Prejudice and Discrimination of Homosexuals

1595 words (6 pages) Essay in Sociology

01/06/17 Sociology Reference this

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In different countries of various beliefs and culture, people with homosexual behavior are often being subjected to prejudice and discrimination. In comparison with minority groups, who are one of the common topics of prejudice, this group of homosexual people are also subjected to stereotyping. ‘Social scientists have typically defined prejudice as a negative intergroup attitude’. [1] Sexuality orientation can be classified further into three main topics: Homosexuality, Bisexuality, and Heterosexuality.

Homosexuality refers to sexual behavior/actions or seductive attraction among people of the same sex. The word ‘gay’ is commonly being referred to a male homosexual, whereas ‘lesbian’ is designated for female homosexuals.

Right here in Singapore, majority of the public still have that prototypical mindset and misconstrue behavior which often leads to discrimination against this group of people. ‘This is extremely unhealthy because homosexuality has been declassified as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association in the 1970s, and people in this day and age are still seeking to turn gay people straight, often resulting in negative effects on the subject.'[2]

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Simple stereotyping can be thought as all gay are feminine and all lesbians contain machismo hormones within them. Some even have misconceptions and labeled the gay as the main culprit for transmission of sexually transmitted disease or AIDS, considering them having a higher chance of contracting these diseases. In this modernized and civil society, it will be of much appreciation if homosexuality is much understood better by the public. If this discrimination continues to cycle around, it will cause a deleterious effect on the homosexual person. This may eventually lead to escalation of suicidal cases or further deterioration on the mental health. This is a topic that we should pay attention to. Homosexual discrimination can be found in anywhere or in any working sector. A homosexual man who has a kind soul within, have no exceptions either, he may have to bear the brunt of discrimination from a high profile sector. Gays are banned from donating their ‘contaminated’ or ‘filthy’, some might criticized on that, blood out; a legislation set by the Food and Drug Administration. [3]

As mentioned, discrimination can be found in anywhere even in a small country like Singapore. A distinct proof which leads to discrimination being amplified in the country is where colonial legislation, Sections 377 and 377A of the Penal Code [4] are still brought into play. This shows that Singaporeans are too conservative to accept the fact of homosexual behavior coming into their existence. Discrimination against gay is being applied in various level of sector in the society. Achieved from a report, a highly educated personnel displaying out her ferocious attitude during a debate in Parliament in 2007 was shown that she compared anal sex as ‘shoving a straw up your nose to drink’.[5][6] The debater herself was a professor of law; specializing in international human rights law would present out such an outrageous quote on gay rights. Putting aside public discrimination, the power of media plays a strong part in this role. In a newspaper article, exaggerated from the fact by the journalist, the gays were believed to be involved in promiscuous sex or are drug addict which is solely stereotyping thinking from the journalist.[5][6]

The examples mentioned above are showing how typical people possess adverse thinking against homosexuality.

Prejudice and discrimination against homosexuality will bring a vicious cycle effect to the society as it can be commonly identified as a talking topic for adults, or it may be a mistaught lesson for a child. Basically, chances of stereotypically thinking and discriminating against homosexual persons can happen in everyday conversations between people. Living in this society, people only know how to discriminate homosexuality as they tend to follow the majority. This is similar to, giving a primary school student a complicated algebraic question where he/she only knows how to apply simple standard mathematics formulations. This society needs to be better educated about homosexuality just like the student needs to be taught on how to work out that algebraic question. By educating people about homosexuality does not mean that they will stop discriminating gays. However, providing positive and correct information about homosexuality to teenagers who are stepping into this society and understanding of their sexuality is important. They will feel less fearful in the future. An example can be taken, the author of an article has a niece who came home and shouted, “Gays are disgusting!” He knew that the niece learnt that hatred from a classmate, who in turn had this hatred digested from the parents. This shows that people allow this hatred to become an ongoing cycle, which in time it turns out to be a fear for some people but under the influential of people around them they have no choice but to accept it resentfully. Here is another down to earth reason why is it important to stop all there discriminations. Let’s ask ourselves this question, “Who are all these gays and lesbians?” These people are our very own Singaporeans. Living in a country, which does not give you the rights that belongs to you, is equivalent to pushing the gays and lesbians with no choice but to move out from this country to another, which will truly welcome them despite of their differences. A country without any natural resources cannot afford to drive out her gay sons and daughters. People always have the wrong comprehensive thinking that spreading of HIV and AIDS are associated with gays. They will think that as long as they perform safe sexual intercourse or preventing themselves to have sex with men will free them from contracting HIV or AIDS. They have shown an erroneous thinking which makes them believe that as long as they are not gay, they will be safe from diseases. A statistics result [7] shows that the number of people infected with the diseases through homosexual means is lesser than those of heterosexual means. When it comes to a serious stage, it will be death. Therefore, this myth has to be busted. People who are being discriminated might not have the courage to face it and the solution they will go for will be ‘death’. Sexuality based discrimination caused death in teens, a report shows. [8] In response to such incidents, Ellen DeGeneres speaks out, urging that we stop discriminating against gays, because “one death is tragic, four is a crisis” [8]

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Be it homosexual or heterosexual, we still come together and live as one and everyone deserves the right to be treated equally. The homosexual citizens will not be pleased if they found out that they are not treated to the same benefits that heterosexual citizens are being treated as. We should not hesitate to open up our views on them or in another way we must learn to accept what they are. Penal code337a criminalizes those who have sexual act between two males [2] [4]. This is one of the main reasons why Singaporeans are still badly discriminating the homosexuals. In many other countries, homosexual were slowly being received and laws were executed to protect them similar to the laws which heterosexual have. Protecting homosexuals against violence and discrimination is important. As they are the minority group which makes them an easy target. As we know, all the male Singaporean has to go through National service. Even homosexuals have no exception to this. The worst case will be, they do a self declare that they are gay and they will go through a thorough psychiatric assessment which then they will be by default downgraded to Public Employment Status C (PES C) in regardless of their fitness[9] . Once a soldier declared that he’s gay, his army’s world will be totally different from others. From this example, we call recall on that; inequality being faced by them in this society was a result from prejudice and discrimination on homosexuals. In order to have a prominent result, one should draw back their attention to the society. We all know that the root cause of this problem came from the society who discriminates, as and when; like or dislike, as they want. Thus, a solution which deals directly to the root cause will be an ideal one to recede the problem. In this society, filled with excitement, it is still required to be better educating these people about homosexuality. As research has found out that there are two groups of people with the different attitudes on how they think gay are. The group with a positive attitude toward gay usually has a few friends around them who falls under this, being gay, category. In contrast, with those with negative attitudes believe that they do not have any gay friends around them, in actual fact they do. Their discrimination towards gays goes back to the being stereotypical and prejudice. [10]

We can conclude this by looking at simple theory. In order for a majority group to keep up its performance, it seeks cooperation from the minority group. To put in simpler words, a minority group like homosexuals can be influential to the majority group. Therefore, there is a need to bring prejudice and discrimination on homosexuals to a halt. Education on understanding one’s sexuality needs to be taught to young adults and teenagers. Negative remarks about the homosexual society should be reduced via this education.

Even parents need to be taught that being homosexual is not a crime nor is it wrong, and that it is a part of life.

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