Sociological Aspects of Homosexuality: A Comparative Study of Three Types of Homosexuals

By Michael Schofield | Go to book overview

9 THE OTHER HOMOSEXUALS

A. ACCEPTANCE

It has been suggested in the previous chapter that many of the homosexual prisoners (HC group) would be in prison whether they were homosexual or not, and many of the homosexual patients (HP group) would require psychiatric treatment whether they were homosexual or not. There are some important exceptions to this, but overall the generalization holds true that homosexuals in prisons and clinics have personality problems apart from their homosexual condition.

It follows that a better view of the social aspects of homosexuality will be obtained by studying homosexuals who are neither inmates nor patients (the HO group). This is also the most representative group, as most homosexuals do not get into trouble and do not seek treatment.

A comparison of the HO group with the HC and HP groups has brought to light several differences, the most striking of which are in the areas of community integration. The HO men seemed to fit in with the established customs more easily, and most of them felt that it was important to be accepted within the community. They were more likely to go up the socio-economic scale; they were more successful and enjoyed their work more often; they were less likely to appear feminine, and were more likely to have a large circle of friends. After every interview each man was rated for Community Integration using the same scale that was tested and verified by Westwood ( 1960). It was found that 38 HO men were put into the 'well integrated' categories compared with 19 HC men and 17 HP men.

Why are these men so different from the homosexuals in the other groups? It is certainly not a question of abstinence, for the average frequency of homosexual acts is as high as the HC group and higher than the HP group.

Abstinence has for a long time been the religious solution to the problem of homosexuality. By implication it is also the legal solution, for it is not a crime to be homosexual; it is only the homosexual act that is illegal. In theory our society requires men and women of all ages to abstain from sexual activities unless they are married; in practice the widespread violation of this moral demand suggests that the average human is incapable of permanent abstinence. Even those who have voluntarily taken the oath of celibacy do not always

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Sociological Aspects of Homosexuality: A Comparative Study of Three Types of Homosexuals
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Also by Michael Schofield The Sexual Behaviour of Young People ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements viii
  • Author's Note ix
  • Part 1 - Results of the Research 1
  • 1: Introduction 3
  • 2 - HC Group (Homosexuals/Convicted) 7
  • 4 - HP Group (Homosexuals/Patients) 68
  • 5 - NP Group (Non-Homosexual/Patients) 85
  • 6 - HO Group (Homosexuals/Others) 101
  • 7 - NO Group (Non-Homosexuals/Others) 129
  • Part II - Discussion of the Results 145
  • 8 - Homosexuals in Trouble 147
  • 9 - The Other Homosexuals 173
  • 10 - Sociological Aspects 185
  • II - Law Reform 193
  • 12 - Towards a Theory of Homosexuality 203
  • Appendix: Research Plan 214
  • Subject Index 241
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