Homosexuality Essay

3924 words - 16 pages

No one knows exactly how homosexuality entered into human history. I would imagine that the practices associated with the erotic attraction of people to ones own gender have been around since the dawn of humanity. The earliest accounts of homosexual behavior seem to be found in ancient pagan religious practices. At least, the pagans included homosexuality in the worship of various gods. Whether the inclusion in worship was because the practice was already a part of the society-at-large or if the pagan worship introduced the practice is impossible to determine, although some understandings of Pauls writings argue for the latter.
Human beings began to worship many gods very early in human ...view middle of the document...

Since sex was required for fertility in humans, they believed having sex with a god was all the more crucial and beneficial.

Giving the Male God More Male-ness

Most likely, additional homosexual practices became a part of polytheistic worship as a successor to masturbation. Evidence suggests pagan priests orally stimulated the sexual organs of the worshippers in order to facilitate masturbation in ancient mid-eastern cults. If one believed that having sex with a god would bring fertility, it was easy to also believe that, if a man added his male-ness, through his semen, to a male god, fertility would be multiplied all the more. Male gods could plant seeds and were therefore seen as more productive than the female gods to some. When a man ejaculated his semen into another mans anus at the shrine, he was depositing more male power to the gods. With the additional strength of the semen of many men, the god could then insure a bountiful crop, a larger herd, and many children to care for the field. This practice grew into, not only forms of pagan worship, but also a means of supplying money for the temple. Catamites, boys and men who were exclusively used for passive anal sex, began to serve the temples. One must wonder whether boys were sometimes forced into this kind of sexual contact due to economic circumstances, much like their female counterparts. Women often survived only by prostitution since they were allowed no inheritance. Orphan boys may often have found themselves in the same predicament. Regardless, it was very early in human history that both male and female prostitutes were used in temple worship in order to raise funds for the temple, as well as support themselves.

Homosexuality in Ancient Greece

Greek culture is often promoted as the most accepting of homosexuality. To some extent, this may be true. The Greeks developed a hedonistic attitude toward the human body and sexuality. Although we may think of hedonism as lustful today, Greek philosophers wrote of hedonism in much more glowing terms. They believed that the naked human body, both male and female, was worthy of respect and admiration. They took great pride in the physical form. Public nudity was both tolerated and often encouraged.
The art and statuary of the ancient Greeks reflects this love for the body, particularly the male body. A major negative of this attitude is that those who were handicapped or unattractive children were often left to die, killed, or used in sacrifice to a god. It was not unusual for men to comment on the attractiveness of other men, or for them to express affection for one another. At least part of the reason for this fascination with physical attractiveness and sex is that the Greeks had developed into a culture that had a great deal of leisure time. They were not required to work constantly in order to survive. Blumenfeld and Raymond wrote: “Similarly, the Greek attitude toward sex was, for the most part,...

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