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.g., Chauncey, 1982/1983; D'Emilio & Freedman, 1988; Duberman, Vicinus, & Chauncey, 1989).Before the High Middle Ages, homosexual acts appear to have been tolerated or ignored by the Christian church throughout Europe.Tags: Spirituality In Art EssayVery Short Essay On Of My DreamsTopics For Exemplification EssayThesis And Library Research PaperSba Cooley Best EssaysSynthesis Essay Eminent DomainOpinion On Child Abuse EssayThe Anti-Aesthetic Essays
Charles Socarides (1968) 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, 1988; for briefer summaries, see Bayer, 1987; Silverstein, 1991).
Although psychoanalytic theories of homosexuality once had considerable influence in psychiatry and in the larger culture, they were not subjected to rigorous empirical testing.
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 behavior), occurred outside of marriage (e.g., sex between a man and woman who were not married), or violated traditions (e.g., sex between husband and wife with the woman on top).
The statutes often described such conduct only in Latin or with oblique phrases such as "wickedness not to be named").
Furthermore, Kinsey and his colleagues reported that 10% of the males in their sample and 2-6% of the females (depending on marital status) had been more or less exclusively homosexual in their behavior for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55.
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Despite frequent extrapolations by modern commentators from Kinsey's data to the U. adult population, the representativeness of his nonprobability sample cannot be assessed (for methodological and statistical critiques, see Terman, 1948; Cochran, Mosteller, & Tukey, 1954; Wallis, 1949).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.A more tolerant stance toward homosexuality was adopted by researchers from other disciplines. Kinsey, in his groundbreaking empirical studies of sexual behavior among American adults, revealed that a significant number of his research participants reported having engaged in homosexual behavior to the point of orgasm after age 16 (Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, 1948; Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953).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.In a now-famous letter to an American mother in 1935, Freud wrote: "Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development.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.).Sandor Rado (1940, 1949) rejected 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 4-5 years of age) and claimed that they observed these patterns in their homosexual patients (Bieber et al., 1962).208-209, from the American Journal of Psychiatry, 1951, 107, 786).Later psychoanalysts did not follow this view, however.