Homosexuality in Canada | Free Essay Example

Homosexuality in Canada

Words: 3435
Topic: Sociology
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Origin of Homosexuality

Homosexuality can be explained in three main dimensions: biological, behavioral and psychodynamic dimensions of homosexual orientations. Homosexuality is defined as an act of having a sexual relationship between two individuals of similar gender (PFLAG 2). The societal understanding of the term, however, is centered mainly on sexual attractions and activities between members of similar biological sex.

It is also used about emotional, romantic and identity based on a same-sex phenomenon (Ekwo 1). Individual sexual orientation is determined at a younger age, and homosexuals must have sensed that something was wrong with them when they were the age of four or five years.

In Canada, the story of homosexualism came to light in the year 1965 when a confessed homosexual was charged for indulging in dangerous sex, but since then, homosexuality has been tolerated when the laws against homosexuality were relaxed through Trudeau’s amendment to the Canadian criminal code. Quebec as a province incorporated homosexuality in its laws in the year 1977 making it illegal to discriminate against homosexuals (CBC News 1).

The Trudeau bill was tabled by the minister of justice, and it sought to introduce major amendments into the Canadian Criminal Code, and it was referred to as an omnibus bill. The bill introduced various changes to the Criminal Code of Canada. Among the changes is the decriminalization of homosexuality and the legalization of abortion.

The bill was described as a revolution to the criminal and penal law. The adoption of sexual offenses Act in British parliament influenced the climate of legislative changes in Canada with regards to homosexuality. Though it was widely opposed, it secured a parliamentary majority, and it was made into law. Abortion was also legalized under certain conditions, and they were illegal before the introduction of the bill (CBC News 1).

Homosexuality – by birth or by choice

In the past, conservatives have argued that homosexuality is an unusual behavior that is caused by either influence from the environment or as a result of personal choice. To the conservatives, homosexuality is an abnormality and homosexual as a sexual orientation is a disorder, and homosexual behavior should be considered harmful. However, gay society holds that homosexuality is as a result of dominant biological genes.

The view is held by the homosexuals as a means of obtaining acceptance in society. However, it is evident that those who support this fact have not supported further research into the biological development of sexual orientation. Furthermore, it is evident that scientists have not taken much interest in the issue, and therefore, it makes the society wonder, whether homosexuality is or is not viewed as unusual behavior in society.

Therefore, for a start, it is important to highlight the history of homosexuality, what media have said about homosexuality and the achievements of homosexuals. But before that, the question is whether homosexuality is by choice or by birth. Claiming that people are born gay has been considered a myth, but it has been widely acknowledged in learning institutions and the media meaning it is being taken seriously as a reality.

There is no research however that has broadly demonstrated that people are born gay, but it is only a belief (Sprigg 4). The religious views hold that homosexuality is a sinful practice that should not be encouraged. However, psychologists like Heinrich Ulrich before 1970s pointed out homosexuality as one of the mental disorders that were treated and, which could be diagnosed.

This led to the question of what caused homosexual behavior and whether it was that one was born with it, or it was a life choice (Sprigg 6). According to Heinrich Ulrich’s, homosexuality is by birth. He argued that homosexuality has a biological character. Richard Kraft-Ebing was influenced by the idea of Ulrich and according to him; homosexuality is the deterioration of the brain.

Furthermore, homosexuality is learned or acquired through childhood. Studies have indicated that children who display a behavior that is the opposite of what is expected of their gender have a high tendency of growing up homosexuals. Sexologists John Money argued that children would only pick the sex which will, in turn, fix their gender.

This will make the boy grow as feminine and nurture with feminine behaviors; this is an indication that there are high chances of the boy becoming homosexual at most and transsexual at least. The anti-homophobia law was aimed at putting to notice those opposed to homosexual, and it was made mandatory that people migrating into the province of Quebec should be thought few moral lessons about homosexuality to put into them the fact that it is unethical and a common value in the province (United Families International Blog 1)

Theoretical Perspectives of Homosexuality

There are only two sets of theories that seek to explain the causes of homosexuality. The first theory explains that social orientation is a product of genetic or biological factors, and their line of argument is that people are born naturally gay. The other set of the theory is that homosexuality develops as a result of psychological and environmental influences (Barnecka, Karp and Lollike 10).

In the early 1900s, a study found out that homosexuality was as a result of gene orientation and therefore, it is not a life choice. According to the research, the X chromosome that was from the mother and in most cases being passed to the male child was responsible for homosexual behavior. The study found out that both Y and X are responsible for homosexual behavior in males (Barnecka, Karp and Lollike 20).

On the other hand, a research carried out by psychologists posited that homosexual behavior is neither genetic nor a life choice that a person chooses, but it is as a result of environmental influence (Barnecka, Karp and Lollike 16). According to Sigmund Freud, homosexuality behavior is as a result of the home and family environment that one is brought in.

According to the psychologists like Heinrich Ulrich, if a child fears his father but ends up identifying with the mother in life, he is likely to develop a liking for men as an object of his love. Moreover, other psychologists like Kinsey and Hooker have argued that homosexuality is a result of either sexual abuse, which occurs in the neighborhood or the homes of the victims at the hand of neighbors, friends or the relatives.

These facts are important in analyzing the topic of the essay which is how homosexuals affect people around them (Barnecka, Karp and Lollike 24). However, from everything that I have learned as a result of my cousin’s help and read from a number of books, newspapers and heard from the media, I can conclude that homosexual behavior is not only as a result of personal choice, but it is a combination of both biological and genetic factors, and choice has nothing to do with it.

This is the reason why my cousin, Vincenzo Blanco never adopted homosexual behavior, even though he had friends and still has friends who are gay. It is necessary therefore to first understand the history of homosexuality and its development to have an insight and an understanding of people’s attitude and beliefs about homosexuality (Barnecka, Karp and Lollike 9).

From the behavioral perspective, homosexuality is a learned behavior and only takes place when an individual is exposed to it hence a person who has the first sexual experience with a person of similar sex will likely become a homosexual.

Consequently, if the sexual experience were in the negative then the individual would likely turn to the opposite sex, for example, a woman who has been molested by a man will have the likelihood of becoming a lesbian. Behaviorally, it is believed that sexual orientation has some consequences on the sexual status of homosexuality.

They argue that the acceptability of behavior is determined by the controllability of the same behavior. This implies that since people lack control over their biological inheritance, they cannot be held responsible for their homosexual behavior, which is biologically predetermined.

There are three main aspects of sexual growth that determine a sexual identity; these are the development of sex centers, growth of sexual preferences and development of brain center for sexual roles. All these define an individual’s sexual orientation (Barnecka, Karp and Lollike 11).

Arguments that genes are responsible for homosexuality have also been suggested. This argument was put forward by Hirschfeld, who was among the first sexologist. According to Hirschfeld, homosexuality is partially inherited, and that it repeats itself in families. To him, brothers or sons of homosexuals are likely to be homosexuals (Barnecka, Karp and Lollike 19).

According to psychodynamic theory view of homosexuality, there is a relationship between Oedipus complex and homosexuality. According to this theory, in every family relationship, there are strong feelings of love and hate in an equal measure. This hostility can result in the protest of the superego, which is a personality structure hence turning down unwanted thoughts.

All happen during the early stage of development of a child which may lead to the focus and association by the child of one parent of the opposite sex and developing hatred and aggression towards the parent of a similar sex. Any parent who fulfills the basic needs of the infant will become the first object of love.

A child’s response to this phenomenon will determine their sexual orientation in maturity. There is a postulation that in a scenario where the father will be weak while the mother is strong and unresolved situation arising from Oedipus complex, which is weak may lead to the development of a homosexual son and when it is vice versa, it might result to a lesbian daughter (Barnecka, Karp and Lollike 23).

Societal Perception of Homosexuality

Traditionally, homosexuality was considered a mental disorder by the America Psychological Association (APA) but after undertaking a research about its origin, causes, and development, they realized that it was not a mental disorder, and consequently, it was removed from the list of their disorders in 1973 with a statement later released disapproving that homosexuality was not a mental disorder.

According to APA, homosexuality is neither a mental disorder nor a moral evil, but it is an expression of human love and sexuality by a particular segment of the population (Craine 1). According to many people, no one can choose his sexual feelings or sexual attractions, but every individual has the opportunity to define the sexual behaviors that they wish to engage in irrespective of whether homosexuality is biological or an acquired.

The fact is that as a province, Quebec formulated a policy which made all cases of homosexual legal which was one of its kind in the North American continent. This policy was aimed at improving several cases of sexual minorities and a will to make it part of the academic course outline was publicized (Craine 1).

It has been argued that pain and rejection often lead people to make wrong decisions. Roston argued that when parents do not bring up their children in a loving manner, then the children are likely to opt to homosexuality and lesbian as a source of love (Roston 19).

There are also some arguments that biology and not choice defines the path of sexual orientation. The policy of homosexuality as a choice is slowly diminishing. The fundamental trait of homosexuality lies in genetic evidence and biology; these may be through genes or heritability, brain structure and hormones (Liberty Education Forum 14). No individual chooses the path of homosexuality since they risk being rejected by their families, relatives, and friends.

To address this problem of homophobia, the government of Quebec initiated a program that will take care of the elderly lesbians and gays as well as those suffering from the problem of transgender. This is to safeguard them from any form of homophobia and discrimination (BBC News).

Many homosexual people have been the subject of unjust treatment and harassment; others have been even tortured and murdered. They have been referred to by several names like faggots, sewer or sordid. Homophobia, which is the hatred for homosexual people, is becoming a reality and individuals who tend to develop love and compassion towards each other have been scared by the strong anger and feelings towards the homosexuals.

The treatment of the homosexuals, to some extent, is unfair since it is argued a majority of homosexuals did not become so by choice. Homosexuals’ believe that they cannot change, since, they lack the control over their situation, and they argue that God created them that way and heterosexuals have to accept it. This discrimination against homosexuals is called homophobia (Barnecka, Karp and Lollike 47).

Homosexuality has a lot of medical and behavioral consequences. Their sexual behaviors are tragic, abnormal and or immorality when compared with the straight. As such they suffer high risks of contracting HIV/AIDS since they minimally practice safe sex. They also experience a high rate of drug and substance abuse than the general population.

The problems of discrimination can lead to depression and stress. Programs similar to the ones necessary for treating patients suffering from substance abuse and alcohol have been applied to homosexuals by religious organizations and psychotherapists. There are also questions as to whether an individual’s sexual orientation can be altered; it is argued that no one can change the sexual orientation of a homosexual individual.

Homosexuality is considered a threat to the existence of society and the institution of the family since they do not procreate. Homosexuals are the troubling segment of the society in that they go against the conventional traditional values and norms. Their mission for gratification at the expense of societal culture and religious ideas is often damned (Berggren1).

Conservatives and Liberals Views on Homosexuality

When the supporters of homosexuality claim their line of argument that they are born with the behavior, they take their arguments beyond genetic and environmental arguments. They suggest that homosexuality is the product of personal genes. According to them, a present at birth behavior is normal and natural, beyond the human control and cannot be changed and is acceptable and a product of God’s creation and more so morally legitimate.

The logic behind their arguments is that when one is born homosexual, it cannot, or there is no possibility for changing since it is natural. They argue that the church must abandon its stand and discrimination against homosexuals (Curtis 19).

There is also a liberal category of scholars who believe that homosexuality is not a choice but can only be a gift from God that is worth celebration or an involuntary and indifferent condition. Conservatives, on the other hand, believe that homosexuality is a choice, but they disagree on its moral grounds.

The underpinning argument is that homosexuality is a given social orientation but cannot be a fate to be accepted or a power that one can submit to since we all have the freedom to make choices in life (Curtis 19). Liberals believe that homosexuality is an inborn character; God made them; they tend to question why God created homosexuals and then turn to criticize them.

Homosexuals, just like other heterosexual individuals can express their feeling and can also demonstrate it in relationships (Curtis 19). There seems to be a general understanding that homosexuality and the same sex orientation is given, but the big debate remains whether or not we should accept homosexual and recognize it as a sexual activity.

Accepting it does not however indicate that we approve their behaviors and activities. Conservatives base their arguments from the following dimensions:

First homosexual activities are unnatural: conservatives argue that homosexuality is wrong and according to the Christian perspective, homosexual acts are unnatural. Some verses of the bible term it as unnatural practices and consider it was degrading.

Homosexual acts are considered unnatural in the following ways: it is more theoretical and goes against the fact that bodies of men and women need to combine in order to produce the next generation or to procreate and based on this argument, homosexuality does not accord with the purpose and the intentions of God’s plan for our bodies.

Consequently, homosexuality is contrary to nature. The fact that several parties detest it and that many people are against it is an indication that it is unacceptable behavior. The second argument of the conservatives is that it violates the structure: they are considered to be contrary to the norms of the scripture and the bible attacks it as evidenced in the holy book of Romans 1:26-27 and Leviticus 18:22 (Curtis 19).

The conservatives’ belief that homosexuality is highly criticized in the Bible, to them homosexuals are not born, but they are made. To them, no nature can produce homosexuals, but they are products of dysfunctional relationships and a corrupt world. They consider homosexuality as the worst and extreme form of sin.

There are some provinces and health institutions that still consider homosexualism as a mental disorder despite it being legalized by the country’s constitution; this has been largely due to lack of an updated information and communication system necessary to update or rather remove it for the list of disorders (Curtis 20).

Homosexual Parenting and Adoption

The debate and public opinion as to whether homosexual should be allowed to adopt children have been a hot one. The phenomenon of donor insemination has helped in combating homosexual discrimination, and it has presented them with an opportunity to parent children just like heterosexuals.

This is because sexual orientation is not a parameter that measures an individual’s parenting capability. There have been exceptional cases of adoptive homes and heterosexual parenting as evidenced by Rick Martin and Michael Jackson (NCLR 1)

Marriages Rights

Homosexual marriages have been at the center of controversial debate, especially in North America, and it has developed to a hot and a complex topic. No middle ground has been found on the matter. In the USA for example, there are some states, which have authorized homosexual marriages, there are those who have completely banned it, and others have banned but recognize its existence.

Legal homosexual marriages are not recognized, and some countries have rendered it illegal. The main reason for this approach is that any change that threatens culture, especially a change in societal structure is considered stressful and disorienting. Canada went into the record as the number four country to permit homosexuality and homosexual marriages.

The country defined the rights of gays and lesbians, and it was included in the country’s constitution. This was contrary to the fact it was considered illegal and a crime in the year 1970s (Makarenko 1). Opinions regarding same-sex marriages vary depending on religion, geography, and age. There are two provinces in Canada (Quebec and Ontario) which have legally recognized homosexual marriages and have followed the path taken by Netherlands and Belgium, which have sanctioned same-sex marriages.

However, some countries allow homosexual domestic partnerships, which are not subject to legal or economic privileges (Roca 4). Homosexuality is considered biblically considered as evil since it is a fact that it is a relationship between a man and a woman who can give birth to a child, the definition of a family in Canada does not factor in a homosexual marriage, and this contradicts its legality (Robinson 1).

Conclusion

Psychologists like Nicolosi’s consider homosexuality just as another form of sexuality, and it is not in any way linked to the study of diseases. With the contemporary world, it is considered to acknowledge the variety in our societies. Since homosexual behavior is here to stay, it is only good to accept it and further to address the problems that face them like disgrace, which is associated with homosexual behaviors.

Homosexuality has triggered a lot of debate and controversies. There are gay activists and liberals on the one hand and the conservatives and religious organizations, on the other hand. Similarly, several different arguments have been proposed ranging from the fact that homosexuality is a natural behavior whereas others argue that it is an abnormality and abnormal behavior and outside the boundaries of normal and expected behavior.

With the advent of globalization and cultural differences that characterize the world, I believe that homosexual behaviors should be appreciated and acknowledged within different aspects by which emotions are expressed by human beings.

It is clear from the arguments that homosexuality is genetically carried and not learned after birth. This is due to the argument that our genes are composed of two separate sexual orientation systems, first is that there exists an attraction between two individuals, but two are conventionally available during conception: a man should be attracted towards women while women should be attracted towards a man.

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