Sample Research Paper On Same-Sex Marriages And Their Negative Asocial Impact
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The unity of a society is a requisite of social, economic, and political development and stability. Marriage is a formal union between men and women that creates such a highly important social institutions as family responsible for the viability of a community. If massive, a deviation from traditional marriage models can eventually bring a human society to the brink of extinction. Same-sex marriages is a union between individuals of the same sex undermine marriage and family as social institutions and makes it difficult, if not impossible, to raise children in a socially acceptable human environment demonstrating approved behavioral and family prototypes. While science may challenge the categorical skepticism of the marriage ban, religion is more concerned with the deprecation of homosexuality and same-sex marriages together with the preservation of the gender-diverse nuclear family. Being a socially acquired model of conduct rather than the outcome of parental gene transmission, homosexuality is the issue that can prove socially disruptive as well as it did in antiquity ruining the great Roman civilization.
Keywords: same-sex, marriage, deviant, social, conduct, conventional, religion
A minimal cell in the complex social organism and an arch-essential social institution, family has always been central to social cohesion keeping countries from eventual societal decomposition and political disintegration. A conventional nuclear family based on gender diversity or the formal unity of a man and a woman blessed by the church and formalized by the state performs important demographic functions of replacement fertility and the prevention of population decline. If in place, the decline would otherwise signify the aging of a nation and subsequent economic hardships due to the reduction in the number of employed. It is only a conventional family with a normal social reproductive function that can ensure the regeneration of a nation and its viability. A same-sex marriage is a deviation from the socially acceptable pattern that can bring it to the brink of extinction since it ruins the institution of marriage, which is a religious rite giving birth to a family, in which children are raised.
Homosexual People as a Social Threat
Boswell (2005) argued that nearly all instances of prejudice are a rational reaction to danger posed by socially despised groups. It is now that danger that the once hated groups like moneylenders or witches posed looks illusory. The contemporaries of the ostentatiously threatened social groups may find it unimaginable how intelligent persons of times past could have their lives troubled by anxieties like this. One can discard illusory threats as such that misrepresent the hated groups, which helps find a justifiable cause for oppression. The author argues that reasons other than those voiced by the hating social majority may mostly be rationales behind disdain. The ancient claim suggests that societies tolerant of homosexual conduct engage in a self-detrimental practice that will result in eventual societal demise since all their members are likely to adopt the deviant behavior. If the argument is to be believed, all people would become homosexual were they to obtain a chance. It goes without saying that the number of individuals engaged in homosexual relations will see a relative increase following the abandonment of restrictions (Boswell, 2005).
Hence, it is important to see whether homosexuality is just another social phobia as witches and moneylender in their time were, but then again, there is no denying witchcraft was a dangerous problem in the past, so were moneylenders forcing people into a financial bondage, demonization or no demonization. Current societies may still have a point condemning homosexuality and same-sex marriages as its product for the reason that even a relative increase in the number of homosexual people engaging in marital relations, if given a chance to do so, may become the source of demographic problems domestically. If so, every social group putting a delinquent conduct on display should be outlawed following this train of logic. In any case, the problem of same-sex marriages is open to discussion given a proper argumentation.
Terminological Nuances Possibly Reflect Societal Fears of Homosexuality and Its Destructive Potential. Homosexuality: a Biological or Social Phenomenon
Peters (2014) stated that the concept of same-sex marriage was a newly minted notion in the early 2000s while mainstream media referred to gay individuals as homosexuals. Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics George Lakoff argued that neither gay nor lesbian evoked negative associations the way the word homosexual did. This compound word has such lexeme as “sex,” which sounds derogatory activating negative brain associations. The same holds true for the stem “homo,” which is no less defamatory (Peters, 2014). The use of such terms may be suggestive of attempts to discredit, de-popularize the deviant conduct, and discourage homosexuals-to-be by giving it an unappealing coloring. More individuals may eventually grow cold towards untraditional intimate relations and same-sex marriages due to negativity associated with the term, which can theoretically solidify the marriage and family institutions and allow children to be reared in families inoculating them socially beneficial beliefs. Now it is about time to find out whether people to whom both concepts are applicable become homosexual due to molecular unit transmitted by heredity or socially acquired modes of behavior.
According to Hamer (2014), Ugandan medical experts prepared a report, in which they claim homosexuality to be a social, not a genetic behavior. With no definitive gene answerable for homosexuality, it seems to be a social product. As with the color of skin, handedness, height, and other inborn human traits, sexual a multiplicity of genes are the determinants of sexual orientation. Important is that homosexuality is not an illness, but simply a deviant conduct learnt through life experiences, as believed by the Ugandan experts. However, there is no statistical confirmation to important shared environmental elements contributing to the development of the homosexual propensity. Based on the lack of scientific evidence, homosexual orientation is no more a learned behavior than heterosexual orientation is (Hamer, 2012). As both genes and the environment are declared the unlikely causes of homosexuality, neither version seems legitimate.
It follows therefrom that the conclusions of the research conducted by the experts in Uganda reflects a political agenda pursued by the president imposing the lifetime imprisonment for homosexuality. What the leader wants is for the punishment to look socially beneficial. It is not that their report makes no sense since social role models can influence the attitudes of ordinary people living in human environment; it is that the study is somewhat one-sided. Placing excessive focus on the social component, scientists disregard the biological factor. Although children cannot seemingly receive the lifestyles of parents through genetic transmission due to the lack of gene answerable for sexual orientation, there is the likelihood of them adopting the patterns of the conductive and tolerant social environment especially if a child was subject to factors responsible for shifts in sexual orientation. What does matter, however, is that same-sex marriages are detrimental to social institutions whatever the underlying cause of the deviant conduct may be.
The Institution of Marriage is in Peril: Same-sex Marriages Get the Green Light Contrary to Religious and Societal Opposition
In the Western world, the attitude towards the legalization of homosexual marriages has seen tougher days. Countries like Britain seem to be on their way to declaring homosexual individuals legitimate spouses. Egalitarianism-based Britain came to equalize the marriage rights of all citizens regardless of sexual orientation much to the displeasure of conservatives and religious elites. What they fail to realize is that the wrong role model may and will prove socially infectious. More individuals with the once restrained inclination towards same sex will now feel free to engage in relations of their choosing, without fearing lest they be persecuted. Press Association (2014) noted that David Cameron himself welcomed the first homosexual marriages in the country as such that send a resounding message about equality in the country. More couples may now feel their choice respected and tolerated, with those about to get married treated as worthy equals.
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals are no longer legally forbidden to marry a person of the same sex in Wales and Scotland joining England in its decision to equalize the rights of sexual minorities. For the time being, Northern Ireland remains the sole citadel of homophobia. In opposition to Cameron now are certain Conservative MPs who choose not to support the prime minister’s backing for changes (Press Association, 2014). A wide range of celebrities like Elton John has come out as gays or bisexual individuals. Though courageous, the move is chipping away at the institution of marriage and family seeing as how popular these celebrities are as idols and role models for young individuals wishing to copy the lifestyles of their gurus. The legalization of same-sex marriages may motivate young individuals questioning their sexual identity for some reason to follow the example of Sir Elton John and David Furnish, a well-known British producer and filmmaker, who made it legal their civil relationship shortly after the ban lift.
The turnaround of the usually conservative British comes as no surprise since, according to Boswell (2005), the modern West is in the period of transition as concerns sexually distinguished groups. Even so, the overall trends suggest that homosexual individuals are subject to prevalent public enmity, strict prohibitive legislation, and civil restrictions justified by religion (Boswell, 2005). Devout people often have hard times learning the ways to tolerate same-sex marriages and sexually deviant people. Religion is mostly categorical in its opposition to homosexuality and same-sex marital unions.
What Religion Has to Say about Same-sex Marriages and Homosexuality as Their Major Source
Speaking of Islam, in the majority of Sunni schools of thought, the so-called homoerotic sodomy falls under the category of crimes called zina that goes unpunished if committed privately. The Muslim tradition may see no interest in controlling private homoerotic conduct. Rather, it is concerned with retaining heteronormativity as a societal moral standard. If precise, Shariah interpretation gives more discretion to the private lives of lesbian and gay persons. There is a clear oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals since their expression is restricted to the private sphere only. Sexual minorities do not participate in political and public life (Silker, 2007).
As far as Christianity is concerned, not until the second half of the 12th century did the church start persecuting sodomites. In the wake of the disintegration of the Christendom along with the rise of democracies in the USA and Europe, sexual deviation became a political matter of concern. By the later 19th century, the concept of homosexual has replaced the notion of sodomite symbolizing infection and corruption. Despite its pathological implication, the concept spelt the liberation of sexual minorities. Nowadays, Christian conservatives treat homosexuality as a deliberate sinful conduct, which, if openly supported, can shatter the very foundations of the society. Liberal Christians believe the conduct to be a non-voluntary psychological type. Generally, Europe assumes a psychological and liberal model with regard to homosexuality. Non-European nations are said to make homoeroticism a criminal punishable activity (Silker, 2007).
Devout People Lend Support to Same-sex Marriages despite Church Tenets Demanding Otherwise
Wihbey (2012) stated that religious leaders and groups were the ones to oppose same-sex marriages most. A study conducted by the University of Maryland on the change of the attitude of various believers following a contact with homosexual persons conducted in 2012 revealed that a casual contact with homosexual individuals, whether they be acquaintances or coworkers, is not important for the better part of religious groups, black and white Protestants included. As a matter of fact, white Catholics and Protestants are three to four times more likely to support the ban against same-sex marriages than any other groups are. The same cannot be said of other religious groups, with the number of black Protestants or Latino Catholics supporting the ban falling by 12%. Nor are people unaffiliated with any religious mainstreams more supportive of the ban after the contact. As estimated 3% to 5% of the unaffiliated show the decline in their support of the prohibition.
The bottom line of the research is that close contacts with family members or friends with the unconventional sexual orientation increases the probability of homosexual marriage appreciation. While people are slow to drop religious teachings, they have their opinion influenced by the contact with homosexual persons. In the main, attitudinal changes may be mediocre. That said, even slight shifts may become difference-makers as time goes by. Another interesting finding comes from a study on the liberalization of young Evangelicals conducted in 2011. As follows from the research, young evangelicals tend to accept homosexual marriages more eagerly than their older coreligionists do (Wihbey, 2012). Although religion traditionally frowns upon same-sex marriages, even devout individuals can become tolerant if they should come into close contact with homosexual friends or coworkers who cause their skeptical mindset to change. Hence, it very important that social actors working at the preservation of the institution of marriage and family be aware of the potential of the social interaction between homosexual and individuals with normal sexual preferences.
Roman Homosexuality: A Historical Analogy and a Dangerous Parallelism
Williams (2010) stated that the residents of the Roman Empire lived in a cultural environment, wherein intimate relations between men and their male slaves was a norm not frowned upon by fellow citizens. Pederasty was second to adultery in terms of social concern. In the Roman society, male individuals looking to engage in sexual intercourses with men were the subjects of ridicule and teasing (Williams, 2010). As is obvious from the above, some social tendencies like male homoeroticism and intolerance find their equivalents in modern societies. Extradyadic or extramarital relationships may, indeed, produce a lot more concern than homosexual relations may. What is interesting about the comparative analysis conducted by the author is that the thing that in part ruined the mightiest empire at the time could do the same to modern human societies, in which homosexuality receives a legal status and a gradual acceptance.
While antiquity seems a distant past not applicable to the modern world, homosexual lifestyle and values, as parts of the ancient culture has stood the test of time living in contemporary societies. As was the case with the ancient civilization plagued by homosexuality, its modern analogues can also lead the modern civilization to decline due to the erosion of marriage and family as social institutions. Existing in the form of a kingdom and a republic, Rome was socially cohesive. Still, its proliferation as an empire and incorporation of African Carthaginian and Middle Eastern Syrian and other provinces, in which male royal harems or homosexuality were a norm to a degree, signified the era of cultural borrowings.
Much the same can await the modern world in the sense that the penetration of homosexuality into social institutions can undermine the conventional system of values responsible for societal tenacity. Such penetration coupled with current cultural decadence or rather stagnation due to the predominance of technologies can turn out socially disruptive. Therefore, if the modern civilization is not to go the way of the Roman Empire, it needs to keep the institution of marriage safe from homosexuality and its destructive potential, or else a family will not be a proper place for rearing children. They need to watch multi-gender parents interact in a family environment so that they will bring the adopted social role to fruition once they have come of marital age. Human environment, whether in the form of a family or society, is what shapes who people are. While in their teens or earlier, children are receptive to such environment and behavioral patterns they observe while interacting with family members, friends, and other people. Hence, children should be exposed to socially acceptable prototypes and models.
The Europe of today display some alarming signs of same-sex marriage liberalization, as is the case with Britain green-lighting marriages between individuals of the same sex. David Cameron was the one to welcome changes, with Wales and Scotland following in England’s footsteps. Being the adamant proponents of traditional family values and the tenacity of the societal institution, conservative MPs and Northern Ireland remain in opposition to liberalization. Religion has always been a convinced adversary of unconventional marriages and sexual orientation. Judaism along with Islam seems to have taken a tougher stance on homosexuality, unlike Christianity. Both religions are the firm defenders of traditional family treating the deviant conduct as sinful and punishable. Hebrew Bible even used to approve capital punishment in years past. Islam is more concerned with the heteronormativity as a societal moral standard, without intruding in private life.
In other words, the homosexual crime is left unpunished when done privately. European Christians are more tolerant of homosexuality and marriages between such people than non-European Christians are. An interesting scientific empirical finding suggests that the closer contact with homosexual individuals is, the more likely it may be that the attitude of religiously devout people changes towards the tolerance of same-sex marriages. Finally, tendencies like male homoeroticism and intolerance are anything but new to contemporary societies, with sexually deviant demeanor common in the Ancient Rome. The gradual acceptance of the conduct eventually contributed to the degradation of the family and the entire Roman society. If societies are not willing to have history repeat itself, they should consider the cons of legalizing same-sex marriages.
Boswell, J. (2005). Christianity, social tolerance, and homosexuality: gay people in Western Europe from the beginning of the Christian era to the fourteenth century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from: http://www.amazon.com/Christianity-Social-Tolerance-Homosexuality-Fourteenth/dp/0226067114
Hamer, D. (2014, February 20). An open letter on homosexuality to my fellow scientists in Uganda. The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/an-open-letter-on-homosexuality-to-my-fellow-ugandan-scientists/
Press Association. (2014, March 29). Britain’s first same-sex marriages take place as PM speaks of ‘powerful message.’ The Guardian. Retrieved from: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/29/gay-couples-wed-same-sex-marriage
Peters, J.W. (2014, May 21). The decline and fall of the ‘h’ word. The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/fashion/gays-lesbians-the-term-homosexual.html?_r=0
Silker (2007). Homosexuality and religion: an encyclopedia. California: Greenwood Press. Retrieved from: https://books.google.com.ua/books?id=N6nYCeP_w8YC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Siker+%282007%29.+Homosexuality+and+Religion:+An+encyclopedia.&hl=uk&sa=X&ei=9PimVI4rla1p3LGBsA8&ved=0CBsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Siker%20(2007).%20Homosexuality%20and%20Religion%3A%20An%20encyclopedia.&f=false
Wihbey, J. (2012, May 15). Religious beliefs, contact with gays and lesbians and opinions on same-sex marriage. Journalist’s Resource. Retrieved from: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/culture/cross-pressures-religion-contact-gays-lesbians-impact-same-sex-marriage-opinion#
Williams, C.A. (2010). Roman homosexuality: second edition. (2nd ed.). England: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from: http://www.amazon.com/Roman-Homosexuality-Craig-A-Williams/dp/0195388747
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