of family is also being revised. Gay marriages are taking place in the regions of the world where they are legalized. Men marrying men and women marrying women do not fit in the definition of the family it is normally used to be. These gay couples are not able to conceive a child due to biological reasons, however, if they really want they adopt children in order to complete their definition of family. This may badly affect the biological chain of human lifecycle; decreasing the overall population rate. Conclusion:
It is very difficult to predict the future structure of society. Homosexuality should be understood from the cultural, political and legal framework from any society. Where on one hand one cannot accept homosexuality, on the other hand one gives you almost every reason to accept it as a part of society. However, the association between society and homosexuality is very strong and is very deep. Sociologists are very much concerned regarding this relationship; some of them are in favor while the others are against this relationship. Some sociologists believe that it is society and its components which contribute towards the formation of homosexual people.
While some elements of society do not believe in homosexuality saying it is not allowed in their religion or culture. From adolescence to adulthood, homosexual people face different problems and obstacles and so do their surroundings. Where on one hand homosexuals commit suicide, on the other hand some homosexual are marrying same genders, and fighting for their rights thus creating a chaos and disturbance in society. The cultural and sociological impact on society by homosexuality is very negative and disturbing for some age groups particularly the children and the youngsters. However, the sociological perspective on homosexuality is altering gradually worldwide. With its acceptance in many part of the West, societies are now focusing on accepting homosexuality as a part of it. The major need is to umbrella the family structure and the family institutions which are in serious threat from homosexuality.