A lot has been done over the years to embrace homosexuality in modern society. The past mantra that homosexuality was to be viewed differently than heterosexuality is to be discarded completely, as all humans below the sun should be treated equally, regardless of their sexual orientation. It is the belief of many that homosexuality has only started being celebrated a few years ago. This is inaccurate as homosexuality was celebrated even in ancient times, during the Egyptian periods as can be seen in older texts. The Egyptians did not share binary views on relationships, therefore a male/male relationship was commonly accepted.
The same can be said for African nations. Before the late 1800’s there was a very little stigma associated with homosexuality. Records highlighting long-term erotic relationships between females have also been traced. This started to change with colonialism which apart from the slavery, diseases and environmental detriment, brought with it homophobia.
Before the 1950s, most studies on homosexual persons took place on either prisoners or mental patients and therefore it was practical to conclude that criminality and mental illness were indeed positively correlated with homosexuality. Nullifying these conclusions was the work of a commendable psychologist called Evelyn Hooker, who wanted to study “normal homosexuals” with no past mental illness and criminality records. Starting off was immensely difficult as homosexual males were afraid that their sexual orientation would be compromised. At the time, this would have led them to lose their jobs.
On one particular test given to thirty homosexual and thirty heterosexual males, no particular distinctions could be made. Several studies which followed, showed that homosexuals function just as well at work and in relationships as heterosexuals. By the 1970s, homosexuality was no longer classified as a mental disease by the American Psychiatric Association. This was key in fostering societal acceptance for homosexuals.
Another breakthrough in psychology strongly indicates that homosexuality is determined by inheritance and is not a choice. This is something that someone is born with and cannot alter, hence there is no choice. This concept of inheritance was spearheaded in the 1990s as several research conclusions supported this. In addition to this, people’s perception also changed as more now believe that homosexuality is not a choice, but is rather related to one’s genetic make-up.
Homosexual prejudice is something which is now labelled as “homophobia”, the term being coined by Weinberg in 1972. His research indicates that homosexual prejudice may be tied to an underlying fear that one is gay. Research also tends to indicate that those who are less tolerant to different sexual orientations will also be less inclined to accept people of different ethnicities.
With that said, as time progresses society is learning that we should not judge and simply love and accept one another, moving further towards enhanced equality.