This is another psychology paper I did, but this time in response to class discussions on homosexuality.
Something that perplexed me in class discussion was when we discussed the Sambia people of New Guinea. It was mentioned that one of the traditions in that particular culture is that the young boys would perform oral sex on the older men of the tribe. Later in life, those same young boys – now men – would have new young boys perform the oral sex on them. This example was under the heading of, “Learned Homosexuality.” I am perplexed a bit because that isn’t homosexuality at all. I understand the age difference there to be indicative of pedophilia rather than homosexuality, which would be a completely different situation. Moreover, I think that is interesting because even in 2011, there are many that would equate homosexuality with pedophilia or that all homosexual men are pedophiles or are prone to pedophilia.
Homosexuality is obviously a very prevalent issue in the United States. There is a divide amongst individuals on the issues involving homosexuals such as gay marriage, gay adoption, and gays serving in the military. As to the latter point, the old policy in the United States military of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” instituted by former President Bill Clinton was eliminated recently. A little bit ago, a republican Presidential Primary debate featured a component whereby individuals could submit questions to the candidates via YouTube videos. One such video was by a gay soldier currently serving in Iraq. Previously, he had submitted that video before DADT was eliminated and had to obscure his face. By the time of the debates, he was able to show his face.
The soldier’s question was essentially, “If you were elected President, would you act to reinstate the DADT policy to the United States military?” In the audience, after the question was stated, you could hear a few loud boos. I was shocked by that. The typical political association is that of Republicans supporting the troops (or really, any political affiliated groups). So, for the Republicans that supposedly support the troops to boo an actively serving soldier in Iraq disgusted me a bit to say the least. Moreover, candidate Rick Santorum answered the question by stating he would in fact reinstate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The notion that in 2011, there are still people vying for office of the presidency that have an issue with homosexuals openly serving in the military boggles my mind. The retort is always, “Gays serving openly in the military would be detrimental to the effectiveness of the military.” Yet, most militaries of the world have openly gay men and women who serve in their ranks and their effectiveness is fine.
Furthermore, there was talk about homosexuals being at a greater risk for suicide, depression and abuse within class discussions. There is another risk in that of forced homelessness of youth by their parents. Studies indicate that more and more homosexuals are coming out at earlier ages than three decades ago, as society becomes more accepting. However, as lecture indicated and my aforementioned example showed, stigmatization of homosexuals still exists. Therefore, when some young people come out to their parents, those parents kick their children out of their home. The Center for American Progress found that gay and transgender youth are strikingly over-represented among homeless youth. They go on to say, “Gay and transgender youth comprise between 7 and 39 percent of the homeless youth population, although they are only thought to make up 5 to 7 percent of the overall youth population” (6). Thus, it seems clear given this information that even though youth are coming out earlier due to perceived gains in societal acceptance, many still face outright rejection of such a life. Homelessness alone is an issue worth trying to solve, but when any minority is overrepresented, there is clearly a larger social problem at work.
Personally, I think a day is going to come when society looks back on the stigmatization of homosexuals and realizes the absolute absurdity of it all. I do not know when that day will come, but it will be a better day for the human race, as they progress beyond petty and insignificant nonsense.