Societal Attitude Towards Homosexuality

31 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2012

Date Written: October 20, 2011

Abstract

Where has the sexual revolution taken us? Do falling marriage rates mean that people are eschewing traditional pair-bonded heterosexual unions in favor of a kaleidoscope of casual sexual affairs with a wide variety of heterosexual and homosexual ‘partners’? In particular, has homosexuality — regarded as loathsome through much of history — come to be widely practiced and to be received with tolerance, if not with approbation, by the broader community?

Homosexuality refers to attraction or sexual behavior between people of the same sex, and/or to a sexual orientation. As an orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affection, or romantic attractions primarily to" people of the same 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." Homosexuality, bisexuality, and heterosexuality together make up the three main categories of sexual orientation and are part of the heterosexual-homosexual continuum. The number of people identifying as homosexual — and the proportion having homosexual experiences — are quantities which have been difficult for researchers to estimate reliably. Many recent studies indicate a prevalence of 2% to 13% of the population. A 2006 study suggested that 20% of the population anonymously reported some homosexual feelings, few of them identifying as homosexual. The prevalence of male homosexual orientation may vary over time and across societies in part because of variations in fertility rate or family size.

Suggested Citation

Sharma, Swati, Societal Attitude Towards Homosexuality (October 20, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2009523 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2009523
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