Module 2: Homosexuality
Definition: Refers to people whose sexual and romantic feelings are mostly for the same sex. The word “lesbian” is most commonly used for women and “gay” is most commonly used for men. Note: Some people may identify differently, this is just the most common way people identify.
• It is nearly impossible to know how many people of homosexual orientation there are in the United States, because social pressures and fear of discrimination may cause individuals to not answer surveys that count lesbian and gay populations.
• Some gay or lesbian people simply get married to a member of the opposite sex if they feel as though they may be discriminated against for expressing their true sexuality. Others stay closeted, which means that they have not officially told their friends and family about their homosexual orientation.
• Modern studies indicate that the prevalence of homosexuality is approximately 2% to 13% of the population. A 2006 study indicated that 20% of the population indicated some sort of homosexual feelings, although very few of them identified themselves as homosexual (McConaghy et., al 2006).
•Gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.
•Students who experience frequent verbal harassment because of their sexual orientation are less likely than other students to attend college.
•Gays and lesbians are far more likely than any other minority group in the United States to be a victim of a violent hate crime.
•Gay and lesbian youth struggle may struggle with cognitive, social, or emotional, isolation.
•According to a 2006 report, between 20-40% of homeless youth in the US identify as LGBT.
• Homophobia is the fear of, avoidance of, or discrimination against individuals who are homosexual. When such beliefs manifest crimes, these crimes are referred to as hate crimes. In 2004, the FBI reported that 15.6% of hate crimes were attributed to acts of violence against the LGBT community.
•Same-sex couples have the freedom to marry in only 6 states (Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont). Note: Washington DC also has marriage.
•State and federal marriage provides over 1,200 legal and economic protections for married couples and their children. Some of these include : -Hospital visitation when there has been an accident of illness -Ability to obtain “family” health coverage -taxation and inheritance rights
•Gays and lesbians may be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, unless protected by state law. In Iowa, discrimination based on sexual orientation is protected under state law.
•Some persons still see homosexuality as a choice, though no legitimate medical agency backs this logic any longer.
Check out some of the things happening in Iowa: