Culture and Sexuality 2

Culture tends to create societies that have systems and laws favorable to the majority. This often seems to be the best way for most people, but it can work against those who is outside the majority. What if the system can be adjusted to make both majority and minority satisfied? I believe there are numerous innovative ways to give equal marriage rights to heterosexual and homosexual couples without taking away much from the majority. I think there are two big reasons why many people are still against homosexual marriages. First, people tend to be repelled from others who are different from themselves, and the second, people do not like changes and taking risks without much possible benefits.

We briefly talked about the first one with the book ‘Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?’. I see Koreans students hanging out with themselves at Emory all the time, and I had seen American soldiers in Korea hanging out only with themselves in certain boundaries. I remember reading an article written by a psychologist, Linda J. Roberts, who compared the faces of couples in long relationships to see if people are attracted to a person who resembled themselves. Her result showed that we, unconsciously, tend to be more attracted to people who look like ourselves. This shows how much value we unknowingly put on ‘similarity to ourselves’ when interacting with other people. For this reason, I believe that some people, or homophobes are subconsciously against the idea of homosexuality, which is the opposite of their sexual orientation. Then why are people accepting different races more easily than homosexuality? The late beginning of the emergence of the issue in homosexuality can be one of the reason, but I think there is more than that. I think people could accept different races more quickly, because accepting different races does not really have anything to lose in their minds. However, I think that being close to homosexual people can mean to the homophobic people, again unconsciously thinking, that they can be approached by homosexuals, creating awkward situation and frustration. I am sure many of us have seen a lot of these scenes on comedy shows or movies. I think this is also why we see less homophobic reactions from males towards lesbians, and more females’ friendships with gay people, because people know that lesbians and gays will not affect men and women, respectively.┬áSome people would say they are against homosexuality because it is unnatural. However, a species of primates called bonobos have homosexuality too, in their natural environments, which actually plays a big role in maintaining peace in their groups.

I am recently starting to feel that homosexuality is becoming acceptable to more people. Even with this progressive phenomenon, homosexual marriages are not legalized yet, because simply there is not enough of them to make it happen quickly. Although relatively big part of the majority, heterosexuals, is now accepting the legitimacy of homosexuals, including myself, we simply do not care because our lives are not much affected by whether the homosexual couples are legally married or not. On the other hand, homophobic people will tend to actively show their opinions against homosexuality, since they think they will get negative effects by giving the equal rights to the homosexual couples. However, most of the negative effects they assert seems to originate from themselves. When talking about a child who is adopted by gay parents, people against gay marriages will question the environment for the child and the prejudice the kid have to deal with. However, if people did not discriminate homosexuals in the first place, there will be no such worries.

People who have committed a serious felony are allowed to get married to have a family. We already have people taking advantage of marriage laws in the United States. I think homosexual couples, who have been longing for legal recognition of their relationship for a long time, will do much more than those people when carefully designed law gets passed.

2 thoughts on “Culture and Sexuality 2

  1. Humint: You start your post saying “Culture tends to create societies that have systems and laws favorable to the majority.” Why do you think this is true? Where do most of the makers reside: majority or minority?

    Later on you say “Then why are people accepting different races more easily than homosexuality? The late beginning of the emergence of the issue in homosexuality can be one of the reason, but I think there is more than that. I think people could accept different races more quickly, because accepting different races does not really have anything to lose in their minds. However, I think that being close to homosexual people can mean to the homophobic people, again unconsciously thinking, that they can be approached by homosexuals, creating awkward situation and frustration.” I have a few questions about this:

    1. when you say “late emergence” of homosexuality do you mean that the movement for gay rights in the United States is less than fifty years old (if you start from the Stonewall Riots)? Because as we talked about in class, homosexuality as a behavior, that is same sex desire and sex has been around for a very long time across cultures.

    2. I am going to disagree with your comparison between racism and homophobia or heterosexism. I think white people (in the U.S. where whites are still at the center of power) have A LOT to lose- namely white privilege. This is why there has been so many overtly racist things happening during this election time. White folks who have been unquestionably been in power are threatened by a man of color as president of the United States along with a shifting racial demographic in the U.S. because of the major influx Latino and Hispanic immigrants (which explains the intense anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S.).

    3. Laslty (i promise) I want to dig deeper on your statement “being close to homosexual people can mean to the homophobic people, again unconsciously thinking, that they can be approached by homosexuals, creating awkward situation and frustration.” I think here you are referring to heterosexuals’ fear of a gay people being attracted to them, right? I think (as you point out earlier) this is more of threat for men then for women. This is an issue based in fear and homophobia, (and masculinity and patriarchy) and not in reality.

  2. I think most of the law makers reside in the majority, but I think they should start thinking that their laws are discriminating some people based on one of the inborn characteristics.

    For the next questions:
    1. I meant that the homosexual rights movement in the US emerged relatively late, compared to the colored race rights movement. I agree that the homosexuality itself has been around for a very long time.
    2. Ok. I agree with you on this too.. I think I should have considered about it in broader sense.
    3. Yes that is what I meant. I couldn’t quite understand your last sentence, “This is an issue based in fear and homophobia, (and masculinity and patriarchy) and not in reality”. Are you saying that this is not a realistic problem in legalizing same-sex marriages?
    Thankyou!

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