Re: Is homosexuality a social construction?
Originally Posted by pov
I didn't read LDV's OP as being about "born gay or not" (i.e. nature/nature) but about the instituting of rigid categories that people shunt themselves into. Without those constructs people would flow freely. Sure Pete may get it on only with other fellows but the whole psychology that has come to be associated with that wouldn't exist. If one day he met Mary and they both felt the urge - it wouldn't be a thing.
You're romanticising "flowing freely" from a biased heterosexist perspective. The truth remains that two men (or women) who were in love were not able to get married, in whichever culture from whichever era of yore, regardless of whether sex between the same sexes was not greatly frowned upon in those cultures or not. That is only a possibility now.
There was a whole different construct back in the day, it was unspoken and unexamined, not nonexistent.
Here's a bit about the ancient Greek culture upheld as a typical example of a supposedly liberal culture that allowed homosexuality:
Given the importance in Greek society of cultivating the masculinity of the adult male and the perceived feminizing effect of being the passive partner, relations between adult men of comparable social status were considered highly problematic, and usually associated with social stigma. This stigma, however, was reserved for only the passive partner in the relationship. According to contemporary opinion, Greek males who engaged in passive homosexuality after reaching the age of manhood - at which point they were the expected to take the reverse role in pederastic relationships and become the active and dominant member - thereby were feminized or "made a woman" of themselves. There is ample evidence in the theater of Aristophanes that derides these passive homosexuals and gives a glimpse of the type of biting social opprobrium and shame ("atimia") heaped upon them by their society.
A single flow'r he sent me, since we met./All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet - One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret;/'My fragile leaves,' it said, 'his heart enclose.'
Love long has taken for his amulet/One perfect rose.
Why is it no one ever sent me yet/One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get/One perfect rose.