In Western countries, attitudes were somewhat more liberal. However, most shared with gay men the desire to have a secure place in the world community at large, unchallenged by the fear of violence, the struggle for equal treatment under the law, the attempt to silence, and any other form of civil behaviour that imposes second-class citizenship. The topic has threatened to cause outright schisms in some denominations. In Ecuador a gay rights group called Quitogay received so much threatening e-mail that it was given support by Amnesty International. Contemporary issues As mentioned above, different societies respond differently to homosexuality. Their claims of success, however, are controversial. The term gay is frequently used as a synonym for homosexual; female homosexuality is often referred to as lesbianism.
His contemporary Sigmund Freud characterized it as a result of conflicts of psychosexual development, including identification with the parent of the opposite sex. By the 21st century, many societies had been discussing sexuality and sexual practices with increased candour. Lesbians, especially those uninvolved with intravenous drugs and the sex trade, were probably the demographic group least affected by AIDS. A range of more recent surveys, concerning predominantly homosexual behaviour as well as same-gender sexual contact in adulthood, have yielded results that are both higher and lower than those identified by Kinsey. Wherever opinion can be freely expressed, debates about homosexuality will likely continue. The conflicting views of homosexuality—as a variant but normal human sexual behaviour on one hand, and as psychologically deviant behaviour on the other—remain present in most societies in the 21st century, but they have been largely resolved in the professional sense in most developed countries. In most of Africa, Asia , and Latin America , both the subject and the behaviour are considered taboo, with some slight exception made in urban areas. The topic has threatened to cause outright schisms in some denominations. Although the topic of homosexuality was little discussed in the public forum during the early part of the 20th century, it became a political issue in many Western countries during the late 20th century. Although conditions for gay people had generally improved in most of Europe and North America at the turn of the 21st century, elsewhere in the world violence against gay people continued. Many gay men and lesbians began to demand equal treatment in employment practices, housing, and public policy. After the Stonewall riots , in which New York City policemen raided a gay bar and met with sustained resistance, many homosexuals were emboldened to identify themselves as gay men or lesbians to friends, to relatives, and even to the public at large. Their claims of success, however, are controversial. However, most shared with gay men the desire to have a secure place in the world community at large, unchallenged by the fear of violence, the struggle for equal treatment under the law, the attempt to silence, and any other form of civil behaviour that imposes second-class citizenship. In Western countries, attitudes were somewhat more liberal. Others have looked at social influences and physiological events in fetal development as possible origins. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Instead of categorizing people in absolute terms as either homosexual or heterosexual, Kinsey observed a spectrum of sexual activity, of which exclusive orientations of either type make up the extremes. The disease also took a heavy toll on the arts communities in these centres, and virtually none of the artistic output of gay men in the late 20th century was untouched by the topic and the sense of great loss. Homosexuality was not uncommon in ancient Greece and Rome , and the relationships between adult and adolescent males in particular have become a chief focus of Western classicists in recent years. In the late 20th century gay men and lesbians proudly revealed their sexual orientation in increasing numbers. This was particularly true in the United States, where the gay rights movement is often seen as a late offshoot of various civil rights movements of the s. In the 20th-century United States , a field known as sex research was established among the social and behavioral sciences in an effort to investigate actual sexual practice. Together with a growing acceptance of homosexuality as a common expression of human sexuality, long-standing beliefs about homosexuals had begun to lose credence. The term gay is frequently used as a synonym for homosexual; female homosexuality is often referred to as lesbianism.
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