Archive for October, 2010

On Homosexuality

Posted: October 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

On Homosexuality

 

**This is an article I wrote almost three years ago. On the process of editing, I have added and omitted some thoughts.

Since most people rely their judgments and opinions regarding homosexuality on their religions, on their culture, and on the majority’s perception, they tend to overlook the main points and fail to recognize the important things to be understood about homosexuality. In this article, I shall explain homosexuality in its simplest term.

To begin with, let us first try to know the definition of HOMESEXUALITY. Homosexuality, as defined by Wikipedia, refers to sexual behavior or attraction between people of the same sex or to homosexual orientation. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to “having sexual and romantic attraction primarily or exclusively to members of one’s own sex”; “it also refers to an individual’s sense of personal and social identity based on those attractions, behaviors expressing them, and membership in a community of others who share them.

In the Philippines, we see males dressing and acting like females and wanting to become females. In our language, we call them a lot of terms, like bakla, binabae, bading. These terms have even expanded to more colloquial terms like juding, shokla, badaf, kafederasyon and many more. Majority of the population in the Philippine society has narrow understanding about homosexuality. Only the cross dressers, males acting and dressing like females, are the ones considered homosexuals. Henceforth, one is in utter disbelief when he finds out that a seemingly tough guy, with evident masculinity, is in a relationship with another guy as equally masculine as the former. A person with this limited view on homosexuality always ends up asking this question, “eh sinong bakla sa kanila?”(Which between them is gay?), without realizing that both of them could be homosexuals. Let’s go back to the definition of homosexuality. Again, homosexuality refers to sexual or romantic attraction towards members of one’s own sex; which means that homosexuality is not measured by how soft/feminine a man acts dresses up, or speaks. Hence, the physical manifestations like effeminate gestures are not enough bases to claim that a man is gay. The primary basis in saying that a man is a homosexual is the fact that he is attracted to the same sex.

There are many factors that lead to homosexuality. The first one is deprivation of emotional needs of a child for a father’s love or attention during childhood years. Childhood is a crucial stage. It is in this stage wherein the personality of an individual is molded. According to Joseph Nicolosi, author of the book Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality, a boy who is not given much attention by his father has this tendency to become a homosexual. Actions manifest affection. Therefore, a father not cuddling, wrestling, or being touchy with his son may deprive the latter of his emotional needs. As a result, he might end up seeking for affection and attention from other men as he grows up. And these manifestations towards other men might eventually become sexual.

Since every male individual needs a father figure as a model for his development of his identity as a man, the presence of a father is indispensable during this process. We can’t deny the fact that there are boys who are soft or effeminate. It has to be remembered, however, that not all effeminate boys would eventually turn out to be homosexuals. Being effeminate doesn’t necessarily mean being a homosexual. To eliminate the feminine side of the boy and develop his masculinity, the support of the family, especially the father, is very much needed. The boy needs to be affirmed of his masculinity. All means should be done to reassure that the boy identifies himself as a MAN as he grows up. However, instead of being able to develop his masculinity, a boy with a feminine tendency might be pushed to homosexuality even more because of how the father handles the situation. Due to the father’s intense desire to make his son manly, he miscalculates his actions. Thinking that this is the right thing to do, he uses corporal punishment and might do anything that might hurt the child physically and emotionally. In this case, the boy gets emotionally detached from men because of his father’s rejection and harshness. He now then unconsciously feels affection from other men so his emotional needs will be met. But then his father’s earlier rejection makes him anticipate that he might get rejected and hurt by other men, so he keeps an emotional distance from them. The more he is deprived of these emotional needs, the higher the tendency for the boy to become a homosexual. The more that he seeks for affection from men but is deprived from it, the more his attraction towards them intensifies.

Another factor is child molestation. Approximately one third of the homosexual population claims that they have been molested by older men when they were young. A boy having been molested by an older man has a great tendency to become homosexual as he grows old. It’s the same logic with the case of an abused child becoming an abusive parent in the future. Like what I stated a while back, childhood is a very crucial stage. A tragic event in a child’s life might definitely dampen the development of his personality.

The greatest factor that leads a child to homosexuality is genes, hormones, or birth order. A reliable video on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYMjXucTFaM) explains that there have been studies on identical twins. When one identical twin is a gay man, there is a 70% probability that the other twin is also gay. Therefore, genes plays a a great role in determining the sexual orientation of an individual. Another studies show that having many older brothers increases the possibility of a boy being a homosexual. It’s not because mothers always baby the youngest, making them gay. The explanation for this phenomenon is that the female body of the mother sees the fetus as a foreign object that’s why it produces antibodies against it. That’s why the more successive males the mother bears, the possibility of having a gay sibling goes up significantly.

When we talk about homosexuality, it’s inevitable to ask the question “Is it a choice?” I strongly say that it is not! Regardless of whatever factor there is, homosexuality is never a choice. Whether the factor is environmental or natural, it is not the choice of an individual to become homosexual. Is it his choice that his father is not capable of providing him his emotional needs? Of course not! Did he desire to have been sexually molested when he was a child? Definitely not! Was it his choice that he was born that way? Absolutely not! Therefore, is it right to hate or despise an individual because he is gay? This time, I’ll leave the answer up to you.

Apparently, homosexuality is considered a disorder, and I believe it actually is. However, it is also a reality. Homosexuality is everywhere. And sad to say, some people do not know how to deal with this reality. For them, it is such a great sin that homosexuals should be punished for it. Talking about “sins”, Christianity is against homosexuality. The Christian dogma has influenced society to resent homosexuality. With this prejudice the society has inflicted upon homosexuals, some homosexuals would rather live with despair and frustrations by masking their real identity in order to protect themselves from the oppressive and resentful society. Coming out in the open is not the ideal thing to do, either, since the individual would eventually be oppressed, ostracized, and rejected by the society. Either way, it is a “lose-lose” situation. Anyway, the individual’s decision (whether to come out of his closet or be discreet about his sexual orientation) is an ultimate challenge.

The fear of and strong dislike against homosexuals is rooted to one’s upbringing and lifestyle. As we observe, all communities are very particular with gender roles. A man is supposed to be… because he’s a man. a woman is supposed to be… because she’s a woman. Extreme emphasis on this aspect creates gender stereotyping.

A man is not supposed to be crying in public
A man is a real man if he has slept with lots of women
Household chores don’t suit men

these are just some examples of gender stereotyping.

In the Philippines, these notions are very evident. Parents, especially the father, would train their sons to follow certain behaviors to make them TOUGH and appear real men. Anything that isn’t masculine or manly is completely off and even punishable. “APAY BAKLA KA? (Are you gay?)” This remark is always lashed at the son who does something that does not seem to be manly. As this occurs between the father and the son, the latter would form unconscious dislike/disgust against homosexuals. They might find it very hard to be comfortable around homosexuals. A homosexual personifies a character they should NEVER be.  This has largely contributed to the society’s oppression on homosexual people.

Moreover, some men are extravagantly expressive with their dislike against homosexuals. They have to aggressively project their dislike against homosexuals verbally and even physically to assure people that they are not homosexuals. The thought of people doubting their sexuality is disgusting to them that they have to attack homosexuality in order to make it a point that people are convinced they are straight.

Homophobia can also be a product of straight men’s natural reaction towards homosexual acts. Straight men, psychologically speaking, are bothered by the thought of two men having sex, thereby associating their disgust on the action to the persons doing it. That’s why they’re careful with homosexuals because they think they might be sexually taken advantage of.

 

—to be continued—