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Open bibliography in its own window Modern attitudes toward homosexuality have religious, legal, and medical underpinnings. Before the High Middle Ages, homosexual acts appear to have been tolerated or ignored by the Christian church throughout Europe.
Beginning in the latter twelfth century, however, hostility toward homosexuality began to take root, and eventually spread throughout European religious and secular institutions. Condemnation of homosexual acts and other nonprocreative sexual behavior as "unnatural," which received official expression in the writings of Thomas Aquinas and others, became widespread and has continued through the present day Boswell, Many of the early American colonies, for example, enacted stiff criminal penalties for sodomy, an umbrella term that encompassed a wide variety of sexual acts that were nonprocreative including homosexual behavioroccurred outside of marriage e.
The statutes often described such conduct only in Latin or with oblique phrases such as "wickedness not to be named". In some places, such as the New Haven colony, male and female homosexual acts were punishable by death e. By the end of the 19th century, medicine and psychiatry were effectively competing with religion and the law for jurisdiction over sexuality.
As a consequence, discourse about homosexuality expanded from the realms of sin and crime to include that of pathology. This historical shift was generally considered progressive because a sick person was less blameful than a sinner or criminal e.
Even within medicine and psychiatry, however, homosexuality was not universally viewed as a pathology. Richard von Krafft-Ebing described it as a degenerative sickness in his Psychopathia Sexualis, but Sigmund Freud and Havelock Ellis both adopted more accepting stances. Early in the twentieth century, Ellis argued that homosexuality was inborn and therefore not immoral, that it was not a disease, and that many homosexuals made outstanding contributions to society Robinson, Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud's basic theory of human sexuality was different from that of Ellis.
He believed all human beings were innately bisexual, and that they become heterosexual or homosexual as a result of their experiences with parents and others Freud, Nevertheless, Freud agreed with Ellis that a homosexual orientation should not be viewed as a form of pathology. In a now-famous letter to an American mother inFreud wrote: Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.
It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime, and cruelty too Later psychoanalysts Later psychoanalysts did not follow this view, however. Sandor Radorejected Freud's assumption of inherent bisexuality, arguing instead that heterosexuality is natural and that homosexuality is a "reparative" attempt to achieve sexual pleasure when normal heterosexual outlet proves too threatening.
Other analysts later argued that homosexuality resulted from pathological family relationships during the oedipal period around years of age and claimed that they observed these patterns in their homosexual patients Bieber et al. Charles Socarides speculated that the etiology of homosexuality was pre-oedipal and, therefore, even more pathological than had been supposed by earlier analysts for a detailed history, see Lewes, ; for briefer summaries, see Bayer, ; Silverstein, Biases in psychoanalysis Although psychoanalytic theories of homosexuality once had considerable influence in psychiatry and in the larger culture, they were not subjected to rigorous empirical testing.
Instead, they were based on analysts' clinical observations of patients already known by them to be homosexual. This procedure compromises the validity of the psychoanalytic conclusions in at least two important ways. First, the analyst's theoretical orientations, expectations, and personal attitudes are likely to bias her or his observations.
To avoid such bias, scientists take great pains in their studies to ensure that the researchers who actually collect the data do not have expectations about how a particular research participant will respond.
An example is the "double blind" procedure used in many experiments. Such procedures have not been used in clinical psychoanalytic studies of homosexuality. Patients, however, cannot be assumed to be representative of the general population.
Just as it would be inappropriate to draw conclusions about all heterosexuals based only on data from heterosexual psychiatric patients, we cannot generalize from observations of homosexual patients to the entire population of gay men and lesbians.
Alfred Kinsey A more tolerant stance toward homosexuality was adopted by researchers from other disciplines. Zoologist and taxonomist Alfred C. A brief introduction to sampling Despite frequent extrapolations by modern commentators from Kinsey's data to the U. Nevertheless, his work revealed that many more American adults than previously suspected had engaged in homosexual behavior or had experienced same-sex fantasies.
This finding cast doubt on the widespread assumption that homosexuality was practiced only by a small number of social misfits. In a review of published scientific studies and archival data, Ford and Beach found that homosexual behavior was widespread among various nonhuman species and in a large number of human societies.
As with Kinsey, whether this proportion applies to all human societies cannot be known because a nonprobability sample was used. However, the findings of Ford and Beach demonstrate that homosexual behavior occurs in many societies and is not always condemned see also Herdt, ; Williams, Military research Although dispassionate scientific research on whether homosexuality should be viewed as an illness was largely absent from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, and medicine during the first half of the twentieth century, some researchers remained unconvinced that all homosexual individuals were mentally ill or socially misfit.
Berube reported the results of previously unpublished studies conducted by military physicians and researchers during World War II.Home Essays Comparative Religion.
Comparative Religion. Topics: Religion, Islam, Christianity Pages: 2 ( words) Published: May 4, Religion is a set of practices and beliefs that allow human beings to search for the meaning of life and the purpose of their existence.
Religion and Violence Research Paper Religion plays an. Ethical/Social Issues-(Choose one) and compare the approach in two or three religions Focus on the religious issues ONLY.
For example: If you choose “Abortion” you should deal only with the religious issues-from the point of view of two or three religions. You would not just turn in a paper on abortion.
Comparative Religion. African Religion Study Questions 1. African idea of a High God is similar to that of Native American religions because they both believe that beyond all of the minor gods, goddesses, spirits, and ancestors there is one High God who created and in some sense still governs the universe.
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CONTRIBUTOR BIOGRAPHIES. Mark Ashurst-McGee. is a senior historian in the Church History Department and the senior research and review editor for the Joseph Smith Papers, where he also serves as a specialist in document analysis and documentary editing methodology.
World Religion Term Paper Ideas – 20 Useful Ideas to Think of. Whether students are majoring in world religion or taking a single class, they will most likely have to write a research paper at some point.
An essay on world religion is intended to demonstrate the student's knowledge and .