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“The Construction of Homosexuality” a Book by David Greenberg


The book, The Construction of Homosexuality by David Greenberg presents the reflection of the author on historical timeline of the struggle by homosexuals to get their rights. The book reflects on theories, history of homosexuality, and construction of the modern homosexual belief system. Thus, this reflective treatise attempts to explicitly review various thoughts expressed in this book on homosexuality.

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Greenberg (1990) is categorical that the topic of same sex marriage has attracted heated debate over the years in all societies. The protagonists and antagonists of this sexual identity have always clashed over the tenet of homosexuality against the moral standards of the society. However, Greenberg’s arguments support homosexuality. The tenets of his thoughts are based on basic human rights, the religious freedom of choice and personal conscious. Through reflective research, Greenberg (1990) explores the independent variables of society, ethnicity and religious affiliation and their influence on the life of a homosexual. The scope of his arguments is restricted to individual perceptions and reconstruction of the past society (Greenberg 16).

In the book The Construction of Homosexuality, Greenberg’s definition of homosexuality is formulated on valid cross-cultural variations of modern and traditional forms. Same sex marriage, just like any other form of marriage is a union of two adults of the same sex in a domestic arrangement with each member having defined roles to play. Over the years, the religious and conservative groups have been the most active in opposing homosexual couples getting married despite their support of human rights and freedom of choice. Greenberg (1990) identifies several strategies that have been embrace by the supporters, sympathizes and activists of gay sex marriage to win support of the public on the need to stop prejudicing gay and lesbianism marriages.

For instance, the assimilation approach has resulted in positive results among the gays in America (Greenberg 20). The author notes that the proponents of homosexuality are drawn from civil unions, domestic right groups and registered informal societies who extend their hand in support for this highly criticized union. The members of this group have managed to convince the society on the need to coexist by employing civil rights movements, public protests, and race riots.

Greenberg (1990) is intrinsic on homosexuality rights and is consistent in exploring possible reasons behind specific antagonist and protagonist inclination on homosexuality. The first argument proposed by the author in support of homosexuality is that only one or two verses in the entire Bible mention homosexuality and it is barely a topic in the holy book. In the views of Greenberg (1990), biblical literalism can be blamed for demonizing homosexuality since the manuscripts of the good book can only be traced to the 20th century. The second argument is that most fundamental Christians are hypocrites who have discarded all the other topics in the tome of the good book apart from the one or two verses on homosexuality. Thus, selective amnesia only promotes literalism instead of ‘contextualism’ (Greenberg 23).

Besides, Greenberg (1900) discusses the consequences of socially constructing homosexuals and homosexuality as an abomination is destroyed family relationships and discrimination of the homosexuals by the society. The relations among the family members may also be strained since no one would want to accept or associate with homosexuals as members of their family. On the other hand, constructing homosexuality as an abomination may open the door for abuse of gay rights by their opponents. The abuse may be in the form of discrimination from participating in social events, church activities and free interaction. In fact, the author opines that the society may internalize the selective amnesia approach when relating to the homosexuals irrespective of their feelings and freedom of choice (Greenberg 24).

This book states that religion is the sole contributor to homosexual stereotyping, violence towards homosexuals, and violent relation to the self confessed homosexuals. Through reflecting on the past societies, the author notes that homosexuality has been in existence for ages. Greenberg (1990) notes that the practice of homosexuality was very common in the Greek and Roman empires during the earlier centuries and was an accepted form of relationship. The author bases his support for homosexuality on the above tenet since all constitutions in the world support respect for human rights (Greenberg 23). Further, the author notes that most of the antagonists of homosexuality rarely take their time to understand their reasons for discontent despite the harmlessness of practicing homosexuality.

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According to Greenberg (1990), several gay and lesbianism movements have restored the confidence of the homosexuals since the prejudice has decreased. In fact, the protagonists describe hatred toward homosexuals as influenced by generalization and personal perception. They argue that the heated debate on negative effects of homosexuality is a creation of perception since there is no substantial evidence to prove allegation raised by antagonists. Besides, every scenario and period on homosexuality is influenced by different dynamics that cannot function as dependent variable (Greenberg 27).

From theoretical perspective, the second part of the book The Construction of Homosexuality, discusses the sexism and misogyny culture as inclined towards misogynistic attitudes towards homosexuality by the mere element of perception (Greenberg 31). As a result, the effect only improves the self esteem, happiness, security, and relationship to the homosexual folks. Therefore, the views of the antagonists asserting that dissemination and practice of homosexuality enslaves the society into a cubical of anomy are baseless since there is no evidence to support their stand (Greenberg 29).

Being part of the few protagonist of homosexuality, the author, clarifies his stand on homosexuality as a free will practice which men and women engage in a like. For Greenberg, the basis of participating in homosexuality has little to do with coercion, but self consciousness and need to curve a unique culture among the characters who explore their sexuality. In his analysis, Greenberg (1900) concludes that men and women are equal partners in the homosexuality and ‘straightness’ since the bodies of the homosexuals are their right, as long as, self consciousness forms part of the right. Therefore, the author argues that homosexuals are free beings in the society with an equal space as the ‘straights’ to discover, experience, and willingly participate in sexual episodes with persons of their choice as long as the other party is a consenting adult. Besides, numerous personal and political benefits homosexuals get include marriage, property inheritance and recognition as equals in the society (Greenberg 30).


The antagonists of homosexuals dismissed the homosexuals as contributors to weird sexism and hideous devilish acts. However, these harsh perceptions are influenced by opinions which cannot be quantified. The book shades light on the rights of the homosexual such respect and acceptance, free will and freedom in the face of the changing society.

Works Cited

Greenberg, David. The construction of homosexuality, Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1990. Print.

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