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

By Michael Schofield | Go to book overview

II LAW REFORM

A. THE MAIN ARGUMENTS
It was not the original intent of this report to have a section on law reform. However, the previous section has shown how a change of social attitudes is essential if progress towards containing this problem is to be made. Furthermore it is clear that little headway will be made with changing attitudes as long as homosexual acts between consenting adults in private are illegal.Some people think that everything that can be said on the Wolfenden proposals has been said. There have been many books on the subject and the Homosexual Law Reform Society has been conducting a vigorous campaign to persuade the government to implement the recommendations of the Wolfenden Report ( 1957) at the very least. The main arguments of the Homosexual Law Reform Society are as follows:
1. The law discriminates irrationally against private male homosexuality, while leaving untouched female homosexuality and heterosexual misdemeanours, such as fornication and adultery, whose social consequences are probably more widely harmful.
2. The social consequences of the law are almost wholly bad. Many cases of blackmail and suicides have undoubtedly resulted from it, while it tends to increase rather than diminish homosexual promiscuity, instability and public misbehaviour by denying homosexuals the legitimate chance of establishing discreet permanent relationships.
3. Many homosexuals could be helped to a better adjustment if they felt freer to seek advice without incriminating themselves by doing so.
4. The present law does much to ensure that adolescents and young men who once became involved in homosexual practices will feel it far harder to escape than would otherwise be the case.
5. The lack of any distinction between homosexual behaviour committed in public or in private, or between those above or below an 'age of consent', decreases the protection of the youth.
6. The existing law has been condemned, not only by a 12-1 majority of the Wolfenden Committee, but also by leading religious spokesmen of nearly all major denominations and by a widely representative cross-section of the Press.

-193-

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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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