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Attitudes towards homosexuality in the long 19th century - Essay Example

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Attitudes towards Homosexuality in the Long 19th Century Name: Institution: Tutor: Course: Date: Introduction It is apparent that the issue of homosexuality has been contentious since time in memorial. Prejudices and discrimination against persons involved in such deeds have been cited to have been in existence as far as during the biblical times…
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Attitudes towards homosexuality in the long 19th century
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Download file to see previous pages However, one thing that is evident is the fact that modern attitudes towards homosexuality have been a centre stage for battles between religious and legal concepts. Before the eighteenth century, Christianity was seen to be reluctant in dealing with issues of homosexuality. However, incidences of hostility towards homosexuality began to be experienced in many parts of the world. Later, the underpinnings of homosexuality involved incorporation of legal sanctions and religious teachings. The main issue is would seem was the subscription to social norms and homosexuality seen as defiant behaviour which the society feared. According to Clinard and Frank (2011, pp11), norms make crucial contributions to the process of maintaining order. During this time, it is reported that most of the American colonies began to enact severe penalties for sexual crimes. By the end of the 19th century, there emerged competition between law and religion against psychiatry and medicine over sexuality and specifically homosexuality. In this regard, the concept of homosexuality undertook a different turn from being viewed as a sin to being viewed as a crime. This drastic change of the discourse about homosexuality was viewed as progressive since some considerations such as a sick person who committed sexual crime was less blameful than a healthy person. Rationale for advocacy of homosexuality Although medicine and psychiatry insisted on treating homosexuality as pathology, Sigmund Freud, on his basic theory of human sexuality viewed that all human beings were innately bisexual. His argument was that human beings become heterosexual or homosexual in the course of interacting with other people. However, Freud posited that homosexuality should be viewed as a kind of pathology. In fact, in his famous letter to an American mother, he argued that, although homosexuality is no advantage, it should not amount to something to be ashamed of. This, according to Freud was because homosexuality is not a vice, does not degrade, and cannot be classified as an illness. With such deliberations, it is apparent that many people viewed sexuality differently. Nevertheless, the articulation of sexuality under the perspective of medicine and psychiatry was based on the idea that persons with homosexuality had pathology concerns that needed to be addressed. With numerous studies conducted on persons with these problems, psychiatrists believed that there was a need to comprehensively come up with a mechanism through which the society could appreciate that these people have a psychological problem that need to be addressed. Many authors such as Clinard and Frank (2011) pointed out that in another dimension they believed that treating persons with sexuality problems like criminals without subjecting them to psychological treatment would increase the problem by creating additional psychological complications. Some of the raised concerns included statistics of persons convicted of committing sexual related crimes, and who later died or developed some mental disorders while still in prison or after being released from prison. Homosexuality has had a long history. The 18th century can be seen as a significant turning point of homosexuality and gay rights. Probably for the first time in the history of man, homosexuality received critical look in a number of ways. Professionals’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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