Throughout history homosexuals have been heavily criticized and frowned upon. They have been often been mistreated and have even classified as sinners for their sexual orientation. Sexual orientation discrimination has been around for years and there’s certainly more than one way of discriminating. During the beginning stages of science and research, people began to separate heterosexuals from homosexuals. Because people began seeing a trend in HIV/AIDS with homosexual men, they would tease them and claim that it was a “gay disease.”
Just as many have been looked down on homosexuality there is also people who support it. As time goes by, homosexuality is accepted more and more throughout many cultures and societies. But, why does homosexuality exist? Scientists and researchers have questioned the reason to why homosexuality occurs and if it is in fact a choice or if it is genetically instigated.
Homosexuality is not something that just happened all of a sudden. It is not a trend or a new conception. In fact, homosexuality has been around for a very long time. Ancient Greece is one of the places that had the most information about homosexuality during that time.
As one can imagine, the ancient Greeks did not use terms or concepts like ‘heterosexual’ and ‘homosexual’. Instead, people would simply know whether a person was homosexual or not by the groups of people they would get along with. Whether or not homosexuality was accepted was based on one’s region. For example, “in parts of Ionia there were general strictures against same-sex persons, while in Elis and Boiotia, homosexuality was approved of and even celebrated (cf. Dover, 1989; Halperin, 1990).”
Some homosexuals were known for specifically being attracted to a specific characteristic of same-sex. Many who did not accept the idea of homosexuality in meaningful and important people made an exception for them and claimed it was just the love and attraction to that specific characteristic, not the person themself. For example, Alexander the Great, the founder of Stoicism, and Zeno of Citium, were known for their interest in boys and other men. People like these two men were known as the exception. In Erotikos written by Plutarch, he states that “the noble lover of beauty engages in love wherever he sees excellence and splendid natural endowment without regard for any difference in physiological detail,” (Ibid, 1993) meaning that the sex of a person in just a minor “detail” and instead the true importance lies in the beauty and character of a person. The social status or where a person lied in the social pyramid was also a large contributor in whether homosexuality was accepted or not. During that time the only group of people that had full status were men. These men were frowned upon in in fact they had sexual relations with another man. Though for women and males that were not free (slaves) having same-sex partners was not a problem. The central distinction in ancient Greek sexual relations was between taking an active role, versus a passive one. People who took an active role, which for the most part were men, they were able to have intercourse with some else who was inferior to them without a problem. This meant that the passive role was only for the inferiors, such as women, slaves, or male