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Same-gender sexuality. Orientation Desire and Identification Behavior. Terms. Homosexual, heterosexual Gay, Lesbian Inversion, perversion Orientation, choice, and lifestyle Effeminacy, masculinity Slang terms. Historical perspectives. Judaism and the holiness code

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same gender sexuality

Same-gender sexuality


Desire and Identification


  • Homosexual, heterosexual
  • Gay, Lesbian
  • Inversion, perversion
  • Orientation, choice, and lifestyle
  • Effeminacy, masculinity
  • Slang terms
historical perspectives
Historical perspectives
  • Judaism and the holiness code
    • Genesis 19:1-13; Judges 19
    • Leviticus 18:22, 20:13
  • “The other nations”
    • The Greeks
    • India and the Kama Sutra
pauline christianity
Pauline Christianity
  • Romans 1: 18-32
  • Two sin lists: I Corinthians 6: 9-10 and I Timothy 1: 8-11
  • Valuing singleness and celibacy as a virtue
  • Purity vs. sexual fallenness: Ephesians 5: 3-7
  • Connection of sexual expression with marriage
the early church
The early church
  • Boswell (1980, 1994): The Christian church accepted homosexual behavior prior to the 13th century.
  • Neuhaus (1996): Did not!
  • Wright (1990): “Boswell’s book provides...not one firm piece of evidence that the teaching mind of the early church countenanced homosexual activity.”
a loaded question
A loaded question
  • “Most of the literature on the homosexual represents either a polemic against the heinous abnormality of such activity, or a biased argument in defense of an individual’s right to choose his patterns of sexual behavior” (Kinsey, 1948).
  • The polarization of the debate has changed little in 58 years.
  • Should we care about causes?
the source s of homosexuality
The source(s) of homosexuality
  • Biology: (Neuro)Anatomy is destiny
    • LeVay (1991) and hypothalamus structure
    • Hamer (1993) and the argument from genetics (vs. Rice et al., 1999, and Sanders, in Rice.)
    • Prenatal hormone imbalance (Meyer-Bahlburg, 1995): DES exposure and lesbian identity
    • “Butch” lesbians have higher salivary testosterone and higher waist-hip ratios, levels typical of males.
more background factors
More background factors
  • Gender nonconformity (Bailey & Zucker, 1995)
    • There is a tendency to gender non-conformity in gay men and lesbian women, but there is much variability. Stereotypes go too far.
    • Gender nonconformity is present in childhood of gay males: Opposite-sex-typed play, male avoidance of competitive sports, injury, or fights, “feeling different” as early as age 3 or 4: Critical thinking time.
    • Gender nonconformity found in butch lesbians
  • Birth order and equilibrium reproduction economics (Miller, 2000)
  • Is the goal reproduction or gratification?
other etiological theories
Other etiological theories
  • Lack of opportunity
    • Prison vs. free behaviors
  • Seduction or experimentation and reinforcement
  • Family dynamics: Polymorphous perversity and homoerotic fixation (Freud)
    • Failure to resolve Oedipus or Electra complex
    • Dominant, overprotective mother
    • Detached, passive, or hostile father
    • Father fails to buffer the mother’s influence
    • But is it the father’s or the son’s reaction?
and some more theories
And some more theories…
  • Social constructionism
  • Daryl Bem: The exotic is erotic
  • Choice
  • Joseph Nicoli: An interactionist explanation:
    • Genetic influence is on temperament
    • Peer culture rejects boys with a sensitive, artistic temperament and girls with athletic, assertive temperament (less so).
    • Mothers over-protect sensitive sons who in turn have difficulty relating to fathers who have a different temperament.
is it abnormal
Is it abnormal?
  • It depends on the definition of abnormal.
  • In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
  • Subsequent research found no correlation between homosexuality and mental disorders.
  • But the most recent studies show homosexual people to experience anxiety, depression, suicide, and (for gay males) eating disorders more than the straight population.
  • Are there third variable explanations?
the kinsey scale attraction and experience
The Kinsey Scale: Attraction and experience
  • 0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Equally heterosexual and


Predominately heterosexual

incidentally homosexual

Predominately homosexual,

incidentally heterosexual

Exclusively homosexual, no

heterosexual actions or desire

Predominately homosexual, more

than incidentally heterosexual

Exclusively heterosexual, No homosexual actions or desire

Predominately heterosexual, more

than incidentally homosexual

analysis of the kinsey model
Analysis of the Kinsey model
  • Remember models of gender.
  • Is erotic orientation bipolar, or bidimensional?
  • If it is bidimensional, is it orthogonal or oblique?
    • Lippa & Arad (1997) found that men tend to fit the bipolar model, women the bidimensional model.
  • Attraction to both male and female people.
  • Approximately the same percentages of men and women identify as bisexual (<1%) or report bisexual attraction (about 4%).
  • Note the consistent finding that the percentage of the population that is bisexual is lower than the percentage that is homosexual.
  • Bisexual people have been criticized by both heterosexual and gay people.
  • Bisexual males can live happily in heterosexual marriage (Edser & Shea, 2002).
is change possible
Is change possible?
  • Until 1973, psychiatry said “Yes.”
  • Over the past quarter century, the view that change is not possible has been asserted more and more strongly.
  • Therapists who offer change services, or who even cooperate with patients who express a wish to change, have been called unethical.
is change possible16
Is change possible?
  • However, the American Psychological Association has voted down motions to make such judgments (1995), although the governing council (1997) emphasized the need to communicate honestly the research on expectations that change therapies work.
  • Essentialist heterosexism, essentialist homosexism, and sexual preference
  • Another interactionist model: Meyer-Bahlburg et al, 1995.
  • Udry & Chantala (2005) found that only 11% of adolescent males who were romantically attracted to other males reported the same feelings one year later. An additional 6% reported attraction to both sexes.
is change possible in adulthood
Is change possible in adulthood?
  • Is it doomed to failure?
  • Is change in adulthood evidence of bisexuality?
  • In Diamond’s (2003) study, 27% of lesbian women stopped identifying as lesbian or bisexual over a five-year period.
  • Of those 27%, half identified as heterosexual; the rest declined to identify at all.
  • Spitzer (2001) reported interviews with 200 people who had changed attraction from homoerotic to heteroerotic and maintained the change for five years.
what is the role of choice
What is the role of choice?
  • Is choice ever etiological?
    • For some, an undetermined proportion, who have chosen heterosexuality (Baumrind, 1995)
  • Can choice affect the brain?
  • Can choice affect self-concept?
  • Can choice affect behavior?
the kinsey results
The Kinsey Results
  • Frequency estimates
    • 37% of men, 13% of women had at least one same-gender experience to the point of orgasm since adolescence
    • BUT: only 9.13 % overall had more than incidental experiences
    • AND: Sample not representative
    • Later studies show much lower rates for all measures
nhsls 1994 3 aspects
NHSLS (1994): 3 aspects
  • Desire: 6% of men, 4% of women
  • Behavior: 4% since age 18
  • Identification: 2.8% of men, 1.4% of women