What is homosexuality – a vice or a variant of the norm?
“Peter Tchaikovsky, Freddie Mercury, Elton John, Boris Moiseev … Do you still want to send your child to a music school?”
Negative views on homosexuality are widespread in our society – in the modern world, homosexuality is far from acceptable everywhere. However, it exists – and this fact is undeniable. How did it all begin and why is this happening?
Ancient Greece is considered the golden age of same-sex love. All the gods of Greek Olympus (with the exception of the god of war Ares and the god of the underworld Hades) loved the boys. And the loving Hercules was fond of both women and young men. The great philosophers of antiquity – Socrates and Plato were also homosexuals, and Plato saw in the same-sex love, first of all, an exchange of spiritual values; in ancient Greek society, only communication with young men over 21 was considered normal.
Here is how Plato himself explains the origin of same-sex love: “Initially, bisexual androgynous creatures lived on the earth, except for men and women, but then the gods cut all people in half, so everyone is now doomed to search for their former half, because“ love is the thirst for integrity and desire for her. ” At the same time, men, representing a half of the former androgyne, hunt for women, and women of androgynous origin are greedy for men. Women, representing a half of the former woman, are not very disposed to men, they are attracted to other women. “But men, representing a half of the former man, are attracted to everything masculine: already in childhood, being segments of a male being, they love men and they like to lie and cuddle with men. These are the best of boys and young men, because by nature they are the most courageous … In adulthood, only such men turn to state activity. Having matured, they love boys, and they do not have a natural inclination for childbearing and marriage; both are compelled by custom, and they themselves would be completely content to live together without wives. ”
Or maybe homosexuality was a means of reducing the birth rate and combating overpopulation, because Aristotle wrote that the Cretan legislator “in order to separate women from men so as not to give birth to many children, introduced cohabitation of men with men”.
It is interesting to note that the beauty of a naked male and female body is widely represented in ancient Greek sculpture, while in Roman sculpture all nudity is covered. And while in Athens, same-sex sex was the privilege of free people, in Rome its only legitimate objects were slaves and prostitutes, who were outside the official society, but for a freedman, for example, sex with a former owner was considered a voluntary moral obligation.
However, for those in power there was nothing forbidden – of the twelve Caesars, whose biographies was made by Suetonius, only two had no ties with men. The sexual practice of imperial Rome caused a general decline in morals and corruption of society. The reaction to this was the strengthening of ascetic morality, focused on self-control and sexual abstinence.
And what happened in the Middle Ages in Holy Russia? – Here is what historian S. M. Solovyov writes about this time : “Nowhere, neither in the East nor in the West did they look as easily as in Russia on this heinous, unnatural sin.”
Almost all foreign travelers and diplomats who visited Russia in the XV-XVII centuries. (Herberstein, Olearius, Margeret, Collins, etc.), noted the widespread occurrence of sodomy in all walks of life and surprisingly tolerant, by then European standards, attitude towards it. The English poet George Terberville, who visited Moscow as part of a diplomatic mission in 1568 , was struck by the open homoeroticism of Russian peasants more than the executions of Ivan the Terrible.
Some members of the imperial family led an openly homosexual lifestyle. In particular, the uncle of Nicholas II, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich openly patronized handsome adjutants and even founded a closed club of this kind in the capital. When he was appointed the Moscow Governor-General, they made a joke in the city that so far Moscow has stood on seven hills, and now it should stand on one hill (the Russian “hill” is consonant with the French bougre – sodomy ). The Foreign Minister Count Vladimir Lamzdorf, who recorded this anecdote in his memoirs, belonged to the same company, the tsar sometimes jokingly called him “Madame”.
Representatives of the intelligentsia were not subjected to persecution for sexual orientation. The homosexuality of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893), which was shared by his younger brother Modest, was “family”. The school of law, in which the composer studied, was famous for such traditions, his students even sang a comic hymn that sex with friends is much more pleasant than with women.
At the beginning of the 20th century, same-sex love in the circles of the artistic elite became even more visible. For many, of course, same-sex love was just a fashionable intellectual hobby, a game for which the artistic bohemia is greedy.
The October Revolution interrupted this process of development of homosexual culture in Russia. The Bolsheviks hated all sexuality, which did not yield to state control and did not have reproductive value.
Thus, only fragmentary following some stages of history associated with same-sex love, we can conclude – this has always existed. Why? What is a perversion? Sin? Disease? … or a variant of the norm?
Science has been dealing with the issue of homosexuality for many years. Many hypotheses are discussed. They range from endocrine disorders during the embryonic period, when the brain defines itself as male or female under the influence of the male sex hormone testosterone, to genetic disorders or purely psychological reasons. None of them are proven. The most likely opinion seems to be shared by most sexologists that the emergence of homosexuality requires not just one single reason, but a complex of various factors that are still not well known in detail. The following scientific provisions are considered recognized (based on the materials of the sexological encyclopedia):
1. Homosexuality is not a disease and therefore does not need treatment. It can neither be prevented nor cured. Any prophylaxis or therapy is pointless. All attempts in this direction turned out to be dubious and, in the end, pointless.
2. Homosexuality – an equal and equal version of human sexuality, one of the many types of sexual behavior and partnership. 3. No one can determine in advance his sexual orientation. Thus, all moral assessments of homosexuality disappear. 4. Homosexuality is not limited to sex. It covers same-sex relationships, love between men or between women. High human aspirations and values are associated with this.
In our country, a very high level of homophobia remains to this day. The All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM) conducted a representative express survey of 1,600 Russians. Among other questions was this:
“People have different attitudes towards homosexuals and lesbians. Do you personally think that homosexuality is basically … “The five answers were distributed as follows (in percent):
illness or result of mental trauma – 33.1 promiscuity, bad habit – 35.1 sexual orientation, which has the same right to exist – 18.3 is a special sign giftedness, talent – 0.5 find it difficult to answer – 12.9
What do you say?