Of all topics most popular in today’s media, issues concerning homosexuals and homosexuality in general top the list. Homosexuality is generally defined as a sexual relationship between partners of the same sex. Debate concerning its causes and consequences has been going on for many centuries and almost in every period in human history. However, never before in human history has it been granted such wide scale acceptance in western society as it has now. The question that I seek to answer in this paper is whether such wide scale acceptance should in fact be granted to homosexual behavior? Is such behavior rational, scientifically functional or is it actually detrimental to the high level of civilization that we’ve achieved?
I) THE SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE:
Scientifically speaking, sex is a means to an end. The end being the propagation of the human race. This end can never be fulfilled by sex between males (in the case of gays) or between females (in the case of lesbians). Therefore, the general conclusion is that homosexuality is irrational and illogical.
If we consider the construction of the bodies of the male and female, what is noticed at once is that the construction of a body of a male (the penis and the anus- i.e no vagina) does not accommodate having sex with another male. Nor does the construction of a body of a female (no penis, a vagina) accommodate sex with another female. What is obvious to common sense is that the construction and location of specific sexual organs in the bodies of a male and a female accommodate sex between a male and a female and not among members of the same sex. Therefore, the conclusion once again is that homosexuality is an unnatural and an irrational behavior.
The case with birth control is different to the “cause effect” argument above [this point was brought up in my meeting in class with the SMSU (Southwest Missouri State) Gay Lesbian Alliance]. Birth control is simply the further delaying or prevention of a naturally occurring delaying process. The egg (ovum), which when fertilized develops into a zygote, which then eventually develops into the fetus, is released in the female’s body in a specific period of time and pregnancy is caused only if a sperm fuses with the egg in that specific time period. If the egg is not fertilized during that period, then the cycle in humans ends in menstruation (Encyclopedia Britannica, vol 26, Macropaedia 701-703)
II) THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE:
It was clearly recognized by experts who were objective and unprejudiced, that psychologically speaking homosexuality is an abnormal behavior. However large scale lobbying by homosexuals and certain psychologists brought in biases into this scientific field of inquiry and hence the truth got masked and the results are stated below:
“Before 1973 the DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] listed homosexuality as a sexual disorder. Protests by gay activist groups and many psychotherapists eventually led to its elimination from the manual as a sexual disorder per se, but the DSM did retain a category called “ego dystotic homosexuality- the feeling of extreme distress over one’s homosexual preference”. DSM III R has dropped even this category, and the issue of homosexuality is no longer mentioned (Comer 480).”
“Until the early 1970’s the U.S psychiatric establishment classified homosexuality as a mental illness, but that designation was dropped amid increased political activity and efforts by homosexuals to be seen as individuals exercising different sexual preferences rather than aberrant personalities (Encyclopedia Britannica, vol 6, 31).”
Homosexuality is proven to be a learned behavior according to experiments with clinical cases of intersexuality. At puberty, the individuals in question were “generally attracted to the sex opposite to their sex of rearing [even if it be opposite to their genetic sex of males, having X Y chromosomes and females both X chromosomes] This suggests that sexual orientation is primarily established in post natal experiences (Encyclopedia Britannica, vol 27, 247)
There has however been great debate concerning the nature versus nurture question concerning homosexuality:
i) Brain Difference: The most recent one seems to indicate a certain difference in certain parts of the brains of homosexual people. What has however not been resolved is whether such difference in the brains was the cause or the effect of homosexual behavior. Further many people in the sample studied had Aids and Aids in its later stages affects the brain. Therefore no strong conclusions can scientifically be drawn from such a study.
ii) Hormonal Differences: when hormones are artificially altered in female animal’s bodies [introducing excess androgen prenatally] it makes them behave more like males even showing mating preference for members of the same sex. (Britannica, vol 27 ,248-249).
The same source however, also narrates that changing the hormone level postnatally does not mean that sexual preference for partners will change. The only thing that will change will be the arousal level.
Therefore, based on the above, I believe I can justifiably conclude that abnormal sexual preference even when it becomes “normal” to a particular individual due to abnormal circumstances like the above, can be controlled. If every male took his sexual desires towards every attractive female to their conclusion, you can well imagine the galloping rate of rapes in this or any other society. Just because certain individuals experience sexual desires towards members of the same sex, because something went wrong somewhere, does not at all mean that they should engage in homosexual behavior or that their behavior be accepted without question or search for a solution.
III) THE RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE:
There is absolutely no doubt that Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the three most widely embraced religions in America condemn homosexual behavior in the strongest terms:
According to the Old Testament the Koran, the people of Lot were destroyed because they engaged in homosexual behavior and were unrepenting and un accepting of God’s admonishment (Holy Bible, Genesis chapter 13, 14, 18, 19; Koran 7:80-84; 4:16 etc)
In the book of Romans, in the Bible [New Testament], Paul states:
“Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error (Romans 1:22-27).”
The above verse also condemns those who worship God in the image of a man i.e those who believe in the concept of a “God- incarnate”.
IV) SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES:
i) Aids: Among the groups that have directly and indirectly contributed to the wide scale spread of Aids to even innocent patients like children are homosexuals and their practice of anal sex.
“There are specific behaviors that place people at a high risk for Aids. The first is anal sex which can cause rectal bleeding and thereby allow easy transmission of HIV. This practice is therefore extremely dangerous and, of course, the greater the number of sexual partners, the greater the risk. Anal sex is commonly practiced by Gay males in some cases with many sexual partners. For this reason about two thirds of persons with Aids are homosexual or bi-sexual males (Macionis 545).”
The above statistic of two thirds shows the trend in the spread of Aids a few years after it was recognized as a threat (1987). Now the pattern may have changed due to the initial wide scale spread of Aids which the above statistic suggests was directly or indirectly the result of homosexual behavior among men.
Aids results in many national cost problems too:
“….The cost of treating Aids already exceeds $150,000 per person and may rise further as new therapies develop….Added to the direct medical costs are the tens of billions of dollars in lost earnings and productivity…There is little doubt that Aids is a medical and social problem of monumental proportions (Macionis 545).”
According to common sense, science, logic, psychology and religion – i.e all those aspects of present society, that have contributed to its civilization, homosexuality is irrational, illogical, abnormal and an immoral behavior. Those who practice is should not be personally condemned but their behavior should and solutions to their ills be found, and the free practice of homosexual behavior be stopped, so that our society prospers. If clear and concrete evidence were indeed found in the other direction, I would gladly change my above conclusions. Therefore let our end be towards the truth!
“..What is left after the truth except error? How then are you turned away.”(Koran10:32)
- Comer, Ronald J. Abnormal Psychology. New York, W.H Freeman Co, 1992
- Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Iowa, World Bible Publishers Inc, 1971.
- “Homosexuality”, Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol 6 (Micropaedia). 15th ed, 1990
- Koran. Translation, Picthall, M. Marmaduke, Lahore, Taj co 1981.
- Macionis, John J. Sociology. New Jersey, Prentice Hall International, 1987.
- “Reproduction Reproductive Systems”, Encyclopaedia Britannica,vol 26 (Macropaedia), 15th ed. 1990.
- “Sex Sexuality”, Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol 27 (Macropaedia). 15th ed, 1990.
I am against homosexuality but I must make it clear that this does not imply I am supportive, in any remote way, of violent attacks against homosexuals or harrassment of homosexuals. I do not in any way support those responsible for the murder, physical assault and abuse of homosexuals.
I am supportive of intellectual debates but not of taking the law of God into our hands.
by MUHAMMED A. ASADI