Chapter 9 Sexual Orientation • The Global Context: A World View Of Laws Pertaining To Homosexuality • Homosexuality and Bisexuality in the United States: Prevalence and Explanations • Sociological Theories Of Sexual Orientation
Chapter 9 Sexual Orientation • Heterosexism, Homophobia, and Biphobia • Discrimination Against Sexual Orientation Minorities • Strategies For Action: Reducing Antigay Prejudice And Discrimination
A Global View of Laws and Social Attitudes • In 52 countries, laws criminalizing homosexuality apply to both men and women. • In 33 countries, laws criminalizing homosexuality apply to men only. • In 10 countries, penalty for same-sex sexual behavior is death.
Environmental Explanations for Sexual Orientation • We all have capacity for heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual relationships. • Availability of sexual partners and early sexual experiences may affect sexual orientation. • Study compared lesbian and heterosexual women and found no differences in incidence of traumatic experiences with men.
Structural-Functionalist Perspective • Homosexual relations and non-marital heterosexual relations, are “deviant”. • They do not fulfill the family institution's function of producing and rearing children. • Conflict between heterosexuals and homosexuals may lead to social change.
Conflict Perspective • Conflicts about sexuality represent division between those with power and those without power. • Trends toward acceptance of homosexuality may reflect the corporate world's competition over employees and the gay and lesbian consumer dollar.
Symbolic Interactionist Perspective • Meanings of heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality are socially constructed. • Once individuals are labeled as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, that label tends to become their master status.
Heterosexism, Homophobia, And Biphobia • In 1999, 46% of respondents in a Gallup Poll felt homosexuality should not be considered an acceptable alternative lifestyle. • Heterosexual women and men hold similar views toward lesbians, but men are more negative toward gay men.
Bisexuality • Often rejected by homosexuals and heterosexuals. • Sometimes viewed as heterosexuals who are looking for exotic sexual experiences. • Lesbians exhibit greater levels of biphobia than gay men.
Effects of Homophobia • Males are hindered in their self-expression and intimacy in same-sex relationships. • Youths may avoid activities that they might enjoy (e.g. arts for boys, athletics for girls). • Some males engage in coercive and early sexual activity to prove they are not gay.
Sodomy Laws • Sodomy laws once existed in all 50 states. • 17 states still ban oral and anal sex between consenting adults. • In states that criminalize sodomy, laws are primarily used against gay men and lesbians.
Hate Crimes Against Sexual Orientation Minorities • In 1999: FBI reported 1,317 incidents of sexual orientation hate crimes. • Hate crimes based on sexual orientation increased from 8.9% in 1991 to 16.7% in 1999. • In 1999, 29 anti-LGBT murders were reported to the National Coalition of Antiviolence Programs.
Antigay Hate in Schools • More than 2/3 of gay and lesbian students have been verbally, physically, or sexually harassed at school. • Survey of 496 LGBT youth ages 12 to 19 found that 2 out of 5 did not feel safe in school. • More than 1/4 of gay youth drop out of school.
Reducing Employment Discrimination • 1974: Minneapolis became the first municipality to ban antigay job discrimination. • 1981: Wisconsin became 1st state to ban antigay job discrimination. • 8 states and more than 200 local governments ban antigay discrimination in their public work force.