Friday, December 13, 2013

Homosexuality



In 2009, when the Supreme Court of India wished to legalise homosexuality there arose a controversy.  The following is adapted from what I wrote in my blog at that time. I agree with the editorial of The Hindu that the present decision of the Supreme Court to consider homosexuality a legal offence is “a retrograde decision.”
Bruce Bagemihl, a biologist from Seattle, WA, found that in zoos, at least 5% of Humboldt penguin pairs are gay. He prepared an encyclopaedic survey of homosexual or transgender behaviour among more than 190 species, including butterflies and other insects.  Homosexuality, according to that voluminous study, is not rare among animals.
When it comes to human beings, "Research suggests that the homosexual orientation is in place very early in the life cycle, possibly even before birth. It is found in about ten percent of the population, a figure which is surprisingly constant across cultures, irrespective of the different moral values and standards of a particular culture." (Statement on Homosexuality, American Psychological Association, July, 1994)
Most human sexuality researchers believe that one's sexual orientation is fixed and unchangeable.  Various methods were employed in the past to bring the “deviant” homosexuals back to the right path.  Lesbians had their breasts amputated.  The perfectly healthy uteri of some lesbians were removed.  Gays were given aversion therapy; e.g. they were shown pictures of naked men and simultaneously shocked with electricity. Other "treatments" included: brain surgery in the form of frontal lobotomies, castration, counselling and psychotherapy, drug therapy: e.g. animal-organ extracts, cocaine, oestrogen, testosterone, and positive therapy: e.g. men were asked to masturbate and then were shown pictures of women just before orgasm. The success rate of these therapies in actually changing clients' sexual orientation appears to have been between 0% and something less than 0.1%.
Studies also show that homosexual couples are as faithful to their partners as the heterosexual ones.
What I conclude is that there are some individuals, both men and women, who are different from the majority in their sexual orientation.  Research so far seems to prove that this difference is quite natural and cannot be altered.  Hence we’d better accept it as natural enough and let them live their life the way they seem it best. 
I think the mistake we commit is to judge things by the majority’s opinion.  The majority are heterosexual and hence they think that homosexuality is abnormal, unnatural and hence morally wrong.  Was the majority ever right?  My experience is that the majority is just mediocrity.  Why should mediocrity decide the fates of all the creatures on the earth?

If homosexuality poses a threat to mankind in general it should be seen as a threat and dealt with too as such.  But is it any threat?  There is no evidence of that.  The gays and lesbians live their life in as peaceful ways as other human beings do.  So why not let them live their life as they wish?

36 comments:

  1. That's a very good point you have made sir! Indeed every human has a right to live, irrespective of thier sex!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bushra, for your endorsement. It matters much to many people.

      Delete
  2. Different angle to your point sir. Makes it very clear that Homosexuality is as prevalent in nature as anything else. It is just sad that we have to defend it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, Brendan, people are more likely to accept murder as more natural than homosexuality!

      Delete
  3. Sir, I have a few points to make in the ongoing debate:
    1. Pranayam(a kind of yogic exercise) is known to change this deviation. And this has been known to India for centuries.
    2. In the animal kingdom homosexual deviation is known to be an 'aberration'. Because such interaction does not lead to reproduction. The 'natural' and biological function of such interaction is after all reproduction(not talking about social functions like pleasure). Are we outside the animal kingdom?
    3. My view is that such deviance should invite everyone's empathy. But an effort made by certain pressure groups to call it natural should be rubbished. The scientific community must proactively work towards finding a suitable solution to the problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sid, I have serious reservations about the effect of pranayama on homosexual inclinations. Pranayama can help one to control one's thoughts and feelings. But genes?

      Aberration is a term that will pose a lot of problems. Is murder aberration or natural? Is violence aberration? Isn't there more evil in man than goodness? Aberration or natural?

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thank you. The agreement does matter to many people.

      Delete
  5. Right Sir. Why violate Human Rights or try to stop Nature? Everyone is entitled to live as per their choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Anita, as long as people don't harm others they should be allowed to live their life as they choose.

      Delete
  6. So many of us live on this planet and we all do so without affecting each other. What affects us is politics, corruption, politics etc, I don't see and Gay people or Lesbians leading all sorts of riots. I feel all that is required is a little bit of respect for people other than us and an opportunity for them to lead their lives the way they feel. When I am curbed I say "you are taking away my freedom" then what gives us the right to curb the freedom of others????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Athena, for the pertinent questions and your valuable opinion.

      Delete
  7. A very good perspective. why can we not accept that something that is different to us can also be natural.. read a comment above about Pranayama being used to cure inclination, one point is as you said how could it? Secondly why should it? If that is how a person is naturally made why should anyone or anything try to change it? Coincidentally I have written on this topic as well, do stop by when you have some time on hand..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just went through your blog on the same topic. Glad to have a lot of people holding a sane view on the matter.

      Delete
  8. Next what..They are gonna put a check on what we eat and how we sleep..citing reasons that the Indian Democracy isn't matured enough to handle the way you eat in public...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand your anger, Soham. It's quite unfortunate that the nation's highest legal body is so immature.

      Delete
  9. Unfortunately most people don't think in this way. Homosexuality is still considered as a 'disease' which, according to the homo- phobics , can be 'cured' !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Maniparna, people refuse to let go their illusions.

      Delete
  10. Even our mythology speaks of homosexuality in a comforting manner, indicating that its been there since time immemorial and it was quite accepted as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our mythology was more compassionate than our judiciary!

      Delete
  11. Homophobia is largely due to ignorance. We had this discussion recently, when someone brought out this point that 10% of the population (irrespective of geography) is homosexual. Someone was quick to respond, "Hey, that's not true about India!"
    And they are just so afraid of homosexuals; they think they (homosexuals) are deranged people who might attack anyone and everyone!
    Signs of an ignorant and regressive society!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Sreesha, we are an ignorant and regressive society when it comes to sex-related issues.

      Delete
  12. Very good article Sir...Homosexuality is as natural a phenomenon....

    ReplyDelete
  13. If we aren't able to accept an emotion we haven't experience as real, where are we heading as a society?
    Thanks for the post Sir

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most welcome, Ashwini.

      Don't you think the human society is becoming increasingly insensitive in spite of all the Human Rights demands and suchlike? Interestingly, the other day an institution which is treating its staff inhumanly received a Human Rights Award! That's how we, human beings, are!

      Delete
  14. Wonderful post, TM. When I wrote on the topic the response was exactly like the comments here - the majority were comfortable with homosexuality. Perhaps the homophobic should concentrate on the other dimensions of homosexuals - like all people they are mutidimensional - enjoy certain types of music or are talented in maths or are witty or whatever. When we come across heterosexuals we don't go thinking - oh, she prefers men or oh, he likes women, do we?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, KM. You're right, people whoa re sensible understand homosexuality as it ought to be. A tiny minority creates problems - as they do anywhere.

      Some of our best thinkers and writers were homosexual. Foucault was a glaring example. Our own Vikram Seth is another.

      Delete
  15. Very well written, Matheikalji... I love the fact that you have included scientific evidence in your write up. My favourite statement however reamins - "My experience is that the majority is just mediocrity. Why should mediocrity decide the fates of all the creatures on the earth?"

    ReplyDelete
  16. I totally agree with you..and this reminds me of one of my old posts...so now I am going to do little bit of shameless promotion and ask you to read this post of mine. I'd appreciate it if you would read it :)

    http://panktimehta.blogspot.in/2013/04/if-david-loves-john-what-is-your-problem.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm definitely going to read it, Pankti. You've always been a very meaningful presence at my blogspace. This time you came down not like a shower but a deluge.... I'm catching up with your comments. And thanks for the link.

      Delete

The group is always right

While having a frugal breakfast of dosa with chutney, I watched my wife’s face.   Pain was writ large on it.   Two days of struggle ...