Sociology Back To Index
Why is same-sex sexual attraction condemned in our society?
Where there is intolerance, it is usually based on two factors...
Hold on! Same-sex sexuality is not universally condemned in modern society - not at all! Some branches of Judaism and Christianity - the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements, for example, or the Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Unitarian branches of Christianity, are all very welcoming to people with same-sex attractions. Don't be misled by the occasional fanatic you hear on conservative radio talk shows! Much of our society is both tolerant of and welcoming toward both gays and bisexuals.
Where there is intolerance, it is usually based on two factors:
First, some churches, such as the Lutherans and the Baptists (at least the main branch of the Baptist Church), take quite literally the Biblical verses that condemn same-sex sexuality, especially the two verses in the Book of Leviticus that call such behavior an "abomination" punishable by death. There is not much you can do about those verses other than to point to dozens of other harsh verses in the Book of Leviticus that religious leaders abandoned long ago - versus that prohibit eating pork or shellfish, for example, or that prohibit charging interest on loans. Obviously, any verse can be ignored if we have the will to ignore it, but some pastors want to hang on to the prohibitions against same-sex sexuality. Freud would say that such people probably have strong same-sex attractions themselves and that condemning same-sex sexuality is a way they try to manage their own inclinations and guilt.
Second, many people are simply ignorant about people with same-sex sexual inclinations, often believing things about them that are blatantly false. They might believe that gay men like to prey on young boys, for example, or that they are mentally ill, or that they can't form stable love relationships, or that they are unfit to be parents. Research shows, however, that none of these things is true.
If you want to expand your sexuality, or if you are trying to cast aside any guilt you feel about your sexual experimentation, turn your attention to the people and institutions in our society that will show you the love and support you deserve. Switch cities: move to a place that is more tolerant. Switch churches: join one that is more welcoming. Switch radio stations: find the programs and hosts that are more tolerant of diversity. You can't change the world, perhaps, but you can certainly pick your city, church, friends, gyms, and radio stations. The world isn't perfect, but, with a little effort, you can choose to occupy a little piece of that world that appreciates you for the beautiful person you are.