Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby postinonthenets » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:21 pm UTC

EnderSword wrote:...Also you bring up role models to gay youth, but again we kind of hit a problem there. Are you going to want your 16 y/o emerging as gay son to hang around his 35 y/o successful gay role model any more than you want a 40 y/o man hanging around your daughter? Difference being the daughter might resist the idea and the boy often wouldn't. ...


I'll just second what you said here. I talked to a good friend of mine (former roommate) who is gay and about how the 'mos tend to be a lot more sexually active (of which I was jealous). The whole age distinction thing is weird also. I would tend to think that it could be just as harmful (old-young) as in a hetero relationship. However, that leveling of the playing field leaves the situation confused, and it may be that many gay men need an older role model when they are younger (just conjecture).

You don't have to quote the entire previous post, thank you. -Az

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Azrael » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:26 pm UTC

Hold the proverbial phone.

May-December relationships were *well* established in the heterosexual community long prior to the emergence of modern, openly gay cultures.

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby EnderSword » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:45 pm UTC

I don't think anyone's saying that May-December doesn't exist in heterosexuals, but where and how it exists is different.

A young girl with an older man is largely because either the girl is previously conditioned to that by her past, or there's money involved.
The 17 y/o girl isn't dating a 40 y/o man for the sex. Barring any significant reason, girls will reject this relationship, again girls are the brakes.

2 men though, a smaller portion of the younger guys would reject the relationship, and would have a lot more doing it for the sex.
Also more doing it at probably younger ages.
Yes you certainly see a 48 y/o executive with his 26 y/o secretary...but not quite as prevailent is the 38 y/o with his 16 y/o neighbour. Not that its unheard of, but again the girl in that position is much more likely to say no than the boy, so barring cases of outright abuse its not as common.
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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Lucrece » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:46 pm UTC

Right, because with the advent of contraception and the sexual liberation of women, heterosexuals aren't as promiscuous? What, in this day and age you don't have bi-sexed social groups?

And the guys not wanting to shower with a gay man are homophobic due to the difference in reaction. You don't see women beating men to bloody pulps for a wrongly perceived look; their socialization into sexual modesty is responsible for the anxiety. Does every woman you come across treat you as a potential sexual predator? Because that's what all the drop-the-soap jokes are about among straight men, the depiction of gay men as predators eagerly awaiting the moment to take and ravage the poor straight men's virgin asses, degrading them into effeminacy.

And what the hell do you mean with the implication that gay men can't interact without a latent sexual tension? Especially between a 36 y/o and a 16 y/o, which constitutes statutory rape. Why would the boy be less resistant, and why would the older man be predatory? The depiction is not only sexist caricature of males, but ignorant assumptions about gay male interaction as well.

I came out of the closet when I was around 15, and at 22 I interact with older gay men just fine; so no, I wouldn't mind a gay son interacting with an older male. I don't adhere to silly Puritanical vestiges in our culture. Dealing with older gay men helped me in terms of guidance. What situations they had gone through that I could avoid, which places were safe for me to go around with my boyfriend, which businesses were friendly and we should endorse. My mother never insisted to me to be safe and caring towards the men I sleep with by using a condom. The counsel of older gay men did. It wasn't my father who warned me about certain practices, to avoid taking strangers home to sleep with.

Role models don't need to be considerably older than you. Think what some 15 year old gay boy might seek a role model in his favorite bands, movies, programs. How the 18 year old hetero boys have people to emulate all over, while we're starved of visibility.

Over-represented in the media? Where do you live?

http://www.glaad.org/eye/ontv/2008/where_we_are.pdf

That's not even close to the often cited 8-12%. Can you tell me in which MAINSTREAM (hint, Brokeback Mountain and Milk don't count) movies or TV have we had a fleshed out gay protagonist that doesn't revolve around AIDS and other stereotypical depictions of gay people? A protagonist who is gay but treated just like any other protagonist with the same standards.

P.S. God, this person just lives for antiquated stereotypes. Are your "gay friends" so comfortable with your depiction of them as sexually-compulsive predators?
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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Azrael » Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:41 pm UTC

EnderSword wrote:Barring any significant reason, girls will reject this relationship, again girls are the brakes.


The first part of that statement is obviously false.

The second part is an entirely unsupported generalization based on poor application of gender-wide stereotypes. Which rather quickly demonstrates that it's false too.

I will politely remind you that you have provided no supported, factual evidence for any of your assertions. And too many cries of "But they're different!" will just get this thread locked.

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby postinonthenets » Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:35 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:Right, because with the advent of contraception and the sexual liberation of women, heterosexuals aren't as promiscuous?


I don't think its about heterosexuality. Its about male and female. Take a look at the craigslist casual encounters website. What do you see? You see tons of men looking for women, and men looking for men. IMO, men are naturally more promiscous than women. When you've got a culture of all males, it stands to reason those people are going to be more promiscuous (not that I'm judging).

And the guys not wanting to shower with a gay man are homophobic due to the difference in reaction. You don't see women beating men to bloody pulps for a wrongly perceived look; their socialization into sexual modesty is responsible for the anxiety.


Sexual modesty? How about not wanting to be raped or sexually assaulted? Something fundamentally changes when the people you are with view you as a sexual object rather than a member of their own sex.

Does every woman you come across treat you as a potential sexual predator? Because that's what all the drop-the-soap jokes are about among straight men, the depiction of gay men as predators eagerly awaiting the moment to take and ravage the poor straight men's virgin asses, degrading them into effeminacy.


So...gay men who are effeminate are degrading themselves? And I thought "drop the soap" had more to do with jail house rape than gay anxiety.


P.S. God, this person just lives for antiquated stereotypes. Are your "gay friends" so comfortable with your depiction of them as sexually-compulsive predators?


Here I would suggest that my gay friends dont have quite the stick up their ass like you do...wait a second...poor choice of words?

And here I ban you from SB until I remember to care. -Az

I'm not judging gay men, or condemning them for anything. I honestly couldn't care less what your sexual orientation is. Gay Bi Straight, Trans, thats fantastic, good for you.

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Azrael » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:40 pm UTC

So.

This conversation now has one fewer participants.

It happens.

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Lucrece » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:57 pm UTC

These are going to be some general points for future posts in a discussion, since there's no point in responding to a person ejected from the thread.

Craiglist is not representative of the sexual appetites of women. Again, just because women are socialized to hook up differently than men does not mean they have lower sexual drives. I'd like to see some citation as to why women are inherently less sexual than males, if someone holds this view.

Characterizing every male as prone to rape any naked woman he sees is disingenuous. Gay men don't go raping other men, for example; why can't straight men exercize the same discipline? I don't think anyone will argue that straight men have some inherent inability to control their sexual urges. Rape isn't merely a sexual compulsion; it's a culture.

Jail rape and gay anxiety are intertwined. You become someone's "bitch". Gay men are degrading themselves because they consent to be penetrated, and thus effeminate (i.e. a bitch). Being penetrated will faggotize you, so to speak. Homophobia can be argued to be a branch of sexism.
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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Sharlos » Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:28 pm UTC

I will point out however that anxiety over having other people sexually objectify you while you are naked/showering is entirely reasonable regardless of your gender or sexual orientation. Now becoming violent over such anxieties is unacceptable but you cannot dismiss peoples feelings about the issue.

I will also agree that a lot of the issues society at large has with homosexuality stems from antiquated views on gender and gender-roles.

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby GoodRudeFun » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:02 pm UTC

Alot of this "its because gay men are more promiscuous than straight men" thing seems to be inherently wrong in so many ways. One, how is that even a good basis on which to judge someone? Prude out of date ideals of sexual self deprivation are not an objective basis on which to judge others. Two, it's a double standard when put into context with the view of promiscuous straight men. Its entirely ok for a man to go around having emotionless sex with every woman he see's but wrong for a man to have emotionless sex with even one other man? Three, it assumes that "women are the breaks", which is entirely foolish and based on sexist out dated ideals of what a woman's sexual role should be in relation to a man. Many women can have sex simply to enjoy sex, and many women do. There are many more problems with this as well.... in the end, promiscuous sex is only a bad thing when either of the participants has an unhealthy attitude towards sex.

I can see how it might be used to explain the sentiments, but it certainly doesn't justify anything, or even have any basis in reality.

EnderSword wrote:A young girl with an older man is largely because either the girl is previously conditioned to that by her past, or there's money involved.
Or she finds the older man attractive and would enjoy having sex with him?

Lucrece wrote: Homophobia can be argued to be a branch of sexism.
I'm going to have to agree. Homophobia can easily be tied in with assumed/enforced gender roles, and violating those gender roles is seen as an attack on those who need those roles to feel secure with their own sexuallity. This would be true if a woman is doing the violation as well. So does sexism boil down to a general need for gender roles? Are there any other reasons people are homophobic or does it all boil down to an insecurity of sorts?
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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby smw543 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:47 am UTC

I think it's an overreaction to say that the "girls are the breaks" perspective is sexist, especially when you consider that it's supported by the facts*. Trying to reinforce it, such as by calling a more sexually active girl a "slut", is certainly sexist, but simply observing that it is the current tendency is not.

Also supported by the facts* is that gay men have, on average, many more sexual encounters throughout their lifetime, though the disparity is much less than it used to be (as Lucrece mentioned, heterosexuals are becoming more open minded.)

*By "the facts" I mean professionally administered sex surveys, the likes of which are done by people with PhD's and have thousands of participants. I've held off on responding to this thread for a while until I could find at least one to cite, but it seems like you need to subscribe to the medical journal (or equivalent publication) in which the results were published in order to access them. If my word counts for anything (granted, this is the internet), I can say that I have seen the statistical data before (when taking the class I mentioned earlier ITT) and it supports the above statements. (I really have no reason to lie about this, and I'm mainly posting it to clear up an issue that runs the risk of derailing an otherwise very interesting thread.)
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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:47 pm UTC

smw543 wrote:Also supported by the facts* is that gay men have, on average, many more sexual encounters throughout their lifetime, though the disparity is much less than it used to be (as Lucrece mentioned, heterosexuals are becoming more open minded.)
I'd believe the statistics if I saw them; however, it's important to clarify that this is probably as much a product of homophobic culture as it is a cause - if not more. The two probably feed into one another.

Statistics will invariably prove that there aren't as many female engineers as male engineers; is that because women are intrinsically ill-suited to engineering? No; social pressures keep them away (and one of those social pressures is the lack of women in engineering). I'd imagine it works much the same for male homosexuality and its relation to homophobia - "We hate Y because they are X" often leads to Y taking on some of the aspects of X, especially when X includes things you'd expect from an oppressed, tyrannized minority (Jewish insularity, for example). Traces of these properties may or may not have existed in the minority to begin with (providing the initial reasoning for the persecution, maybe), but that's irrelevant; the persecution can manufacture these qualities. Hell, even if those qualities never surface, persecutors will play a game of make-believe ("You seem okay, gay person, but it's all those other gays I have a problem with - you know! The ones who dance and frolic and speak with lisps!").

This is all an aside. The fact of the matter is that a group will be persecuted regardless of whether they exhibit the qualities which their persecutors foist upon them. Whether or not sexual frivolity has been attached at the hip with male homosexuality, homophobes will perceive it as such. The important thing here to remember is that homophobia - racism - sexism - it's almost always about persecuting non-existent stereotypes and non-existent threats to begin with.

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby smw543 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:29 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:The fact of the matter is that a group will be persecuted regardless of whether they exhibit the qualities which their persecutors foist upon them. Whether or not sexual frivolity has been attached at the hip with male homosexuality, homophobes will perceive it as such. The important thing here to remember is that homophobia - racism - sexism - it's almost always about persecuting non-existent stereotypes and non-existent threats to begin with.
Absolutely. I guess I didn't make it clear in my post, but I meant to point out that the conversation was shifting towards why those two points are wrong rather than whether they are even relevant.

In other words, regardless of whether it's true, does it matter to people if gay men have more sex? I was responding to the fact that GoodRudeFun seemed to be arguing that it wasn't true because it was sexist and that it wasn't a good reason to judge someone, but this isn't a gay-basher bashing thread; we aren't trying to figure out why homophobia is wrong, just why homophobia is. (I'm pretty sure that made sense.)
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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby GoodRudeFun » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:54 am UTC

Actually my point was that it isn't relevant. For the most part I didn't say much about whether it was true or not. It was mostly a response to those who where attempting to validate their own homophobia.
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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby postinonthenets » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:12 pm UTC

I'm not going to get back into this for obvious reasons, and I realize the probable futility of saying this, however...

For the record, I'm not homophobic, and I really did not mean to portray gay men as predators. I had a conversation with my good gay friend about this and he seemed to think that gay men were more promiscuous with each other than male-female relationships. I don't think gay men are predators, freaks, abnormal or anything. I was simply relating my personal experience, and perhaps I generalized more than I should have. I honestly didn't mean to disparage or insult anyone...well...except with that one comment.

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby sikyon » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:53 pm UTC

Going back a moment to the original question about if bias against homosexuals was due to a lack of procreation, it is not. From an evolutionary standpoint, as long as the homosexuals are benefiting the society as a whole then their genes will achieve greater expression. Basically if you are beneficial to society, but cannot procreate, then your genes will be lost. However, the potential for expressing the genes you had in the entire pool will still increase, because you have helped your population and therefore your population as a whole, which spawned you in the first place, has a higher chance of spawning something like you again.

Just wanted to throw that in.

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Enuja » Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:23 am UTC

I agree that lack of procreation is not the root cause of homophobia, and is instead a super-easy rationalization for homophobia. One thing that I think is missing in this discussion so far is an explicit discussion of difference between homophobia and cultural prohibitions against homosexual behavior. The discussions of Greek male homosexuality address this distinction, but only implicitly. It has become much easier to ignore this distinction after the invention of homosexual identity. Even where homosexual behavior was considered sinful, it was considered a sinful act that people did, not an identity. You wouldn't expect adulterers or rapists to have things in common with each other and form a community, and the same was true of homosexuals. The Western concept of homosexual identity as we know it now was invented somewhere around the 1920s*, and since then the prohibitions against homosexual behavior have slowly become prohibitions against an identity. That means that you don't just have to worry about not doing something, you have to worry about not being something. Regulating who you are inside requires a huge amount of attention to the direction and meaning of your thoughts and behavior, and it makes it possible to be afraid of acting homosexual and therefore becoming homosexual. Think about it this way: if it's wrong to make depictions of the human form, fine, just don't draw the human form. But if artists who draw the human form are different from people who draw trees, then you have to think about what type of artist you are, and you can be afraid of doing human-depiction-like things.

I think that the idea that lack of procreation is the source of homophobia arises when people (homophobic or not) try to have reasoned discussions about the origin of homophobia. Sometimes there simply isn't a logical reason for your feelings or for societal constraints, and trying to reason unreasonable things makes us think that rationalizations are reasons. I think that there are always causes for feelings and societal constraints, but they are often strange historical happenstances instead of logical reasons. The article linked by Lucrece was fascinating and provides a believable narrative of the origin of western homophobia. Unfortunately, it doesn't explicitly address the modern origin of homosexual identity and the relationship between this and homophobia as we know it.

*The thesis that male homosexual identity was invented in the 1920s is apparently developed in the book Gay New York by George Chauncey. The term "homosexuality" was invented in the 1880s. Every subsequent statement in that paragraph is my personal suspicion. (Edited to change date and add book as reference.)

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby smw543 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:42 am UTC

(That's one hell of a first post.) I'm inclined to say that prohibition of homosexual behavior and homophobia tend to go hand-in-hand. Basically, your culture says men having sex with men is bad, and there are certain men whose preference is other men. Said men don't just practice homosexuality when they feel like it, their homosexuality is a part of who they are. If someone is in part defined by a behavior that you find deplorable, then you obviously don't approve of them, etc. (This is starting to sound circular, probably because it's pretty much self-evident.)

Which leads to another point: there's a big difference (from a homophobe's perspective) between a person who takes part in a homosexual act and one who identifies as a homosexual. Which is interesting, because a homosexual identity is, in practice, very hard to pinpoint. (Of course, there are plenty of people who are "entirely gay", but surveys in which a wide variety of questions meant to determine orientation are asked tend to place the average person as not-quite-straight.)

Speaking of surveys, I found this one. Because it was commissioned by ABC, it has some pointless statistics, but if you scroll down a couple pages there's a lot of interesting data. And it was performed by TNS, which looks to be a legitimate group. Probably most relevant to the thread is the percentage of people who think homosexuality is "OK" (older age, churchgoing, and being a conservative all correlate with a lower likelihood of approving of homosexuality - no surprises, really.)
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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Enuja » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:59 am UTC

Homophobia is defined in the OED as "Fear or hatred of homosexuals and homosexuality." By that definition, I can see how homophobia could be expected to be correlated with prohibitions against homosexual behavior. However, when I think of homophobia, I guess I mean the outer signs of homophobia, which the OP honestly didn't explicitly address. When I think of homophobia I mean men not willing to touch or kiss each other, men not allowed to wear pink, men not willing to hang out with other men, judges not allowing lesbians custody of their children, neighbors not inviting the people with the rainbow flag to the BBQ, men being ostracized for having a lisp and women being ostracized for looking "butch". When I refine the definition of "homophobia" to be "outer signals of homophobia" is it more convincing that homophobia is not strongly correlated with prohibitions against homosexual behavior? Is it non-controversial to say that men in many regions that have strong prohibitions against homosexuality can hold hands and lean against each other?

A quick search netted two interesting articles on the subject:

Floyd, K. 2000. Affectionate same-sex touch: The influence of homophobia on observers' perceptions. The Journal of social psychology. 140:774-788.

Boellstorff, T. 2004. The emergence of political homophobia in Indonesia: Masculinity and national belonging. Ethnos. 69:465-486. doi:10.1080/0014184042000302308

smw543, when you say that homophobic people view participating in homosexual acts as different from people who have homosexual identity, are you implying that non-homophobic people do not, by definition, make a distinction between these two things? I was making the same argument, but on a historical cultural perspective (different cultures have viewed homosexuality as an identity or not) instead of on an individual level (people seeing homosexuality as different depending on whether or not it goes with homosexual identity).

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Lucrece » Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:29 am UTC

I find it hard to understand how gay identity only came to exist in the 1920's? The term and categorization of this trait may have been recognized then, but I believe that the homosexual -- not just the desperate straight looking for any hole to stick it in-- perhaps would not have used the word, but have realized his difference.

I certainly realized mine even before I knew the term. I recall this boy I played with when I was around 7 that was rather close to me. We were very physically affectionate. That kind of affection that leads a boy to purposely kick the ball in the wrong direction so as not to score a goal-- and thus humiliate the other boy-- during soccer games.

I did realize a difference at that age. The other boys were not as close to each other.

So how do we categorize these instances? Is there truly a homosexual act without identity? I don't think I would've been much different from those in earlier times that felt completely smitten by another boy, that urge to want to be close and crave their attention and affection without even being aware of such a gay identity.

Rather, I think the "gay identity" arises out of a society that explicitly perceives people like me as "different/other". "Gay" wouldn't exist if society didn't encourage emphasizing this difference in people, if it weren't inclined to assume everyone to be straight, and the occasion of a person falling for another person of the same sex not causing even the batting of an eye-lid among members of such society.
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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Enuja » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:28 am UTC

I think the question of the origin of homosexual identity is extremely relevant to the question of the origin of homophobia, but it's also a fascinating subject of its own. I'm obviously brand-spanking new here, so if this deserves a thread split, I apologize and would be happy to start a new thread.

There are a lot of differences in society, but they don't all result in different identities. Who you wanted to have sex with didn't used to be about identity. In fact, sex didn't used to be related to who you loved. The entire idea of falling in love with someone and then creating a family around that love is a new invention in the last 300 years. The book "Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage" by Stephanie Cootz describes the growth of love as an important part of marriage, and the modern developments in marriage as a result of this innovation. In order to understand that a homosexual identity didn't used to exist, you first must understand that "dating" and living with a person because you like them are both brand-new ideas. In order for who you want to have sex to be about your identity, your sexual preferences have to be an important part of who you are. And they simply didn't used to be. Sure, sex could be a fun thing to do, and men could have extremely important relationships with other men that included sex, and sex of all kinds could be a part of religious activities, and in families procreative heterosexual sex was important to create children, but family formation did not used to be about sex. Men being sexually attracted to men is historically very old. Making that a part of identity is historically new. Sure, men who would now by "gay" might have considered themselves "different" from other people, but it wasn't a kind of life-structuring, community-creating difference.

I have read "Marriage, a History" but I haven't read "Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940" by George Chauncey. Maybe we should both read it and then talk about it? Apparently the major thrust of the book is that gay male identity was created as a way of distancing gayness from the entertainers who were "female impersonators". In other words, the identity of being a transsexual has existed throughout history, and homosexual desire has existed throughout history, but the identity of being male but also sexually and affectionally attracted to other men did not exist. All men were affectionally attracted to other men, and some men were sexually attracted to other men, but that, by itself, didn't make a community-creating identity. Both homosexuality and heterosexuality are new social inventions that require, as prerequisites, the increased importance of individual romantic love in structuring society.

In the past, the way children acted around other children would not been seen as related to sexual orientation, because the entire idea of sexual orientation had not yet been invented.

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:58 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:I find it hard to understand how gay identity only came to exist in the 1920's?
Yeah, Greece not only acknowledged homosexual identity but discussed it pretty extensively. I'm pulling things out of my ass, here, but the age-old example of this is Socrates discussing the Army of Thebes - an army entirely of self-identified homosexuals. Also, in The Republic, he discusses a homosexual (obviously a male homosexual) society being superior to heterosexual. I've never read the original Greek (and barely know a smattering of it anyway), but I'd be very surprised to learn there isn't a word that refers to a 'homosexual' identifier.

Still, the point Enuja made - to separate homosexual identity with homosexual behavior - is an interesting one, and I think it does have an immense amount of relevance to matters of homophobia (and the manner in which homophobic societies classify and justify the oppression of homosexuals while claiming to be egalitarian). I'm just not sold on the idea of 'homosexual identity' magically appearing in the 1920s; what the hell did Oscar Wilde identify himself as, then?

But--that aside--quick note:
postinonthenets wrote:For the record, I'm not homophobic, and I really did not mean to portray gay men as predators.
I think it's important for you - and us - to realize that everyone is homophobic, to some degree. Fuck, homosexuals are probably homophobic to some degree. We've been soaking in a homophobic, hetero-normative society since our birth. How could we not be homophobic?

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Enuja » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:54 pm UTC

The socially acceptable homosexual behavior in ancient Greece is actually an excellent example of how homosexual identity was not an accepted part of an ancient society. The system of pederasty (man-boy love) was a specific type of relationship, not limited to a group of men who were some equivalent to "gay" or "homosexual". Instead, it was a highly organized social role where, in fact, the younger man was not supposed to feel sexual attraction to the older man. It was in no way, shape, or form an alternative to a "heterosexual" role (because, neither homosexual nor heterosexual identity existed). The Wikipedia article provides a really useful introduction.

About Oscar Wilde:
Wikipedia says that he considered himself to have a "socratic" sexuality. And, of course, he's a really important figure in the origin of homosexuality as a concept and of homosexual identity. Homosexual identity and homosexual movements were born in more than one time and place: Germany, for example, had a early homosexual culture that was destroyed by Hitler. In fact, in my first post, I first said that homosexual identity was invented in the general time period of the 1880s, but later edited it to the 1920s because my spouse corrected me based, at least in part, on "Gay New York". The basic idea stands: homosexual identity is a new idea, even though it didn't develop instantly or just in one place, and even though there were leading proponents of the idea. Also, if you re-animated him now, Oscar Wilde would be more amenable to Greek style pederasty than to modern queer theory or 1970s gay identity politics (which are quite distinct from each other).

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Lucrece » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:30 am UTC

I will check out to see if I can get my hands on the book. It'd be very interesting to discuss and increase our understanding on the topic.

By the way, In Ricktor Norton's website that I provided earlier, he summons various historical cases of homosexual--not pederastic-- relationships described as marriages in the earlier century.
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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:09 am UTC

On of my professors was lecturing us about urbanisation in the nineteenth century, and showed us this brilliant document that was meant for South American businessmen coming to New York. It identified all the types you were likely to encounter on the street (middle-class woman, gentleman, prostitute), and the one labeled 'Fairy' was your extroverted, camp homosexual.

The professor claimed that in the eighteenth-century you could indulge in homosexual behaviour in your youth, which you could reminisce about in your old age without anyone minding, but once you were married it became unacceptable to participate in it. So you could participate in homosexual activity, but identifying as homosexual was unheard of. He claimed that it was the nineteenth century when it became possible to be homosexual, in the sense that the category now existed (in a negative context, it wasn't accepted by any means).
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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby The-nightmare » Sat May 16, 2009 4:50 pm UTC

Carnildo wrote:
Altercator wrote:Most people have an instinctive "ew, yuck" reaction to any form of sexual intercourse that cannot lead to reproduction, be it homosexuality, pedophilia, or beastiality. There doesn't seem to be any objective reasoning behind this reaction; rather, when asked why they're reacting a certain way, people will come up with a variety of vague rationalizations, usually amounting to "it's disgusting". Only when pressed to explain why it's disgusting do explanations like "they can't reproduce" come up.


There is a very good reason that beastiality and pedophilia are not allowed though.

Both are, 99% of the time, rape.

Also, not to bash but, homosexuality is unnatural. that doesn't mean that it is terrible, or should be shunned, but it is technically an anomaly.

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Cynwulf » Sat May 16, 2009 5:51 pm UTC

The-nightmare wrote:Also, not to bash but, homosexuality is unnatural. that doesn't mean that it is terrible, or should be shunned, but it is technically an anomaly.

I'm not going to flame you, but I am going to wave my scientist-finger at you. You are making assumptions. A lack of evidence to support an argument is not equivalent to evidence falsifying it.

As for the whole anomaly thing, uh, no. I'm no expert, but I have had debates on this subject. Homosexuality has been viewed in the animal kingdom and most biologists agree it is naturally occurring (albeit in small numbers). Theories as to why are trickier. The best boil down to the argument that homosexuality provides a benefit (these are numerous and vary on theory) to heterosexual reproduction. Eg, male homosexuality linked to female fecundity. I've also seen a few books, but I forgot authors/titles.
L'homme est libre au moment qu'il veut l'être. | Man is free at the instant he wants to be.
- Voltaire

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Re: Roots of homophobia:Lack of Procreation?

Postby Azrael » Sat May 16, 2009 7:23 pm UTC

Ug. This thread did not need to resurface. Locked.

- Az


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