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{{about|homosexuality in humans|homosexuality in other species|Homosexual behavior in animals}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|Romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender}}{{Use dmy dates|date=December 2013}}{{Sexual orientation}}{{LGBT sidebar|orientation}}{{bots|deny=Citation bot}}Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions" to people of the same sex. It "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions."WEB, Sexual orientation, homosexuality and bisexuality, American Psychological Association, 10 August 2013,weblink 8 August 2013,weblink" title="">weblink WEB,weblink 30, Case No. S147999 in the Supreme Court of the State of California, In re Marriage Cases Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding No. 4365[...] – APA California Amicus Brief â€” As Filed, PDF, 21 December 2010, Along with bisexuality and heterosexuality, homosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual–homosexual continuum. Scientists do not know what determines an individual's sexual orientation, but they theorize that it is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences,JOURNAL, 10.1542/peds.113.6.1827, Frankowski BL, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Adolescence, Sexual orientation and adolescents, Pediatrics (journal), Pediatrics, 113, 6, 1827–32, June 2004, 15173519,weblink BOOK, Mary Ann Lamanna, Agnes Riedmann, Susan D Stewart, Marriages, Families, and Relationships: Making Choices in a Diverse Society, Cengage Learning, 1305176898, 2014, 82, 11 February 2016,weblink The reason some individuals develop a gay sexual identity has not been definitively established  â€“ nor do we yet understand the development of heterosexuality. The American Psychological Association (APA) takes the position that a variety of factors impact a person's sexuality. The most recent literature from the APA says that sexual orientation is not a choice that can be changed at will, and that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological shaped at an early age...[and evidence suggests] biological, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality (American Psychological Association 2010)., BOOK, Gail Wiscarz Stuart, Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing, Elsevier Health Sciences, 032329412X, 2014, 502, 11 February 2016,weblink No conclusive evidence supports any one specific cause of homosexuality; however, most researchers agree that biological and social factors influence the development of sexual orientation., and do not view it as a choice.BOOK, Gloria Kersey-Matusiak, Delivering Culturally Competent Nursing Care, Springer Publishing Company, 0826193811, 2012, 169, 10 February 2016,weblink Most health and mental health organizations do not view sexual orientation as a 'choice.', Although no single theory on the cause of sexual orientation has yet gained widespread support, scientists favor biologically-based theories. There is considerably more evidence supporting nonsocial, biological causes of sexual orientation than social ones, especially for males.JOURNAL, Bailey JM, Vasey PL, Diamond LM, Breedlove SM, Vilain E, Epprecht M, Sexual Orientation, Controversy, and Science, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 17, 21, 2016, 10.1177/1529100616637616, 27113562, 45–101, BOOK, LeVay, Simon, 2017, Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation,weblink Oxford University Press, 9780199752966, BOOK, Balthazart, Jacques, 2012, The Biology of Homosexuality,weblink Oxford University Press, 9780199838820, There is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role with regard to sexual orientation.WEB,weblink Submission to the Church of England's Listening Exercise on Human Sexuality, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 13 June 2013, While some people believe that homosexual activity is unnatural,WEB, Robinson, B. A., Divergent beliefs about the nature of homosexuality, Religious, 2010,weblink 12 September 2011, scientific research shows that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation in human sexuality and is not in and of itself a source of negative psychological effects.WEB, "Therapies" to change sexual orientation lack medical justification and threaten health,weblink Pan American Health Organization, 26 May 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 May 2012, dmy-all, There is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.American Psychological Association: Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change EffortsThe most common terms for homosexual people are lesbian for females and gay for males, but gay also commonly refers to both homosexual females and males. The percentage of people who are gay or lesbian and the proportion of people who are in same-sex romantic relationships or have had same-sex sexual experiences are difficult for researchers to estimate reliably for a variety of reasons, including many gay and lesbian people not openly identifying as such due to prejudice or discrimination such as homophobia and heterosexism.LeVay, Simon (1996). Queer Science: The Use and Abuse of Research into Homosexuality. Cambridge: The MIT Press {{ISBN|0-262-12199-9}} Homosexual behavior has also been documented in many non-human animal species.{{refn|WEB,weblink Same-sex Behavior Seen In Nearly All Animals, Review Finds, ScienceDaily, 1,500 animal species practice homosexuality. The Medical News, 23 October 2006 {{webarchive|url= |date=10 February 2011 }}Sommer, Volker & Paul L. Vasey (2006), Homosexual Behaviour in Animals, An Evolutionary Perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. {{ISBN|0-521-86446-1}}{{harv|Bagemihl|1999}}}}Many gay and lesbian people are in committed same-sex relationships, though only in the 2010s have census forms and political conditions facilitated their visibility and enumeration.


{{Redirect|Poof}}File:Hyakinthos.jpg|thumb|upright|Zephyrus and Hyacinthus Attic red-figure cup from Tarquinia, 480 BC (Boston Museum of Fine Arts)]]The word homosexual is a Greek and Latin hybrid, with the first element derived from Greek ὁμός homos, "same" (not related to the Latin homo, "man", as in Homo sapiens), thus connoting sexual acts and affections between members of the same sex, including lesbianism.BOOK, A Dictionary of True Etymologies, Room, Adrian, 1986, 978-0710203403, 84, BOOK, A Student's Dictionary of Psychology, Statt, David A., 2004, Psychology Press, 978-1841693422, 93, The first known appearance of homosexual in print is found in an 1869 German pamphlet by the Austrian-born novelist Karl-Maria Kertbeny, published anonymously,{{citation|url= |title=Karl-Maria Kertbeny: The Coinage and Dissemination of the Term |accessdate=12 June 2012 | |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=27 September 2012 |df= }} arguing against a Prussian anti-sodomy law.JOURNAL, Feray Jean-Claude, Herzer Manfred, 1990, Homosexual Studies and Politics in the 19th Century: Karl Maria Kertbeny, Journal of Homosexuality, 19, 1, 10.1300/j082v19n01_02, In 1886, the psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing used the terms homosexual and heterosexual in his book Psychopathia Sexualis. Krafft-Ebing's book was so popular among both laymen and doctors that the terms "heterosexual" and "homosexual" became the most widely accepted terms for sexual orientation.Krafft-Ebing, Richard von (1840–1902) {{webarchive|url= |date=9 April 2012 }}.{{citation|url= |title=Psychopathia Sexualis |accessdate=7 September 2007 | |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=4 October 2007 |df= }} As such, the current use of the term has its roots in the broader 19th-century tradition of personality taxonomy.Many modern style guides in the U.S. recommend against using homosexual as a noun, instead using gay man or lesbian.Media Reference Guide (citing AP, NY Times, Washington Post style guides), GLAAD. Retrieved 10 May 2007. Similarly, some recommend completely avoiding usage of homosexual as it has a negative, clinical history and because the word only refers to one's sexual behavior (as opposed to romantic feelings) and thus it has a negative connotation. Gay and lesbian are the most common alternatives. The first letters are frequently combined to create the initialism LGBT (sometimes written as GLBT), in which B and T refer to bisexual and transgender people.Gay especially refers to male homosexuality,WEB,weblink gay, Oxford Dictionaries, 7 August 2015, (Of a person, especially a man) homosexual., but may be used in a broader sense to refer to all LGBT people. In the context of sexuality, lesbian refers only to female homosexuality. The word lesbian is derived from the name of the Greek island Lesbos, where the poet Sappho wrote largely about her emotional relationships with young women.Marguerite Johnson, Terry Ryan: Sexuality in Greek and Roman society and literature: a sourcebook p.4WEB,weblink Lesbian | Define Lesbian at,, 24 August 2010, Although early writers also used the adjective homosexual to refer to any single-sex context (such as an all-girls school), today the term is used exclusively in reference to sexual attraction, activity, and orientation. The term homosocial is now used to describe single-sex contexts that are not specifically sexual. There is also a word referring to same-sex love, homophilia.Some synonyms for same-sex attraction or sexual activity include men who have sex with men or MSM (used in the medical community when specifically discussing sexual activity) and homoerotic (referring to works of art).WEB, UNAIDS: Men who have sex with men, UNAIDS,weblink 4 October 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 March 2012, BOOK, Younger, John G., Sex in the ancient world from A to Z, 2005, Routledge, London [u.a.], 0-415-24252-5, 38, 1st published., Pejorative terms in English include queer, faggot, fairy, poof, and homo.BOOK, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin, 2000, 0-618-70172-9,weblink WEB, Spears, Richard A., Fag, Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions, 2007,weblink 4 October 2012, {{harv|Dalzell|2008|p=1104}}WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 15 October 2004, Dictionary of Sexual Terms,, 4 October 2012, Beginning in the 1990s, some of these have been reclaimed as positive words by gay men and lesbians, as in the usage of queer studies, queer theory, and even the popular American television program Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.WEB, Taylor, Marvin J., Queer Things from Old Closets: Libraries Gay and Lesbian Studies – Queer Theory,weblink Association of College and Research Libraries, 4 October 2012, The word occurs in many other languages without the pejorative connotations it has in English.BOOK, eds, Marc Wolinsky, Gays and the military : Joseph Steffan versus the United States, 1993, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 0691033072, 49–55,weblink [Online-Ausg.]., As with ethnic slurs and racial slurs, the misuse of these terms can still be highly offensive. The range of acceptable use for these terms depends on the context and speaker.BOOK, eds, Marc Wolinsky ..., Gays and the military: Joseph Steffan versus the United States, 1993, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 0691033072, 40–48,weblink [Online-Ausg.]., Conversely, gay, a word originally embraced by homosexual men and women as a positive, affirmative term (as in gay liberation and gay rights),BOOK, Murray, Stephen O., Homosexualities, 2000, University of Chicago Press, Chicago [u.a.], 9780226551944, 394,weblink has come into widespread pejorative use among young people.NEWS,weblink How 'gay' became children's insult of choice, 4 October 2012, BBC News, Denise Winterman, 18 March 2008, The American LGBT rights organization GLAAD advises the media to avoid using the term homosexual to describe gay people or same-sex relationships as the term is "frequently used by anti-gay extremists to denigrate gay people, couples and relationships".WEB,weblink GLAAD Media Reference Guide - Terms To Avoid, GLAAD,


Societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships have varied over time and place, from expecting all males to engage in same-sex relationships, to casual integration, through acceptance, to seeing the practice as a minor sin, repressing it through law enforcement and judicial mechanisms, and to proscribing it under penalty of death.In a detailed compilation of historical and ethnographic materials of preindustrial cultures, "strong disapproval of homosexuality was reported for 41% of 42 cultures; it was accepted or ignored by 21%, and 12% reported no such concept. Of 70 ethnographies, 59% reported homosexuality absent or rare in frequency and 41% reported it present or not uncommon."Adolescence and puberty By John Bancroft, June Machover Reinisch, p.162File:Burning of Sodomites.jpg|right|thumb|upright=0.7|Burning of two homosexuals (the knight von Hohenburg and his squire) at the stake outside Zürich, 1482 (Spiezer SchillingSpiezer SchillingIn cultures influenced by Abrahamic religions, the law and the church established sodomy as a transgression against divine law or a crime against nature. The condemnation of anal sex between males, however, predates Christian belief. It was frequent in ancient Greece; "unnatural" can be traced back to Plato."... sow illegitimate and bastard seed in courtesans, or sterile seed in males in defiance of nature." Plato in THE LAWS (Book VIII p.841 edition of Stephanus) or p.340, edition of Penguin Books, 1972.Many historical figures, including Socrates, Lord Byron, Edward II, and Hadrian,Roman Homosexuality By Craig Arthur Williams, p.60 have had terms such as gay or bisexual applied to them. Some scholars, such as Michel Foucault, have regarded this as risking the anachronistic introduction of a contemporary construction of sexuality foreign to their times,{{harv|Foucault|1986}} though other scholars challenge this.JOURNAL, Hubbard Thomas K, Review of David M. Halperin, How to Do the History of Homosexuality., Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 22 September 2003, BOOK, Boswell, John, Revolutions, Universals, and Sexual Categories, Duberman, Martin Bauml, Vicinus, Martha, Chauncey, Jr., George, 1989, Hidden From History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past, Penguin Books, 17–36,weblink BOOK, Norton, Rictor, 2016, Myth of the Modern Homosexual,weblink Bloomsbury Academic, The author has made adapted and expanded portions of this book available online as A Critique of Social Constructionism and Postmodern Queer Theory.In social science, there has been a dispute between "essentialist" and "constructionist" views of homosexuality. The debate divides those who believe that terms such as "gay" and "straight" refer to objective, culturally invariant properties of persons from those who believe that the experiences they name are artifacts of unique cultural and social processes. "Essentialists" typically believe that sexual preferences are determined by biological forces, while "constructionists" assume that sexual desires are learned.BOOK, Halperin, David M., One Hundred Years of Homosexuality: And Other Essays on Greek Love, Routledge, New York, 1990, 41–42, 0-415-90097-2, The philosopher of science Michael Ruse has stated that the social constructionist approach, which is influenced by Foucault, is based on a selective reading of the historical record that confuses the existence of homosexual people with the way in which they are labelled or treated.BOOK, Ruse, Michael, Honderich, Ted, The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005, 399, 0-19-926479-1,weblink


{{See also|Homosexuality in ancient Egypt}}The first record of a possible homosexual couple in history is commonly regarded as Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum, an ancient Egyptian male couple, who lived around 2400 BCE. The pair are portrayed in a nose-kissing position, the most intimate pose in Egyptian art, surrounded by what appear to be their heirs. The anthropologists Stephen Murray and Will Roscoe reported that women in Lesotho engaged in socially sanctioned "long term, erotic relationships" called motsoalle.BOOK, Boy Wives and Female Husbands: Studies of African Homosexualities, Murray, Stephen, Stephen O. Murray, Will Roscoe, Roscoe, Will, 1998, St. Martin's Press, New York, 0-312-23829-0, The anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard also recorded that male Azande warriors in the northern Congo routinely took on young male lovers between the ages of twelve and twenty, who helped with household tasks and participated in intercrural sex with their older husbands.JOURNAL, Evans-Pritchard, E. E., E. E. Evans-Pritchard, 1970, Sexual Inversion among the Azande, American Anthropologist, 72, 6, 1428–1434, 10.1525/aa.1970.72.6.02a00170,


{{See also|Homosexuality in ancient Peru}}File:Catlin - Dance to the berdache.jpg|thumb|Dance to the BerdacheSac and Fox NationSac and Fox NationAmong indigenous peoples of the Americas prior to European colonization, a common form of same-sex sexuality centered around the figure of the Two-Spirit individual. Typically, this individual was recognized early in life, given a choice by the parents to follow the path and, if the child accepted the role, raised in the appropriate manner, learning the customs of the gender it had chosen. Two-Spirit individuals were commonly shamans and were revered as having powers beyond those of ordinary shamans. Their sexual life was with the ordinary tribe members of the same sex.Homosexual and transgender individuals were also common among other pre-conquest civilizations in Latin America, such as the Aztecs, Mayas, Quechuas, Moches, Zapotecs, and the Tupinambá of Brazil.{{citation|first=Ben |last=Pablo |year=2004 |url= |title=Latin America: Colonial | |accessdate=1 August 2007 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=11 December 2007 |df= }}ENCYCLOPEDIA, Murray, Stephen, Stephen O. Murray, Claude J. Summers, glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture, Mexico,weblink 1 August 2007, 2004,, glbtq, Inc., dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 November 2007, dmy-all, The Spanish conquerors were horrified to discover sodomy openly practiced among native peoples, and attempted to crush it out by subjecting the berdaches (as the Spanish called them) under their rule to severe penalties, including public execution, burning and being torn to pieces by dogs.Mártir de Anglería, Pedro. (1530). Décadas del Mundo Nuevo. Quoted by Coello de la Rosa, Alexandre. "Good Indians", "Bad Indians", "What Christians?": The Dark Side of the New World in Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés (1478–1557), Delaware Review of Latin American Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2002.

United States

{{See also|LGBT history in the United States|LGBT historic places in the United States}}In 1986, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Bowers v. Hardwick that a state could criminalize sodomy, but, in 2003, overturned itself in Lawrence v. Texas and thereby legalized homosexual activity throughout the United States of America.Same-sex marriage in the United States expanded from one state in 2004 to all fifty states in 2015, through various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes (referendums and initiatives), and federal court rulings.

East Asia

File:Woman spying on male lovers.jpg|thumb|upright=0.9|left|A woman spying on a pair of male lovers. China, Qing DynastyQing DynastyIn East Asia, same-sex love has been referred to since the earliest recorded history.Homosexuality in China, known as the passions of the cut peach and various other euphemisms, has been recorded since approximately 600 BCE. Homosexuality was mentioned in many famous works of Chinese literature. The instances of same-sex affection and sexual interactions described in the classical novel Dream of the Red Chamber seem as familiar to observers in the present as do equivalent stories of romances between heterosexual people during the same period. Confucianism, being primarily a social and political philosophy, focused little on sexuality, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Ming Dynasty literature, such as Bian Er Chai (弁而釵/弁而钗), portray homosexual relationships between men as more enjoyable and more "harmonious" than heterosexual relationships.Kang, Wenqing. Obsession: male same-sex relations in China, 1900–1950, Hong Kong University Press. Page 2 Writings from the Liu Song Dynasty by Wang Shunu claimed that homosexuality was as common as heterosexuality in the late 3rd century.BOOK, Song Geng, The fragile scholar: power and masculinity in Chinese culture,weblink 2004, Hong Kong University Press, 978-962-209-620-2, 144, Opposition to homosexuality in China originates in the medieval Tang Dynasty (618–907), attributed to the rising influence of Christian and Islamic values,Hinsch, Bret. (1990). Passions of the Cut Sleeve. University of California Press. p. 77-78. but did not become fully established until the Westernization efforts of the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China.Kang, Wenqing. Obsession: male same-sex relations in China, 1900–1950, Hong Kong University Press. Page 3

South Asia

The Laws of Manu mentions a "third sex", members of which may engage in nontraditional gender expression and homosexual activities.Penrose, Walter (2001). Hidden in History: Female Homoeroticism and Women of a "Third Nature" in the South Asian Past, Journal of the History of Sexuality 10.1 (2001), p.4


Classical period

{{further|Homosexuality in ancient Greece|Homosexuality in ancient Rome|Timeline of LGBT history in the United Kingdom|Homosexuality in medieval Europe}}The earliest Western documents (in the form of literary works, art objects, and mythographic materials) concerning same-sex relationships are derived from ancient Greece.In regard to male homosexuality, such documents depict an at times complex understanding in which relationships with women and relationships with adolescent boys could be a part of a normal man's love life. Same-sex relationships were a social institution variously constructed over time and from one city to another. The formal practice, an erotic yet often restrained relationship between a free adult male and a free adolescent, was valued for its pedagogic benefits and as a means of population control, though occasionally blamed for causing disorder. Plato praised its benefits in his early writingsPlato, Phaedrus in the Symposium but in his late works proposed its prohibition.Plato, Laws, 636D & 835E Aristotle, in the Politics, dismissed Plato's ideas about abolishing homosexuality (2.4); he explains that barbarians like the Celts accorded it a special honor (2.6.6), while the Cretans used it to regulate the population (2.7.5).{{harv|Boswell|1980}}File:Lafond Sappho and Homer.jpg|left|thumb|Female youths are depicted surrounding Sappho in this painting of LafondLafondLittle is known of female homosexuality in antiquity. Sappho, born on the island of Lesbos, was included by later Greeks in the canonical list of nine lyric poets. The adjectives deriving from her name and place of birth (Sapphic and Lesbian) came to be applied to female homosexuality beginning in the 19th century.DICTIONARY,weblink Lesbian, 7 February 2009, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001, Douglas Harper, DICTIONARY,weblink Sapphic, 7 February 2009, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001, Douglas Harper, Sappho's poetry centers on passion and love for various personages and both genders. The narrators of many of her poems speak of infatuations and love (sometimes requited, sometimes not) for various females, but descriptions of physical acts between women are few and subject to debate.Denys Page, Sappho and Alcaeus, Oxford UP, 1959, pp. 142–146.{{harv|Campbell|1982|p=xi–xii}}(File:NAMA Sappho lisant.jpg|thumb|Sappho reading to her companions on an Attic vase of c. 435 BC.)In Ancient Rome, the young male body remained a focus of male sexual attention, but relationships were between older free men and slaves or freed youths who took the receptive role in sex. The Hellenophile emperor Hadrian is renowned for his relationship with Antinous, but the Christian emperor Theodosius I decreed a law on 6 August 390, condemning passive males to be burned at the stake. Notwithstanding these regulations taxes on brothels with boys available for homosexual sex continued to be collected until the end of the reign of Anastasius I in 518. Justinian, towards the end of his reign, expanded the proscription to the active partner as well (in 558), warning that such conduct can lead to the destruction of cities through the "wrath of God".


During the Renaissance, wealthy cities in northern Italy—Florence and Venice in particular—were renowned for their widespread practice of same-sex love, engaged in by a considerable part of the male population and constructed along the classical pattern of Greece and Rome.Rocke, Michael, (1996), Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and male Culture in Renaissance Florence, {{ISBN|0-19-512292-5}}Ruggiero, Guido, (1985), The Boundaries of Eros, {{ISBN|0-19-503465-1}} But even as many of the male population were engaging in same-sex relationships, the authorities, under the aegis of the Officers of the Night court, were prosecuting, fining, and imprisoning a good portion of that population.From the second half of the 13th century, death was the punishment for male homosexuality in most of Europe.BOOK
, Lester R.
, Kurtz
, Encyclopedia of violence, peace, & conflict
, Academic Press
, 1999
, 140
, 0-12-227010-X,
The relationships of socially prominent figures, such as King James I and the Duke of Buckingham, served to highlight the issue, including in anonymously authored street pamphlets: "The world is chang'd I know not how, For men Kiss Men, not Women now;...Of J. the First and Buckingham: He, true it is, his Wives Embraces fled, To slabber his lov'd Ganimede" (Mundus Foppensis, or The Fop Display'd, 1691).

Modern period

{{See also|Timeline of LGBT history in Turkey}}Love Letters Between a Certain Late Nobleman and the Famous Mr. Wilson was published in 1723 in England and was presumed by some modern scholars to be a novel. The 1749 edition of John Cleland's popular novel Fanny Hill includes a homosexual scene, but this was removed in its 1750 edition. Also in 1749, the earliest extended and serious defense of homosexuality in English, Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplified, written by Thomas Cannon, was published, but was suppressed almost immediately. It includes the passage, "Unnatural Desire is a Contradiction in Terms; downright Nonsense. Desire is an amatory Impulse of the inmost human Parts."Gladfelder, Hal (May 2006) In Search of Lost Texts: Thomas Cannon's 'Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplified", Institute of Historical Research Around 1785 Jeremy Bentham wrote another defense, but this was not published until 1978.Journal of Homosexuality ({{ISSN|0091-8369}}) Volume: 3 Issue: 4, Volume: 4 Issue: 1 Executions for sodomy continued in the Netherlands until 1803, and in England until 1835.Between 1864 and 1880 Karl Heinrich Ulrichs published a series of twelve tracts, which he collectively titled Research on the Riddle of Man-Manly Love. In 1867, he became the first self-proclaimed homosexual person to speak out publicly in defense of homosexuality when he pleaded at the Congress of German Jurists in Munich for a resolution urging the repeal of anti-homosexual laws. Sexual Inversion by Havelock Ellis, published in 1896, challenged theories that homosexuality was abnormal, as well as stereotypes, and insisted on the ubiquity of homosexuality and its association with intellectual and artistic achievement.{{citation |title=Sexual Inversion |first=Havelock |last=Ellis |first2=John Addington |last2=Symonds |year=1975 |publisher=Arno Press |isbn=0-405-07363-1}} (reprint)Although medical texts like these (written partly in Latin to obscure the sexual details) were not widely read by the general public, they did lead to the rise of Magnus Hirschfeld's Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, which campaigned from 1897 to 1933 against anti-sodomy laws in Germany, as well as a much more informal, unpublicized movement among British intellectuals and writers, led by such figures as Edward Carpenter and John Addington Symonds. Beginning in 1894 with Homogenic Love, Socialist activist and poet Edward Carpenter wrote a string of pro-homosexual articles and pamphlets, and "came out" in 1916 in his book My Days and Dreams. In 1900, Elisar von Kupffer published an anthology of homosexual literature from antiquity to his own time, Lieblingminne und Freundesliebe in der Weltliteratur.

Middle East

{{further|LGBT in Islam|LGBT rights in Israel}}(File:An ottoman miniature from the book Sawaqub al-Manaquib depicting Homosexuality.jpg|thumb|An illustration from the 19th-century book Sawaqub al-Manaquib depicting homosexual anal sex with a wine boy)There are a handful of accounts by Arab travelers to Europe during the mid-1800s. Two of these travelers, Rifa'ah al-Tahtawi and Muhammad as-Saffar, show their surprise that the French sometimes deliberately mistranslated love poetry about a young boy, instead referring to a young female, to maintain their social norms and morals.BOOK, El-Rouayheb, Khaled, Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500–1800, 2005, The University of Chicago Press, 0-226-72988-5, 2, Israel is considered the most tolerant country in the Middle East and Asia to homosexuals,NEWS
, 17 September 2008
, Israel is the only Middle-Eastern country to support gay rights legislation, and the country attracts gay people from Palestine and Lebanon.
, 29 May 2009
, The Independent
, The five most improved places for gay tolerance ! scope="row" | 1913-1945! scope="row" | 1946-1964! scope="row" | 1965-1979! scope="row" | 1980-1999
Tel Aviv being named "the gay capital of the Middle East"WAS ARAFAT GAY?MAGAZINE=OUT (MAGAZINE), and considered one of the most gay friendly cities in the world.THE WORLD'S MOST GAY-FRIENDLY PLACESCALGARY HERALD>DATE=29 JUNE 2011, The annual Tel Aviv Pride in support of homosexuality takes place in Tel Aviv.HTTP://TMAGAZINE.BLOGS.NYTIMES.COM/2010/07/02/DISPATCH-GAY-TEL-AVIV/FIRST=ANTHONYDATE=2 JULY 2010, The New York Times, On the other hand, many governments in the Middle East often ignore, deny the existence of, or criminalize homosexuality. Homosexuality is illegal in almost all Muslim countries.NEWS, Iran 'must stop youth executions', Steven Eke, 28 July 2005, BBC News,weblink Same-sex intercourse officially carries the death penalty in several Muslim nations: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, northern Nigeria, Sudan, and Yemen.WEB,weblink 7 countries still put people to death for same-sex acts, ILGA, 24 August 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 October 2009, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during his 2007 speech at Columbia University, asserted that there were no gay people in Iran. However, the probable reason is that they keep their sexuality a secret for fear of government sanction or rejection by their families.NEWS, Nazila, Fathi, Despite Denials, Gays Insist They Exist, if Quietly, in Iran,weblink New York Times, 30 September 2007, 1 October 2007, File:Shah Abbas and Wine Boy.jpg|upright=0.9|thumb|right|Shah Abbas I of PersiaAbbas I of Persia

Pre-Islamic period

{{further|Homosexuality and Judaism|The Bible and homosexuality}}In ancient Sumer, a set of priests known as gala worked in the temples of the goddess Inanna, where they performed elegies and lamentations.BOOK, Leick, Gwendolyn, Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature, Routledge, 2013, 978-1-134-92074-7, New York City, New York, 1994,weblink harv, {{rp|285}} Gala took female names, spoke in the eme-sal dialect, which was traditionally reserved for women, and appear to have engaged in homosexual intercourse.BOOK, Roscoe, Will, Murray, Stephen O., 1997, Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature, New York City, New York, New York University Press, 0-8147-7467-9,weblink 65–66, harv, The Sumerian sign for gala was a ligature of the signs for "penis" and "anus". One Sumerian proverb reads: "When the gala wiped off his ass [he said], 'I must not arouse that which belongs to my mistress [i.e., Inanna].'" In later Mesopotamian cultures, kurgarrū and assinnu were servants of the goddess Ishtar (Inanna's East Semitic equivalent), who dressed in female clothing and performed war dances in Ishtar's temples. Several Akkadian proverbs seem to suggest that they may have also engaged in homosexual intercourse.In ancient Assyria, homosexuality was present and common; it was also not prohibited, condemned, nor looked upon as immoral or disordered. Some religious texts contain prayers for divine blessings on homosexual relationships.Gay Rights Or Wrongs: A Christian's Guide to Homosexual Issues and Ministry, by Mike Mazzalonga, 1996, p.11The Nature Of Homosexuality, Erik Holland, page 334, 2004 The Almanac of Incantations contained prayers favoring on an equal basis the love of a man for a woman, of a woman for a man, and of a man for man.Pritchard, p. 181.Some scholars argue that there are examples of homosexual love in ancient literature, like in the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh as well as in the Biblical story of David and Jonathan. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the relationship between the main protagonist Gilgamesh and the character Enkidu has been seen by some to be homosexual in nature.BOOK, Dynes, Wayne, Homosexuality in the Ancient World, 1992, Garland Publishing, 978-0-8153-0546-0, vii–xv,weblink Introduction, BOOK, Held, George F., Parallels between The Gilgamesh Epic and Plato's Symposium, 183, 199–207, Wayne R. Dynes & Stephen Donaldson, BOOK, Kilmer, Anne Draffkorn, A Note on an Overlooked Word-Play in the Akkadian Gilgamesh, 1992, Garland Publishing, Inc., 264, Wayne R. Dynes and Stephen Donaldson, BOOK, Thorbjørnsrud, Berit, What Can the Gilgamesh Myth Tell Us about Religion and the View of Humanity in Mesopotamia?, 1992, Garland Publishing, Inc., 452, Similarly, David's love for Jonathan is "greater than the love of women."BOOK, Ackerman, Susan, Susan Ackerman (biblical scholar), When Heroes Love, 2005, Columbia University Press, 0-231-13260-3, xii,

South Pacific

In many societies of Melanesia, especially in Papua New Guinea, same-sex relationships were an integral part of the culture until the middle of the 1900s. The Etoro and Marind-anim for example, viewed heterosexuality as sinful and celebrated homosexuality instead. In many traditional Melanesian cultures a prepubertal boy would be paired with an older adolescent who would become his mentor and who would "inseminate" him (orally, anally, or topically, depending on the tribe) over a number of years in order for the younger to also reach puberty. Many Melanesian societies, however, have become hostile towards same-sex relationships since the introduction of Christianity by European missionaries.{{citation |title=Ritualized Homosexuality in Melanesia |first=Gilbert H. |last=Herdt |year=1984 |publisher=University of California Press |isbn=0-520-08096-3 |pages=128–136}}

Sexuality and identity

Behavior and desire

The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers identify sexual orientation as "not merely a personal characteristic that can be defined in isolation. Rather, one's sexual orientation defines the universe of persons with whom one is likely to find the satisfying and fulfilling relationships":The Kinsey scale, also called the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale,WEB,weblink Kinsey's Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, The Kinsey Institute, 8 September 2011, attempts to describe a person's sexual history or episodes of his or her sexual activity at a given time. It uses a scale from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual. In both the Male and Female volumes of the Kinsey Reports, an additional grade, listed as "X", has been interpreted by scholars to indicate asexuality.BOOK, Mary Zeiss Stange, Carol K. Oyster, Jane E. Sloan, Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World, 1-4129-7685-5, Sage Pubns, 2011, 2016, 17 December 2011,weblink

Sexual orientation identity and sexual fluidity

Often, sexual orientation and sexual orientation identity are not distinguished, which can impact accurately assessing sexual identity and whether or not sexual orientation is able to change; sexual orientation identity can change throughout an individual's life, and may or may not align with biological sex, sexual behavior or actual sexual orientation.Sinclair, Karen, About Whoever: The Social Imprint on Identity and Orientation, NY, 2013 {{ISBN|9780981450513}}JOURNAL, Rosario, M., Schrimshaw, E., Hunter, J., Braun, L., 2006, Sexual identity development among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: Consistency and change over time, Journal of Sex Research, 43, 1, 46–58, 10.1080/00224490609552298, 3215279, JOURNAL, Michael W., Ross, Essien, E. James, Williams, Mark L., Fernandez-Esquer, Maria Eugenia., Concordance Between Sexual Behavior and Sexual Identity in Street Outreach Samples of Four Racial/Ethnic Groups, American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association, 2003, 12567166, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 30, 2, 110–113, 10.1097/00007435-200302000-00003, While the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and American Psychiatric Association state that sexual orientation is innate, continuous or fixed throughout their lives for some people, but is fluid or changes over time for others,WEB, Question A2: Sexual orientation,weblink Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 3 February 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 December 2014, dmy-all, "LGBT-Sexual Orientation: What is Sexual Orientation?" {{webarchive |url= |date=28 June 2014 }}, the official web pages of APA. Accessed 9 April 2015 the American Psychological Association distinguishes between sexual orientation (an innate attraction) and sexual orientation identity (which may change at any point in a person's life).JOURNAL, Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, American Psychological Association, 63, 86, 2009, 3 February 2015,weblink

Same-sex relationships

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People with a homosexual orientation can express their sexuality in a variety of ways, and may or may not express it in their behaviors. Many have sexual relationships predominantly with people of their own gender identity, though some have sexual relationships with those of the opposite gender, bisexual relationships, or none at all (celibacy). Survey data indicates that between 40% and 60% of gay men and between 45% and 80% of lesbians are currently involved in a romantic relationship.WEB, Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Marriage – Research Summary,weblink American Psychological Association, 4 October 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 June 2013, Survey data also indicate that between 18% and 28% of gay couples and between 8% and 21% of lesbian couples in the U.S. have lived together ten or more years. Studies have found same-sex and opposite-sex couples to be equivalent to each other in measures of satisfaction and commitment in relationships, that age and gender are more reliable than sexual orientation as a predictor of satisfaction and commitment to a relationship, and that people who are heterosexual or homosexual share comparable expectations and ideals with regard to romantic relationships.WEB,weblink Relationship Satisfaction and Commitment,, 22 January 2008, 24 August 2010, JOURNAL, 10.1300/J082v12n02_01, Satisfaction and commitment in homosexual and heterosexual relationships, Journal of Homosexuality, 1985, S.M/, Duffy, C.E. Rusbult, 12, 2, 1–23,weblink 29 July 2009, 3835198, harv, JOURNAL, Expectations of romantic relationships: A comparison between homosexual and heterosexual men with regard to Baxter's criteria, Social Behavior and Personality, 1999, Baccman, Charlotte, Per Folkesson, Torsten Norlander,weblink 4 October 2012, harv,

Coming out of the closet

File:Johanna sigurdardottir official portrait.jpg|upright|thumb|Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, the former Prime Minister of Iceland, was the first openly gay head of governmenthead of governmentComing out (of the closet) is a phrase referring to one's disclosure of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and is described and experienced variously as a psychological process or journey.WEB,weblink Coming Out: A Journey,, 22 July 2012, Generally, coming out is described in three phases. The first phase is that of "knowing oneself", and the realization emerges that one is open to same-sex relations.In a joint statement with other major American medical organizations, the APA says that "different people realize at different points in their lives that they are heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bisexual".WEB
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 7 August 2007
, Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel
, 28 August 2007
, 1999
, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, The Interfaith Alliance, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, National Education Association
, This is often described as an internal coming out. The second phase involves one's decision to come out to others, e.g. family, friends, or colleagues. The third phase more generally involves living openly as an LGBT person.{{citation |accessdate=4 May 2007 |url= |archiveurl= |archivedate=2 November 2007 |periodical=Human Rights Campaign |title=The Coming Out Continuum}} In the United States today, people often come out during high school or college age. At this age, they may not trust or ask for help from others, especially when their orientation is not accepted in society. Sometimes their own families are not even informed.According to Rosario, Schrimshaw, Hunter, Braun (2006), "the development of a lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) sexual identity is a complex and often difficult process. Unlike members of other minority groups (e.g., ethnic and racial minorities), most LGB individuals are not raised in a community of similar others from whom they learn about their identity and who reinforce and support that identity. Rather, LGB individuals are often raised in communities that are either ignorant of or openly hostile toward homosexuality."Rosario, M., Schrimshaw, E., Hunter, J., & Braun, L. (February 2006). Sexual identity development among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: Consistency and change over time. Journal of Sex Research, 43(1), 46–58. Retrieved 4 April 2009, from PsycINFO database.Outing is the practice of publicly revealing the sexual orientation of a closeted person.{{citation|last=Neumann |first=Caryn E |url= |title=Outing |year=2004 | |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=9 June 2007 |df= }} Notable politicians, celebrities, military service people, and clergy members have been outed, with motives ranging from malice to political or moral beliefs. Many commentators oppose the practice altogether,{{citation |title=The Dictionary of Bias-Free Usage: A Guide to Nondiscriminatory Language |last=Maggio |first=Rosalie |year=1991 |publisher=Oryx Press |isbn=0-89774-653-8 |page=208 |url= }} while some encourage outing public figures who use their positions of influence to harm other gay people.{{citation |url= |title=Outing hypocrites is justified |first=Peter |last=Tatchell |date=23 April 2007 |accessdate=4 May 2007 |periodical=New Statesman}}

Lesbian narratives and sexual orientation awareness

Lesbians often experience their sexuality differently from gay men, and have different understandings about etiology from those derived from studies focused mostly on men. For information specific to female homosexuality, see Lesbian.In a U.S.-based 1970s mail survey by Shere Hite, lesbians self-reported their reasons for being lesbian. This is the only major piece of research into female sexuality that has looked at how women understand being homosexual since Kinsey in 1953. The research yielded information about women's general understanding of lesbian relationships and their sexual orientation. Women gave various reasons for preferring sexual relations with women to sexual relations with men, including finding women more sensitive to other people's needs.Shere Hite, The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality (N.Y.: Seven Stories Press, 2004 ed. pbk. [1st printing?] © 1976, 1981, 2004), pp. 325–328 & 330 ({{ISBN|1-58322-569-2}}).Since Hite carried out her study she has acknowledged that some women may have chosen the political identity of a lesbian. Julie Bindel, a UK journalist, reaffirmed that "political lesbianism continues to make intrinsic sense because it reinforces the idea that sexuality is a choice, and we are not destined to a particular fate because of our chromosomes." as recently as 2009.NEWS,weblink The Guardian, London, My sexual revolution, Julie, Bindel, 30 January 2009, 4 May 2010,

Gender identity

Early 20th-century writers on a homosexual orientation usually understood it to be intrinsically linked to the subject's own sex. For example, it was thought that a typical female-bodied person who is attracted to female-bodied persons would have masculine attributes, and vice versa.Minton, H. L. (1986). Femininity in men and masculinity in women: American psychiatry and psychology portray homosexuality in the 1930s, Journal of Homosexuality, 13(1), 1–21.*Terry, J. (1999). An American obsession: Science, medicine, and homosexuality in modern society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press However, this understanding as sexual inversion was disputed at the time, and through the second half of the 20th century, gender identity came to be increasingly seen as a phenomenon distinct from sexual orientation.Transgender and cisgender people may be attracted to men, women or both, although the prevalence of different sexual orientations is quite different in these two populations (see sexual orientation of transwomen). An individual homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual person may be masculine, feminine, or androgynous, and in addition, many members and supporters of lesbian and gay communities now see the "gender-conforming heterosexual" and the "gender-nonconforming homosexual" as negative stereotypes. However, studies by J. Michael Bailey and K.J. Zucker have found that a majority of gay men and lesbians report being gender-nonconforming during their childhood years.Bailey, J.M., Zucker, K.J. (1995), Childhood sex-typed behavior and sexual orientation: a conceptual analysis and quantitative review. Developmental Psychology 31(1):43


File:Jason Collins Nets 2014.jpg|thumb|upright=0.85|Jason Collins became the first active male professional athlete in major American professional sports leagues to publicly come out as gay.NEWS, NBA Player Jason Collins Becomes First Openly Gay Athlete In A Major American Team Sport, Business InsiderBusiness InsiderFile:Tim Cook 2009 cropped.jpg|thumb|In October 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook became the first CEO of a Fortune 500Fortune 500Reliable data as to the size of the gay and lesbian population are of value in informing public policy.JOURNAL, Black, Dan, Gates, Gary, Sanders, Seth, Taylor, Lowell, 2000, Demographics of the Gay and Lesbian Population in the United States: Evidence from Available Systematic Data Sources, Demography, 37, 2, 139–154, 10.2307/2648117, 10836173, For example, demographics would help in calculating the costs and benefits of domestic partnership benefits, of the impact of legalizing gay adoption, and of the impact of the U.S. military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. Further, knowledge of the size of the "gay and lesbian population holds promise for helping social scientists understand a wide array of important questions—questions about the general nature of labor market choices, accumulation of human capital, specialization within households, discrimination, and decisions about geographic location."Measuring the prevalence of homosexuality presents difficulties. It is necessary to consider the measuring criteria that are used, the cutoff point and the time span taken to define a sexual orientation. Many people, despite having same-sex attractions, may be reluctant to identify themselves as gay or bisexual. The research must measure some characteristic that may or may not be defining of sexual orientation. The number of people with same-sex desires may be larger than the number of people who act on those desires, which in turn may be larger than the number of people who self-identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.In 1948 and 1953, Alfred Kinsey reported that nearly 46% of the male subjects had "reacted" sexually to persons of both sexes in the course of their adult lives, and 37% had had at least one homosexual experience.Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p. 656WEB, Harford, Tim, More or Less examines Office for National Statistics figures on gay, lesbian and bisexual people,weblink BBC, 1 October 2010, Kinsey's methodology was criticized by John Tukey for using convenience samples and not random samples.JOURNAL, David Leonhardt, John Tukey, 85, Statistician; Coined the Word 'Software', The New York Times, 28 July 2000, WEB, Biography 15.1, John W. Tukey (1915–2000),weblink 19 May 2009, John Tukey criticizes sample procedureA later study tried to eliminate the sample bias, but still reached similar conclusions.WEB
, Book Review by Martin Duberman, The Nation, 3 November 1997
, dead
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 11 January 2009
, Martin Duberman on Gebhart's "cleaning" of data Simon LeVay cites these Kinsey results as an example of the caution needed to interpret demographic studies, as they may give quite differing numbers depending on what criteria are used to conduct them, in spite of using sound scientific methods.According to major studies, 2% to 11% of people have had some form of same-sex sexual contact within their lifetime;JOURNAL, 10.2307/2136206, Billy JO, Tanfer K, Grady WR, Klepinger DH, The sexual behavior of men in the United States, 2136206, Family Planning Perspectives, 25, 2, 52–60, 1993, 8491287, harv, JOURNAL, 10.1080/00224499509551795, Diane, Binson, Stuart, Michaels, Ron, Stall, Thomas J., Coates, John H., Gagnon, Joseph A., Catania, 1995, Prevalence and Social Distribution of Men Who Have Sex with Men: United States and Its Urban Centers, The Journal of Sex Research, 32, 3, 245–54, 3812794, harv, JOURNAL, Johnson AM, Wadsworth J, Wellings K, Bradshaw S, Field J, Sexual lifestyles and HIV risk, Nature, 360, 6403, 410–2, December 1992, 1448163, 10.1038/360410a0, harv, Laumann, E. O., Gagnon, J. H., Michael, R. T., & Michaels, S. (1994). The social organization of sexuality: Sexual practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.{{Page needed|date=September 2010}}Wellings, K., Field, J., Johnson, A., & Wadsworth, J. (1994). Sexual behavior in Britain: The national survey of sexual attitudes and lifestyles. London, UK: Penguin Books.{{Page needed|date=September 2010}}JOURNAL, 10.1038/360407a0, Investigators ACSF, 1992, AIDS and sexual behaviour in France, Nature, 360, 6403, 407–409, 1448162, harv, JOURNAL, Bogaert AF, The prevalence of male homosexuality: the effect of fraternal birth order and variations in family size, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 230, 1, 33–7, September 2004, 15275997, 10.1016/j.jtbi.2004.04.035, harv, Bogaert argues that: "The prevalence of male homosexuality is debated. One widely reported early estimate was 10% (e.g., Marmor, 1980; Voeller, 1990). Some recent data provided support for this estimate (Bagley and Tremblay, 1998), but most recent large national samples suggest that the prevalence of male homosexuality in modern western societies, including the United States, is lower than this early estimate (e.g., 1–2% in Billy et al., 1993; 2–3% in Laumann et al., 1994; 6% in Sell et al., 1995; 1–3% in Wellings et al., 1994). It is of note, however, that homosexuality is defined in different ways in these studies. For example, some use same-sex behavior and not same-sex attraction as the operational definition of homosexuality (e.g., Billy et al., 1993); many sex researchers (e.g., Bailey et al., 2000; Bogaert, 2003; Money, 1988; Zucker and Bradley, 1995) now emphasize attraction over overt behavior in conceptualizing sexual orientation." (p. 33) Also: "...the prevalence of male homosexuality (in particular, same-sex attraction) varies over time and across societies (and hence is a "moving target") in part because of two effects: (1) variations in fertility rate or family size; and (2) the fraternal birth order effect. Thus, even if accurately measured in one country at one time, the rate of male homosexuality is subject to change and is not generalizable over time or across societies." (p. 33)JOURNAL, Fay RE, Turner CF, Klassen AD, Gagnon JH, Prevalence and patterns of same-gender sexual contact among men, Science, 243, 4889, 338–48, January 1989, 2911744, 10.1126/science.2911744, harv, JOURNAL, 10.1007/BF01541598, Sell RL, Wells JA, Wypij D, The prevalence of homosexual behavior and attraction in the United States, the United Kingdom and France: results of national population-based samples, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 24, 3, 235–48, June 1995, 7611844, harv, JOURNAL, Hope, Debra A, Contemporary Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Identities, 10.1007/978-0-387-09556-1, Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 54, 2009, 978-0-387-09555-4,weblink this percentage rises to 16–21% when either or both same-sex attraction and behavior are reported. In a 2006 study, 20% of respondents anonymously reported some homosexual feelings, although only 2–3% identified themselves as homosexual.McConaghy et al., 2006 A 1992 study reported that 6.1% of males in Britain have had a homosexual experience, while in France the number was reported at 4.1%.WEB,weblink Sexual Behavior Levels Compared in Studies In Britain and France, 8 December 1992,, In the United States, according to a report by The Williams Institute in April 2011, 3.5% or approximately 9 million of the adult population identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.WEB,weblink Gary Gates, How Many People are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender?, UCLA School of Law#Sexual orientation law, The Williams Institute, April 2011, 12 May 2014, WEB,weblink PDF, Gary Gates, How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender?, UCLA School of Law#Sexual orientation law, The Williams Institute, 1, April 2011, According to the 2000 United States Census, there were about 601,209 same-sex unmarried partner households.WEB, Gay and Lesbian Families in the United States: Same-Sex Unmarried Partner Households,weblink Smith, David M., Gates, Gary J., 22 August 2001, 26 January 2011, A 2013 study by the CDC in which over 34,000 Americans were interviewed, puts the percentage of self-identifying lesbians and gay men at 1.6% and of bisexuals at 0.7%."Sexual Orientation and Health Among U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2013." CDC. 15 July 2014. 15 July 2014. p. 3.


According to a 2008 poll, 13% of Britons have had some form of same-sex sexual contact while only 6% of Britons identify themselves as either homosexual or bisexual.NEWS,weblink Sex uncovered poll: Homosexuality, Guardian, 26 October 2008, 24 August 2010, London, In contrast, a survey by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2010 found that 95% of Britons identified as heterosexual, 1.5% of Britons identified themselves as homosexual or bisexual, and the last 3.5% gave more vague answers such as "don't know", "other", or did not respond to the question.WEB, Measuring Sexual Identity : Evaluation Report, 2010,weblink Office for National Statistics, 23 September 2010, In October 2012, Gallup started conducting annual surveys to study the demographics of LGBT people, determining that 3.4% (±1%) of adults identified as LGBT in the United States.WEB,weblink Special Report: 3.4% of U.S. Adults Identify as LGBT, Gates, Gary J., Newport, Frank, 2012-10-18, Gallup (company), Gallup, 2015-01-13, It was the nation's largest poll on the issue at the time.WEB,weblink Gallup survey claims 3.4 percent in U.S. are LGBT, 2012-10-18, CBS News, Associated Press, 2015-01-13, WEB,weblink New survey: 3.4% of U.S. adults are LGBT, Jayson, Sharon, 2012-10-19, USA Today, 2015-01-13, In 2017, the percentage was estimated to have risen to 4.5% of adults, with the increase largely driven by Millennials. The poll attributes the rise to greater willingness of younger people to reveal their sexual identity.WEB,weblink In U.S., Estimate of LGBT Population Rises to 4.5%, Newport, Frank, 2018-05-22, Gallup (company), Gallup, 2018-06-17, {| class="wikitable sortable" style="margin-left: 2em;"
Gallup (company)>Gallup polling of U.S. adults identifying as LGBT per year! scope="col" style="width: 7em;" | Date of Birth! scope="col" style="width: 4em;" | 2012! scope="col" style="width: 4em;" | 2013! scope="col" style="width: 4em;" | 2014! scope="col" style="width: 4em;" | 2015! scope="col" style="width: 4em;" | 2016! scope="col" style="width: 4em;" | 2017
1.8% 1.8% 1.9% 1.5% 1.5% 1.4%
2.7% 2.7% 2.7% 2.6% 2.4% 2.4%
3.2% 3.3% 3.4% 3.3% 3.2% 3.5%
5.8% 6.0% 6.3% 6.7% 7.3% 8.2%


The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers state:{{cquote|In 1952, when the American Psychiatric Association published its first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, homosexuality was included as a disorder. Almost immediately, however, that classification began to be subjected to critical scrutiny in research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. That study and subsequent research consistently failed to produce any empirical or scientific basis for regarding homosexuality as a disorder or abnormality, rather than a normal and healthy sexual orientation. As results from such research accumulated, professionals in medicine, mental health, and the behavioral and social sciences reached the conclusion that it was inaccurate to classify homosexuality as a mental disorder and that the DSM classification reflected untested assumptions based on once-prevalent social norms and clinical impressions from unrepresentative samples comprising patients seeking therapy and individuals whose conduct brought them into the criminal justice system.In recognition of the scientific evidence,Staff report (12 August 1998). Gay Is Okay With APA—Forum Honors Landmark 1973 Events. JAMA 1998;280(6):497–499. {{DOI|10.1001/jama.280.6.497}} the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM in 1973, stating that "homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities." After thoroughly reviewing the scientific data, the American Psychological Association adopted the same position in 1975, and urged all mental health professionals "to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientations." The National Association of Social Workers has adopted a similar policy.Thus, mental health professionals and researchers have long recognized that being homosexual poses no inherent obstacle to leading a happy, healthy, and productive life, and that the vast majority of gay and lesbian people function well in the full array of social institutions and interpersonal relationships.}}The consensus of research and clinical literature demonstrates that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality.American Psychological Association: Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation There is now a large body of research evidence that indicates that being gay, lesbian or bisexual is compatible with normal mental health and social adjustment. The World Health Organization's ICD-9 (1977) listed homosexuality as a mental illness; it was removed from the ICD-10, endorsed by the Forty-third World Health Assembly on 17 May 1990.WEB,weblink Stop discrimination against homosexual men and women, World Health Organisation — Europe, 17 May 2011, 8 March 2012, WEB,weblink The decision of the World Health Organisation 15 years ago constitutes a historic date and powerful symbol for members of the LGBT community, ILGA, 24 August 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 October 2009, {{citation |title=Homophobic stigma â€“ A community cause |url= |date=17 May 2006 | |first=Marc |last=Shoffman |accessdate=4 May 2007 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=19 April 2007 |df=dmy-all }} Like the DSM-II, the ICD-10 added ego-dystonic sexual orientation to the list, which refers to people who want to change their gender identities or sexual orientation because of a psychological or behavioral disorder ({{ICD10|F|66|1|f|60}}). The Chinese Society of Psychiatry removed homosexuality from its Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders in 2001 after five years of study by the association.The New York Times: Homosexuality Not an Illness, Chinese Say According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists "This unfortunate history demonstrates how marginalisation of a group of people who have a particular personality feature (in this case homosexuality) can lead to harmful medical practice and a basis for discrimination in society. There is now a large body of research evidence that indicates that being gay, lesbian or bisexual is compatible with normal mental health and social adjustment. However, the experiences of discrimination in society and possible rejection by friends, families and others, such as employers, means that some LGB people experience a greater than expected prevalence of mental health difficulties and substance misuse problems. Although there have been claims by conservative political groups in the USA that this higher prevalence of mental health difficulties is confirmation that homosexuality is itself a mental disorder, there is no evidence whatever to substantiate such a claim."Royal College of Psychiatrists: WEB,weblink Royal College of Psychiatrists response to comments on Nolan Show regarding homosexuality as a mental disorder, 2009-06-28, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 June 2008, dmy-all, Most lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who seek psychotherapy do so for the same reasons as heterosexual people (stress, relationship difficulties, difficulty adjusting to social or work situations, etc.); their sexual orientation may be of primary, incidental, or no importance to their issues and treatment. Whatever the issue, there is a high risk for anti-gay bias in psychotherapy with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.Cabaj, R; Stein, T. eds. Textbook of Homosexuality and Mental Health, p. 421 Psychological research in this area has been relevant to counteracting prejudicial ("homophobic") attitudes and actions, and to the LGBT rights movement generally.ed. Sandfort, T; et al. Lesbian and Gay Studies: An Introductory, Interdisciplinary Approach. Chapter 2.The appropriate application of affirmative psychotherapy is based on the following scientific facts:
  • Same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, and orientations per se are normal and positive variants of human sexuality; in other words, they are not indicators of mental or developmental disorders.
  • Homosexuality and bisexuality are stigmatized, and this stigma can have a variety of negative consequences (e.g., minority stress) throughout the life span (D'Augelli & Patterson, 1995; DiPlacido, 1998; Herek & Garnets, 2007; Meyer, 1995, 2003).
  • Same-sex sexual attractions and behavior can occur in the context of a variety of sexual orientations and sexual orientation identities (Diamond, 2006; Hoburg et al., 2004; Rust, 1996; Savin-Williams, 2005).
  • Gay men, lesbians, and bisexual individuals can live satisfying lives as well as form stable, committed relationships and families that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential respects (APA, 2005c; Kurdek, 2001, 2003, 2004; Peplau & Fingerhut, 2007).
  • There are no empirical studies or peer-reviewed research that support theories attributing same-sex sexual orientation to family dysfunction or trauma (Bell et al., 1981; Bene, 1965; Freund & Blanchard, 1983; Freund & Pinkava, 1961; Hooker, 1969; McCord et al., 1962; D. K. Peters & Cantrell, 1991; Siegelman, 1974, 1981; Townes et al., 1976).


Biological vs environmental determinants

{{Further|Xq28}}Although scientists favor biological models for the cause of sexual orientation, they do not believe that the development of sexual orientation is the result of any one factor. They generally believe that it is determined by a complex interplay of biological and environmental factors, and is shaped at an early age. There is considerably more evidence supporting nonsocial, biological causes of sexual orientation than social ones, especially for males. There is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role with regard to sexual orientation. Scientists do not believe that sexual orientation is a choice.The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in Pediatrics in 2004:{{cquote|There is no scientific evidence that abnormal parenting, sexual abuse, or other adverse life events influence sexual orientation. Current knowledge suggests that sexual orientation is usually established during early childhood.BOOK
, Perrin
, E. C.
, Sexual Orientation in Child and Adolescent Health Care
, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers
, 2002
, New York
, 0-306-46761-5
, }}
The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and National Association of Social Workers stated in 2006:{{cquote|Currently, there is no scientific consensus about the specific factors that cause an individual to become heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual—including possible biological, psychological, or social effects of the parents' sexual orientation. However, the available evidence indicates that the vast majority of lesbian and gay adults were raised by heterosexual parents and the vast majority of children raised by lesbian and gay parents eventually grow up to be heterosexual.}}

"Gay genes"

Despite numerous attempts, no "gay gene" has been identified. However, there is substantial evidence for a genetic basis of homosexuality, especially in males, based on twin studies; some association with regions of Chromosome 8, the Xq28 locus on the X chromosome, and other sites across many chromosomes.JOURNAL, Ngun, TC, Vilain, E, 2014, The biological basis of human sexual orientation: is there a role for epigenetics?, Adv Genet, 86, 167–84, 10.1016/B978-0-12-800222-3.00008-5, 25172350, {{Gay gene}}Starting in the 2010s, potential epigenetic factors have become a topic of increased attention in genetic research on sexual orientation. A study presented at the ASHG 2015 Annual Meeting found that the methylation pattern in nine regions of the genome appeared very closely linked to sexual orientation, with a resulting algorithm using the methylation pattern to predict the sexual orientation of a control group with almost 70% accuracy.JOURNAL, Balter, Michael, 2015-10-09, BEHAVIORAL GENETICS. Can epigenetics explain homosexuality puzzle?, Science, 350, 6257, 148, 10.1126/science.350.6257.148, 1095-9203, 26450189, WEB,weblink Epigenetic Algorithm Accurately Predicts Male Sexual Orientation {{!, ASHG||access-date=2019-01-21}}Research into the causes of homosexuality plays a role in political and social debates and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing.{{citation|url= |title=Study of gay brothers may find clues about sexuality |first=Robert |last=Mitchum |periodical=Chicago Tribune |date=12 August 2007 |accessdate=4 May 2007 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=23 October 2008 }}WEB,weblink How much is known about the origins of homosexuality?, Church Times, 16 November 2007, 24 August 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 April 2010,

Evolutionary perspectives

Since homosexuality tends to lower reproductive success, and since there is considerable evidence that human sexual orientation is genetically influenced, it is unclear how it is maintained in the population at a relatively high frequency.Zietsch et al. (2008) There are many possible explanations, such as genes predisposing to homosexuality also conferring advantage in heterosexuals, a kin selection effect, social prestige, and more.NEWS,weblink The Evolutionary Mystery of Homosexuality, The Chronicle of Higher Education, David P. Barash, 19 November 2012, A 2009 study also suggested a significant increase in fecundity in the females related to the homosexual people from the maternal line (but not in those related from the paternal one).JOURNAL, New Evidence of Genetic Factors Influencing Sexual Orientation in Men: Female Fecundity Increase in the Maternal Line, Iemmola, Francesca, Camperio Ciani, Andrea, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Springer Netherlands, 2009, 38, 10.1007/s10508-008-9381-6, 18561014, 393–9,

Sexual orientation change efforts

There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor that conclude that sexual orientation change efforts work to change a person's sexual orientation. Those efforts have been controversial due to tensions between the values held by some faith-based organizations, on the one hand, and those held by LGBT rights organizations and professional and scientific organizations and other faith-based organizations, on the other. The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation, and therefore not a mental disorder. The American Psychological Association says that "most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation".WEB
,weblink Answers to Your Questions. For a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality, 20 December 2010
, American Psychological Association,
Some individuals and groups have promoted the idea of homosexuality as symptomatic of developmental defects or spiritual and moral failings and have argued that sexual orientation change efforts, including psychotherapy and religious efforts, could alter homosexual feelings and behaviors. Many of these individuals and groups appeared to be embedded within the larger context of conservative religious political movements that have supported the stigmatization of homosexuality on political or religious grounds.No major mental health professional organization has sanctioned efforts to change sexual orientation and virtually all of them have adopted policy statements cautioning the profession and the public about treatments that purport to change sexual orientation. These include the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, National Association of Social Workers in the US,WEB,weblinkweblink 25 August 2010, Expert affidavit of Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D., PDF, 24 August 2010, dead, dmy, the Royal College of Psychiatrists,Royal College of Psychiatrists: Statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Gay and Lesbian Mental Health Special Interest Group {{webarchive |url= |date=27 May 2010 }} and the Australian Psychological Society.Australian Psychological Society: Sexual orientation and homosexuality {{webarchive |url= |date=17 July 2009 }} The American Psychological Association and the Royal College of Psychiatrists expressed concerns that the positions espoused by NARTH are not supported by the science and create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.WEB,weblink Statement of the American Psychological Association, PDF, 24 August 2010, The American Psychological Association states that "sexual orientation is not a choice that can be changed at will, and that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological shaped at an early age...[and evidence suggests] biological, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality." They say that "sexual orientation identity—not sexual orientation—appears to change via psychotherapy, support groups, and life events." The American Psychiatric Association says "individuals maybe become aware at different points in their lives that they are heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bisexual" and "opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as 'reparative' or 'conversion' therapy, which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder, or based upon a prior assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation". They do, however, encourage gay affirmative psychotherapy. Similarly, the American *Psychological* AssociationWEB,weblink Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts,, is doubtful about the effectiveness and side-effect profile of sexual orientation change efforts, including conversion therapy.The American Psychological Association "encourages mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation when providing assistance to individuals distressed by their own or others' sexual orientation and concludes that the benefits reported by participants in sexual orientation change efforts can be gained through approaches that do not attempt to change sexual orientation".


{{See also|LGBT adoption}}Scientific research has been generally consistent in showing that lesbian and gay parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.WEB,weblink Marriage of Same-Sex Couples â€“ 2006 Position Statement Canadian Psychological Association, 2 September 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 19 April 2009, dead, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Elizabeth Short, Damien W. Riggs, Amaryll Perlesz, Rhonda Brown, Graeme Kane: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Parented Families â€“ A Literature Review prepared for The Australian Psychological Society, 5 November 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2011, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Brief of the American Psychological Association, The California Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as Amici Curiae in support of plaintiff-appellees, 21 December 2010, According to scientific literature reviews, there is no evidence to the contrary.JOURNAL, Pawelski JG, Perrin EC, Foy JM, etal, The effects of marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership laws on the health and well-being of children, Pediatrics, 118, 1, 349–64, July 2006, 16818585, 10.1542/peds.2006-1279, JOURNAL, Herek GM, Legal recognition of same-sex relationships in the United States: a social science perspective, The American Psychologist, 61, 6, 607–21, September 2006, 16953748, 10.1037/0003-066X.61.6.607,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 June 2010, dmy, JOURNAL, How Does the Gender of Parents Matter, 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2009.00678.x, 72, Journal of Marriage and Family, 3–22, 2010, Biblarz, Timothy J., Stacey, Judith, WEB,weblink Brief presented to the Legislative House of Commons Committee on Bill C38 by the Canadian Psychological Association, 2 June 2005, 2 September 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 13 October 2012, dead, dmy-all, A 2001 review suggested that the children with lesbian or gay parents appear less traditionally gender-typed and are more likely to be open to homoerotic relationships, partly due to genetic (80% of the children being raised by same-sex couples in the US are not adopted and most are the result of heterosexual marriages.NEWS, Census 2010: One-Quarter of Gay Couples Raising Children, SUSAN, DONALDSON JAMES,weblink ABC News, 23 June 2011, 11 July 2013, "Still, more than 80 percent of the children being raised by gay couples are not adopted, according to Gates.", ) and family socialization processes (children grow up in relatively more tolerant school, neighborhood, and social contexts, which are less heterosexist), even though majority of children raised by same-sex couples identify as heterosexual.JOURNAL, Stacey J, Biblarz TJ, 2001, (How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?,weblink American Sociological Review, 66, 2, 159–183, This may be partly due to genetic and family socialization processes, but what sociologists refer to as "contextual effects" not yet investigated by psychologists may also be important...even though children of lesbian and gay parents appear to express a significant increase in homoeroticism, the majority of all children nonetheless identify as heterosexual, as most theories across the essentialistt" to "social constructionist" spectrum seem (perhaps too hastily) to expect., 10.2307/2657413, 2657413, A 2005 review by Charlotte J. Patterson for the American Psychological Association found that the available data did not suggest higher rates of homosexuality among the children of lesbian or gay parents.American Psychological Association Lesbian & Gay Parenting




(File:MSM Blood Donation Map New.svg|thumb|upright=1.8|Blood donation policies for men who have sex with men{{legend|LightGreen|Men who have sex with men may donate blood; No deferral}}{{legend|Lime|Men who have sex with men may donate blood; No deferral, except for blood transfusions1}}{{legend|Khaki|Men who have sex with men may donate blood; Temporary deferral1}}{{legend|Salmon|Men who have sex with men may not donate blood; Permanent deferral1}}{{legend|#CCCCCC|No Data}}1No restriction in Israel, Belgium and the United States of America if last MSM activity was before 1977.)The terms "men who have sex with men" (MSM) and "women who have sex with women" (WSW) refer to people who engage in sexual activity with others of the same sex regardless of how they identify themselves—as many choose not to accept social identities as lesbian, gay and bisexual.WEB,weblink MSM in Africa: highly stigmatized, vulnerable and in need of urgent HIV prevention,, 24 August 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 July 2007, dmy, WEB
, UNAIDS: Men who have sex with men
, asp
, 24 July 2008
, dead
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 18 June 2008
, dmy
, Greenwood
, Cseneca
, Mario Ruberte
, African American Community and HIV (Slide 14 mentions TG women)
, East Bay AIDS Education and Training Center
, 9 April 2004
, ppt
, 24 July 2008
, dead
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 10 September 2008
, JOURNAL, Operario D, Burton J, Underhill K, Sevelius J, Men who have sex with transgender women: challenges to category-based HIV prevention, AIDS Behav, 12, 1, 18–26, January 2008, 17705095, 10.1007/s10461-007-9303-y, JOURNAL, Operario D, Burton J, HIV-related tuberculosis in a transgender network—Baltimore, Maryland, and New York City area, 1998–2000, MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep., 49, 15, 317–20, April 2000, 10858008,weblink These terms are often used in medical literature and social research to describe such groups for study, without needing to consider the issues of sexual self-identity. The terms are seen as problematic by some, however, because they "obscure social dimensions of sexuality; undermine the self-labeling of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people; and do not sufficiently describe variations in sexual behavior".JOURNAL, Young RM, Meyer IH, The trouble with "MSM" and "WSW": erasure of the sexual-minority person in public health discourse, Am J Public Health, 95, 7, 1144–9, July 2005, 15961753, 1449332, 10.2105/AJPH.2004.046714, In contrast to its benefits, sexual behavior can be a disease vector. Safe sex is a relevant harm reduction philosophy.WEB, STI Epi Update: Oral Contraceptive and Condom Use,weblink Public Health Agency of Canada, 23 April 1998, 11 July 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 September 2006, Many countries currently prohibit men who have sex with men from donating blood; the policy of the United States Food and Drug Administration states that "they are, as a group, at increased risk for HIV, hepatitis B and certain other infections that can be transmitted by transfusion."WEB, Cber / Fda,weblink FDA Policy on Blood Donations from Men Who Have Sex with Other Men,, 24 August 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 11 October 2007,

Public health

These safer sex recommendations are agreed upon by public health officials for women who have sex with women to avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIs):
  • Avoid contact with a partner's menstrual blood and with any visible genital lesions.
  • Cover sex toys that penetrate more than one person's vagina or anus with a new condom for each person; consider using different toys for each person.
  • Use a barrier (e.g., latex sheet, dental dam, cut-open condom, plastic wrap) during oral sex.
  • Use latex or vinyl gloves and lubricant for any manual sex that might cause bleeding.Mravack, Sally A. (July 2006)."Primary Care for Lesbians and Bisexual Women", American Family Physician 74 (2) p. 279–286.
These safer sex recommendations are agreed upon by public health officials for men who have sex with men to avoid sexually transmitted infections:
  • Avoid contact with a partner's bodily fluids and with any visible genital lesions.
  • Use condoms for anal and oral sex.
  • Use a barrier (e.g., latex sheet, dental dam, cut-open condom) during anal–oral sex.
  • Cover sex toys that penetrate more than one person with a new condom for each person; consider using different toys for each person and use latex or vinyl gloves and lubricant for any sex that might cause bleeding.Catalyst, Sr. Kitty, Staff of San Francisco City Clinic; "Reading This Might Save Your Ass"; 2001, San Francisco HIV Prevention and STD Prevention and Control.Men Like Us: The GMHC Complete Guide to Gay Men's Sexual, Physical, and Emotional Well-being; Wolfe, Daniel; Gay Men's Health Crisis, Inc; Published by Ballantine Books, 2000; {{ISBN|0-345-41496-9}}, 9780345414960.


When it was first described in medical literature, homosexuality was often approached from a view that sought to find an inherent psychopathology as its root cause. Much literature on mental health and homosexual patients centered on their depression, substance abuse, and suicide. Although these issues exist among people who are non-heterosexual, discussion about their causes shifted after homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) in 1973. Instead, social ostracism, legal discrimination, internalization of negative stereotypes, and limited support structures indicate factors homosexual people face in Western societies that often adversely affect their mental health.Schlager, Neil, ed. (1998). Gay & Lesbian Almanac. St. James Press. {{ISBN|1-55862-358-2}}, p. 152.Stigma, prejudice, and discrimination stemming from negative societal attitudes toward homosexuality lead to a higher prevalence of mental health disorders among lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals compared to their heterosexual peers.JOURNAL, Ilan Meyer, Meyer, Ilan H., Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: conceptual issues and research evidence, Psychological Bulletin, 129, 5, 674–97, September 2003, 12956539, 2072932, 10.1037/0033-2909.129.5.674, Evidence indicates that the liberalization of these attitudes over the 1990s through the 2010s is associated with a decrease in such mental health risks among younger LGBT people.WEB,weblink Black gay men, lesbians, have fewer mental disorders than whites, says Mailman School of PH study,, 24 August 2010,

Gay and lesbian youth

{{See also|Suicide among LGBT youth}}Gay and lesbian youth bear an increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, school problems, and isolation because of a "hostile and condemning environment, verbal and physical abuse, rejection and isolation from family and peers".{{citation |title=Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide |editor-first=Marcia R. |editor-last= Fenleib |year=1989 |publisher=United States Government Printing Office |isbn=0-16-002508-7 |last=Gibson |first=P. |contribution=Gay and Lesbian Youth Suicide}} Further, LGBT youths are more likely to report psychological and physical abuse by parents or caretakers, and more sexual abuse. Suggested reasons for this disparity are that (1) LGBT youths may be specifically targeted on the basis of their perceived sexual orientation or gender non-conforming appearance, and (2) that "risk factors associated with sexual minority status, including discrimination, invisibility, and rejection by family members...may lead to an increase in behaviors that are associated with risk for victimization, such as substance abuse, sex with multiple partners, or running away from home as a teenager."JOURNAL,weblink Victimization Over the Life Span: A Comparison of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Siblings, Kimberly F., Balsam, Esther D. Rothblum, June 2005, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 3, 477–487, PDF, harv, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 March 2007, 10.1037/0022-006x.73.3.477, 15982145, A 2008 study showed a correlation between the degree of rejecting behavior by parents of LGB adolescents and negative health problems in the teenagers studied:}}Crisis centers in larger cities and information sites on the Internet have arisen to help youth and adults.{{citation |title=Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Suicide|url= |first=Kevin |last=Caruso | |accessdate=4 May 2007}} The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention helpline for gay youth, was established following the 1998 airing on HBO of the Academy Award winning short film Trevor.WEB,weblink 24-hour help for gay youth, CNN, 2 July 2008, 26 July 2015, Wilson, Jacque,

Law and politics


{{World homosexuality laws map|align=right|size=350px}}File:Decriminalization of Homosexuality by country or territory.svg|thumb|Right|400px|Decriminalization of same-sex sexual activity by country or territory{{div col |colwidth=10em}}{{legend|#FFB380|1790–1799}}{{legend|#C87137|1800–1829}}{{legend|Maroon|1830–1839}}{{legend|#FF0000|1840–1859}}{{legend|Tomato|1860–1869}}{{legend|#FF6600|1870–1879}}{{legend|Orange|1880–1889}}{{legend|#FFFF00|1890–1929}}{{legend|Goldenrod|1930–1939}}{{legend|GreenYellow|1940–19491}}{{legend|#00FF00|1950–1959}}{{legend|#008800|1960–1969}}{{legend|#00FFFF|1970–1979}}{{legend|#0000FF|1980–1989}}{{legend|#000080|1990–19992}}{{legend|#800080|2000–2009}}{{legend|#FF00FF|2010–present}}{{legend|#cccccc|Same-sex sexual activity legal3}}{{legend|#6C5353|Male same-sex sexual activity illegal}}{{legend|#2B0000|Same-sex sexual activity illegal}}{{div col end}}{{Hidden |Notes|1: During World War II, Nazi Germany annexed territory or established s which extended Germany's laws against same-sex sexual activity to those territories and s. Same-sex sexual activity was previously legalized in the following countries or territories before German annexation or establishment of s: (legal in 1791), Belgium (legal in 1795), (legal in 1890), (legal in 1890), (legal in 1791), Luxembourg (legal in 1795), (legal in 1791), Netherlands (legal in 1811), (legal in 1791), (legal in 1791), Poland (legal in 1932), and / (legal in 1890). All countries and territories listed that where annexed or established into s by Nazi Germany during World War II where restored as independent countries or reincorporated into their previous countries during or after the war and thus re-legalized same-sex sexual activity in those areas.2: In May 1973, the Libyan Arab Republic annexed the Aouzou Strip from Chad. Libya's laws against same-sex sexual activity where thus extended to the annexed Aouzou Strip. In August 1987, during the Toyota War between the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Chad, Aouzou fell to the Chadian forces, only to be repelled by an overwhelming Libyan counter-offensive. The Aouzou dispute was concluded on 3 February 1994, when the judges of the International Court of Justice by a majority of 16 to 1 decided that the Aouzou Strip belonged to Chad. Monitored by international observers, the withdrawal of Libyan troops from the Strip began on 15 April 1994, and was completed by 10 May 1994. The formal and final transfer of the Aouzou Strip from Libya to Chad took place on 30 May 1994, when the sides signed a joint declaration stating that the Libyan withdrawal had been effected.3: Same-sex sexual activity was never criminalized in the following countries and territories: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia Central African Republic, Chad (excluding Aouzou Strip), Clipperton Island, Republic of the Congo, , Democratic Republic of Congo, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Gabon, Laos, Madagascar, Mali, , New Caledonia, Niger, North Korea, Rwanda, South Korea, Vietnam, and Wallis and Futuna. Same-sex sexual activity had also never been criminalized in continent of AntarcticaAntarctica{{LGBT rights}}Most nations do not prohibit consensual sex between unrelated persons above the local age of consent. Some jurisdictions further recognize identical rights, protections, and privileges for the family structures of same-sex couples, including marriage. Some countries and jurisdictions mandate that all individuals restrict themselves to heterosexual activity and disallow homosexual activity via sodomy laws. Offenders can face the death penalty in Islamic countries and jurisdictions ruled by sharia. There are, however, often significant differences between official policy and real-world enforcement.Although homosexual acts were decriminalized in some parts of the Western world, such as Poland in 1932, Denmark in 1933, Sweden in 1944, and the England and Wales in 1967, it was not until the mid-1970s that the gay community first began to achieve limited civil rights in some developed countries. A turning point was reached in 1973 when the American Psychiatric Association, which previously listed homosexuality in the DSM-I in 1952, removed homosexuality in the DSM-II, in recognition of scientific evidence. In 1977, Quebec became the first state-level jurisdiction in the world to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. During the 1980s and 1990s, most developed countries enacted laws decriminalizing homosexual behavior and prohibiting discrimination against lesbian and gay people in employment, housing, and services. On the other hand, many countries today in the Middle East and Africa, as well as several countries in Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific, outlaw homosexuality. In 2013, the Supreme Court of India upheld Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code,NEWS, Shyamantha, Asokan, India's Supreme Court turns the clock back with gay sex ban,weblink 23 December 2013, Reuters, 11 December 2013, but in 2018 overturned itself and legalized homosexual activity throughout India.NEWS, Supreme Court of India scraps ban on homosexuality with its judgment on Section 377., 9 September 2018, NDTV,weblink The Section 377, a British colonial-era law which criminalizes homosexual activity, remains in effect in more than 40 former British colonies.NEWS, The homophobic legacy of the British Empire,weblink CNN, 12 September 2018, NEWS, In over 40 countries, laws against homosexuality are a lasting legacy of British rule,weblink Quartz (publication), Quartz, 6 September 2018, 10 countries or jurisdictions, all of which are Islamic and ruled by sharia, impose the death penalty for homosexuality.

Laws against sexual orientation discrimination

United States

  • Employment discrimination refers to discriminatory employment practices such as bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, and compensation, and various types of harassment. In the United States there is "very little statutory, common law, and case law establishing employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation as a legal wrong."{{citation |title=Sexual Orientation and the Law |first=James M |last=Donovan |author2=American Association of Law Libraries Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues |year=2007 |publisher=William S. Hein & Co. |isbn=0-8377-0166-X}} § 5:17 Some exceptions and alternative legal strategies are available. President Bill Clinton's Executive Order 13087 (1998) prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in the competitive service of the federal civilian workforce,{{citation |title=Executive Order 13087 of May 28, 1998 |url= |format=PDF |periodical=Federal Register |volume=63 |number=105 |date=2 June 1998 |accessdate=7 September 2007 |archive-url= |archive-date=18 November 2004 |url-status=dead }} and federal non-civil service employees may have recourse under the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution.Ashton v. Civiletti, 613 F.2d 923, 20 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1601, 21 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) ¶ 30297 (D.C. Cir. 1979) Private sector workers may have a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 action under a quid pro quo sexual harassment theory,Kelly v. City of Oakland, 198 F.3d 779, 81 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1455, 77 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) ¶ 46281 (9th Cir. 1999) a "hostile work environment" theory,{{ussc|name=Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc.|link=|volume=523|page=75|pin=|year=1998}}. a sexual stereotyping theory,{{ussc|name=Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins|link=|volume=490|page=228|pin=|year=1989}}. or others.
  • Housing discrimination refers to discrimination against potential or current tenants by landlords. In the United States, there is no federal law against such discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, but at least thirteen states and many major cities have enacted laws prohibiting it.{{citation |accessdate=7 September 2007 |url= |archiveurl= |archivedate=10 December 2007 |title=Renter's Rights Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination}}
  • Hate crimes (also known as bias crimes) are crimes motivated by bias against an identifiable social group, usually groups defined by race (human classification), religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation. In the United States, 45 states and the District of Columbia have statutes criminalizing various types of bias-motivated violence or intimidation (the exceptions are AZ, GA, IN, SC, and WY). Each of these statutes covers bias on the basis of race, religion, and ethnicity; 32 of them cover sexual orientation, 28 cover gender, and 11 cover transgender/gender-identity.{{citation|url= |format=PDF |title=State Hate Crime Laws |periodical=Anti-Defamation League |date=June 2006 |accessdate=4 May 2007 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=14 June 2007 |df= }} In October 2009, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which " the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability", was signed into law and makes hate crime based on sexual orientation, amongst other offenses, a federal crime in the United States.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 28 October 2009, President Barack Obama Signs Hate Crimes Legislation Into Law, HRC, 28 October 2009, 24 August 2010,

European Union

In the European Union, discrimination of any type based on sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.s:Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union#CHAPTER III. EQUALITY|Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union]]

Political activism

{{Further|LGBT social movements}}{{more citations needed section|date=January 2018}}File:Barbara Gittings 1965.jpg|thumb|Barbara Gittings picketing Independence Hall 4 July 1966. Photo taken by Kay LahusenKay LahusenSince the 1960s, many LGBT people in the West, particularly those in major metropolitan areas, have developed a so-called gay culture. To many,{{Who|date=January 2012}} gay culture is exemplified by the gay pride movement, with annual parades and displays of rainbow flags. Yet not all LGBT people choose to participate in "queer culture", and many gay men and women specifically decline to do so. To some{{Who|date=January 2012}} it seems to be a frivolous display, perpetuating gay stereotypes.With the outbreak of AIDS in the early 1980s, many LGBT groups and individuals organized campaigns to promote efforts in AIDS education, prevention, research, patient support, and community outreach, as well as to demand government support for these programs.The death toll wrought by the AIDS epidemic at first seemed to slow the progress of the gay rights movement, but in time it galvanized some parts of the LGBT community into community service and political action, and challenged the heterosexual community to respond compassionately. Major American motion pictures from this period that dramatized the response of individuals and communities to the AIDS crisis include An Early Frost (1985), Longtime Companion (1990), And the Band Played On (1993), Philadelphia (1993), and (Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt) (1989).Publicly gay politicians have attained numerous government posts, even in countries that had sodomy laws in their recent past. Examples include Guido Westerwelle, Germany's Vice-Chancellor; Peter Mandelson, a British Labour Party cabinet minister and Per-Kristian Foss, formerly Norwegian Minister of Finance.LGBT movements are opposed by a variety of individuals and organizations. Some social conservatives believe that all sexual relationships with people other than an opposite-sex spouse undermine the traditional familyWEB, Salt Lake City, UT,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 3 June 2008, dead, First Presidency Message on Same-Gender Marriage,, 20 October 2004, 24 August 2010, and that children should be reared in homes with both a father and a mother.WEB, Brownback, Sam, Defining Marriage Down â€“ We need to protect marriage., National Review, 9 July 2004,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 June 2008, WEB,weblink The Family: A Proclamation to the World,, 23 September 1995, 24 August 2010, Some argue that gay rights may conflict with individuals' freedom of speech,NEWS,weblink Gay hate law 'threat to Christian free speech', 28 November 2007, Steve, Doughty, Daily Mail, London, NEWS,weblink Christian faces court over 'offensive' gay festival leaflets, Steve, Doughty, 6 September 2006, Daily Mail, London, NEWS,weblink The Times, I'd like to say this, but it might land me in prison, 24 December 2002, Michael, Gove, London, NEWS,weblink Christian group likens Tory candidate review to witch hunt, 28 November 2007, CBC News, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 June 2008, NEWS,weblink Conduct unbecoming a free society, 9 April 2008, Kempling, Chris, National Post, religious freedoms in the workplace,NEWS,weblink Employer's Dilemma: When Religious Expression and Gay Rights Cross, Judith, Moldover, New York Law Journal, 31 October 2007, NEWS,weblink Collision of religious and gay rights in the workplace, Humanist, January–February 2008, Bob, Ritter, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 March 2012, the ability to run churches,NEWS,weblink Bishop loses gay employment case, 18 July 2007, BBC News Online, charitable organizationsNEWS,weblink Catholic adoption service stops over gay rights, 5 June 2008, The Daily Telegraph, Martin, Beckford, London, NEWS,weblink Catholic Charities to halt adoptions over issue involving gays, 10 March 2006, LeBlanc, Steve, The Boston Globe, and other religious organizationsNEWS,weblink 24 April 2008, Greg, Mercer, The Record, Christian Horizons rebuked: Employer ordered to compensate fired gay worker, abolish code of conduct, 21 August 2009, in accordance with one's religious views, and that the acceptance of homosexual relationships by religious organizations might be forced through threatening to remove the tax-exempt status of churches whose views do not align with those of the government.NEWS,weblink Banned in Boston: The coming conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty, Maggie, Gallagher, 15 May 2006, 011, 33, NEWS,weblink 14 August 2007, Church Group Complains of Civil Union Pressure, Jill, Capuzzo, The New York Times, NEWS,weblink Group Loses Tax Break Over Gay Union Issue, Jill, Capuzzo, The New York Times, 18 September 2007, 31 March 2010, NEWS,weblink LDS Church expresses disappointment in California gay marriage decision, 15 May 2008, Carrie, Moore, Deseret News, 21 August 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 June 2009, dmy, Some critics charge that political correctness has led to the association of sex between males and HIV being downplayed.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 3 March 2016, James, Chin, The risks in hiding the HIV/AIDS truth, Business Day, 12 March 2007, 9, NEWS,weblink The people punish Mr Blair, Daily Mail, 6 May 2005, London,

Military service

File:Obama signs DADT repeal.jpg|thumb|U.S. President Barack Obama signs into law the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010Policies and attitudes toward gay and lesbian military personnel vary widely around the world. Some countries allow gay men, lesbians, and bisexual people to serve openly and have granted them the same rights and privileges as their heterosexual counterparts. Many countries neither ban nor support LGB service members. A few countries continue to ban homosexual personnel outright.Most Western military forces have removed policies excluding sexual minority members. Of the 26 countries that participate militarily in NATO, more than 20 permit openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people to serve. Of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, three (United Kingdom, France and United States) do so. The other two generally do not: China bans gay and lesbian people outright, Russia excludes all gay and lesbian people during peacetime but allows some gay men to serve in wartime (see below). Israel is the only country in the Middle East region that allows openly LGB people to serve in the military.While the question of homosexuality in the military has been highly politicized in the United States, it is not necessarily so in many countries. Generally speaking, sexuality in these cultures is considered a more personal aspect of one's identity than it is in the United States.According to American Psychological Association, empirical evidence fails to show that sexual orientation is germane to any aspect of military effectiveness including unit cohesion, morale, recruitment and retention.WEB, American Psychological Association,weblink Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the legislative year 2004. Minutes of the meeting of the Council of Representatives July 28 & 30, 2004, Honolulu, HI, 18 November 2004,weblink" title="">weblink 15 February 2010, Sexual orientation is irrelevant to task cohesion, the only type of cohesion that critically predicts the team's military readiness and success.American Psychological Association: [Report of the APA Joint Divisional Task Force on Sexual Orientation & Military Service]

Society and sociology

{{further|Societal attitudes toward homosexuality}}

Public opinion

(File:Societal attitudes towards homosexuality 2013.svg|thumb|right|2013 Pew Global Research Poll: Should homosexuality be accepted in society? Percentage of responders that answered accept: {{legend|#b90080|81–90%}}{{legend|#640091|71–80%}}{{legend|#6400ff|61–70%}}{{legend|#419bb9|51–60%}}{{legend|#005a00|41–50%}}{{legend|#007d55|31–40%}}{{legend|#7d7d55|21–30%}}{{legend|#7d5555|11–20%}}{{legend|#4b001d|1–10%}}{{legend|#c0c0c0|No data}}) Societal acceptance of non-heterosexual orientations such as homosexuality is lowest in Asian, African and Eastern European countries,NEWS, Anti-LGBT views still prevail, global survey finds,weblink The Guardian, 17 May 2016, NEWS, Religious Belief and National Belonging in Central and Eastern Europe,weblink Pew Research Center, 10 May 2017, and is highest in Western Europe, Australia, and the Americas. Western society has become increasingly accepting of homosexuality since the 1990s. In 2017, Professor Amy Adamczyk contended that these cross-national differences in acceptance can be largely explained by three factors: the relative strength of democratic institutions, the level of economic development, and the religious context of the places where people live.BOOK, Adamczyk, Amy, Cross-National Public Opinion about Homosexuality: Examining Attitudes across the Globe, 2017, University of California Press, 3–7,weblink


In 2006, the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association and National Association of Social Workers stated in an amicus brief presented to the Supreme Court of California: "Gay men and lesbians form stable, committed relationships that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential respects. The institution of marriage offers social, psychological, and health benefits that are denied to same-sex couples. By denying same-sex couples the right to marry, the state reinforces and perpetuates the stigma historically associated with homosexuality. Homosexuality remains stigmatized, and this stigma has negative consequences. California's prohibition on marriage for same-sex couples reflects and reinforces this stigma". They concluded: "There is no scientific basis for distinguishing between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples with respect to the legal rights, obligations, benefits, and burdens conferred by civil marriage."


Though the relationship between homosexuality and religion is complex, current authoritative bodies and doctrines of the world's largest religions view homosexual behaviour negatively. This can range from quietly discouraging homosexual activity, to explicitly forbidding same-sex sexual practices among adherents and actively opposing social acceptance of homosexuality. Some teach that homosexual desire itself is sinful,WEB
,weblink Charge #1 and specifications preferred by the Presbytery of Southern California against The Rev. C. Lee Irons, 27 June 2008, PDF, Presbytery of Southern California of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, claiming that homosexuality is an unchosen "condition," rather than a sin of the heart, [...] contradicts the teaching of Scripture that both the desire and the act are sin., others state that only the sexual act is a sin,Sex and Society – Volume 3 – Page 824 others are completely accepting of gays and lesbians,The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Religion and Social Justice – Page 543, Michael D. Palmer, Stanley M. Burgess – 2012 while some encourage homosexuality.Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, Eugene V. Gallagher, W. Michael Ashcraft – 2006 Some claim that homosexuality can be overcome through religious faith and practice. On the other hand, voices exist within many of these religions that view homosexuality more positively, and liberal religious denominations may bless same-sex marriages. Some view same-sex love and sexuality as sacred, and a mythology of same-sex love can be found around the world.Cabezón, p. vii, "Introduction"


File:Cologne Germany Cologne-Gay-Pride-2015 Parade-17a.jpg|thumb|LGBT activists at Cologne Pride carrying a banner with the flags of 70 countries where homosexuality is illegal ]]

Gay bullying

Gay bullying can be the verbal or physical abuse against a person who is perceived by the aggressor to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, including persons who are actually heterosexual or of non-specific or unknown sexual orientation. In the US, teenage students heard anti-gay slurs such as "homo", "faggot" and "sissy" about 26 times a day on average, or once every 14 minutes, according to a 1998 study by Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association).WEB, Mental Health American, Bullying and Gay Youth,weblink Mental Health America formerly National Mental Health Association, 27 June 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 April 2012,

Heterosexism and homophobia

{{Further|Heterosexism|Homophobia}}File:Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill protest.jpg|thumb|left|Protests in New York City against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill.]]In many cultures, homosexual people are frequently subject to prejudice and discrimination. A 2011 Dutch study concluded that 49% of Holland's youth and 58% of youth foreign to the country reject homosexuality.WEB, Half of young Dutch people reject homosexuality,weblink Expatica/COC, 9 January 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 December 2011, dmy-all, Similar to other minority groups they can also be subject to stereotyping. These attitudes tend to be due to forms of homophobia and heterosexism (negative attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships). Heterosexism can include the presumption that everyone is heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the norm and therefore superior. is a fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexual people. It manifests in different forms, and a number of different types have been postulated, among which are internalized homophobia, social homophobia, emotional homophobia, rationalized homophobia, and others.WEB,weblink The Riddle Homophobia Scale, from Allies Committee website, Department of Student Life, Texas A&M University, 1 June 2016, {{cbignore|bot=medic}}{{dead link|date=April 2014}} Similar is lesbophobia (specifically targeting lesbians) and biphobia (against bisexual people). When such attitudes manifest as crimes they are often called hate crimes and gay bashing.Negative stereotypes characterize LGB people as less romantically stable, more promiscuous and more likely to abuse children, but there is no scientific basis to such assertions. Gay men and lesbians form stable, committed relationships that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential respects. Sexual orientation does not affect the likelihood that people will abuse children.Michael Lamb, Ph.D.: Affidavit â€“ United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (2009) {{webarchive|url= |date=25 December 2010 }}Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D.: Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation {{webarchive|url= |date=19 April 2010 }}American Psychological Association: Lesbian & Gay Parenting Claims that there is scientific evidence to support an association between being gay and being a pedophile are based on misuses of those terms and misrepresentation of the actual evidence.

Violence against homosexuals

{{further|Rape}}In the United States, the FBI reported that 20.4% of hate crimes reported to law enforcement in 2011 were based on sexual orientation bias. 56.7% of these crimes were based on bias against homosexual men. 11.1% were based on bias against homosexual women. 29.6% were based on anti-homosexual bias without regard to gender.{{citation |title=Victims |url= |periodical=FBI |accessdate=26 July 2013}} The 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay student, is a notorious such incident in the U.S. LGBT people, especially lesbians, may become the victims of "corrective rape", a violent crime with the supposed aim of making them heterosexual. In certain parts of the world, LGBT people are also at risk of "honor killings" perpetrated by their families or relatives.NEWS,weblink "Honor killings" target Turkey's LGBT community, CBS News, 12 October 2011, 23 December 2013, WEB, Di Piero Russo,weblink "Sei il disonore della famiglia" e accoltella il fratello gay,, 23 December 2013, WEB,weblink Father confesses to killing his own son in landmark homosexual murder case,, 23 December 2013, In Morocco, a constitutional monarchy following Islamic laws, homosexual acts are a punishable offence. With a population hostile towards LGBT people, the country has witnessed public demonstrations against homosexuals, public denunciations of presumed homosexual individuals, as well as violent intrusions in private homes. The community in the country is exposed to additional risk of prejudice, social rejection and violence, with a greater impossibility of obtaining protection even from the police._WEB,weblink Morocco Situation of LGBT Persons, 21 March 2019, Danish Immigration Service, In 2017, Abderrahim El Habachi became one of the many homosexual Moroccans to flee the country for fear, and sought shelter in the United Kingdom. In August 2019, he accused the UK Home Office of not taking LGBT migrants seriously. He highlighted that they are being put through tough times because the Home Office don’t believe their sexual orientation or in the struggles they face in their countries.NEWS,weblink Gay man who fled Morocco says LGBT asylum seekers’ claims are ‘not being taken seriously’, 20 August 2019, Pink News,

Homosexual behavior in other animals

File:Manchot 01.jpg|thumb|Roy and Silo, two New York Central Park Zoo male chinstrap penguinchinstrap penguinHomosexual and bisexual behaviors occur in a number of other animal species. Such behaviors include sexual activity, courtship, affection, pair bonding, and parenting, and are widespread; a 1999 review by researcher Bruce Bagemihl shows that homosexual behavior has been documented in about 500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms.MAGAZINE, Harrold, Max, Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural DiversityThe Advocate (LGBT magazine)>The Advocate, reprinted in Highbeam Encyclopedia, 16 February 1999,weblink 10 September 2007, Animal sexual behavior takes many different forms, even within the same species. The motivations for and implications of these behaviors have yet to be fully understood, since most species have yet to be fully studied.GORDON >FIRST=DR DENNIS
, 'Catalogue of Life' reaches one million species, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, 10 April 2007,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 13 July 2007
PUBLISHER=PUBLISHERSWEEKLY.COM URL-STATUS=DEAD ARCHIVEDATE=29 JULY 2012, A review paper by N. W. Bailey and Marlene Zuk looking into studies of same-sex sexual behaviour in animals challenges the view that such behaviour lowers reproductive success, citing several hypotheses about how same-sex sexual behavior might be adaptive; these hypotheses vary greatly among different species. Bailey and Zuk also suggest future research needs to look into evolutionary consequences of same-sex sexual behaviour, rather than only looking into origins of such behaviour.JOURNAL, Bailey, N. W., Zuk, M., 2009, Same-sex sexual behavior and evolution,weblink PDF, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 24, 8, 439–446, 10.1016/j.tree.2009.03.014, 19539396,

See also





  • Adam, Barry (1987). The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement, G. K. Hall & Co. {{ISBN|0-8057-9714-9}}
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  • Roth, Norman. The care and feeding of gazelles: Medieval Arabic and Hebrew love poetry. IN: Lazar & Lacy. Poetics of Love in the Middle Ages, George Mason University Press 1989, {{ISBN|0-913969-25-7}}

  • {{Citation|first1=Bruce |last1=Bagemihl |title=Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity|publisher=St. Martin's Press|year=1999|isbn=0-312-19239-8|url=}}
  • Bérubé, Allan, Coming out under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two, New York: MacMillan 1990, {{ISBN|0-02-903100-1}}
  • {{Citation |year=1997 |title=Two spirit people: American Indian, lesbian women and gay men |author1=Brown, Lester B. |editor1=Lester B. Brown |publisher=Routledge |isbn=978-0-7890-0003-3 |url=}}
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Journal articles

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  • {{Citation |title=New Evidence of Genetic Factors Influencing Sexual Orientation in Men: Female Fecundity Increase in the Maternal Line |last=Iemmola |first=Francesca |last2=Ciani |first2=Andrea Camperio |publisher=Springer |format=Article |year=2009 |journal=Archives of Sexual Behavior |pages=393–399 |volume=38 |location=no. 3 |issn=0004-0002 |oclc=360232526 |doi=10.1007/s10508-008-9381-6 |url= |pmid=18561014}}
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  • {{Citation |title=Fraternal Birth Order and Ratio of Heterosexual/Homosexual Feelings in Women and Men |first9=N |last9=Martin |first8=J |last8=Bailey |first7=M |last7=Wright |first6=S |last6=MacGregor |last=McConaghy |first5=M |first=N |last2=Hadzi-Pavlovic |first2=D |last5=Keller |last3=Stevens |first3=C |last4=Manicavasagar |first4=V | displayauthors = 8|year=2006 |journal=Journal of Homosexuality |pages=161–174 |issue=4 |volume=51 |issn=0091-8369 |oclc=202629885 |pmid=17135133 |doi=10.1300/J082v51n04_09 |url= }}

Online articles

External links

{{Sister project links}} {{LGBT|main=yes|orientation=yes}}{{Sexual identities}}

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