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Home Special Issues Experiences of Gay Men: Through the Eyes of Self and Others
Experiences of Gay Men: Through the Eyes of Self and Others
Title:      Experiences of Gay Men: Through the Eyes of Self and Others
Categories:      Special Issues
JournalID:      18.01.102/20170403G
Editor:      Reshma Bhown
ISSN:      2348-5396
Publisher:      RED'SHINE Publication. Inc
Publication date:      30 April 2017
Edition:      2017
Number of pages:      51
Language:      English
Rating:      4 
Picture:      cover
Description:     

The present research was conducted to understand the lives of gay men through their life experiences and to explore the views and concerns of the society regarding homosexuality. Orientation of sexual activities or feelings towards others of the same sex exist in all cultures. Currently, most sociologists believe that one’s sexual orientation whether homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual, results from a complex interplay between biological factors and social learning. In India, issues related to sexuality and sexual behavior have for a long time been seen through the lens of western framework. In India, sexuality is primarily defined within the frameworks of gender roles and reproductive sex, rather than in sexual orientation. This study was an effort to understand homosexuality beyond these frameworks. The purpose of the study was to focus on the context of the nature of same sex love in our society, and to get an in-depth understanding the research was restricted to gay men. The study was conducted in Delhi/NCR. The sample comprised of twenty five gay men in the age group of 18-35 years, twenty five straight people (13 women and 12 men) in the age group of 18-65 years and six professionals (school counselors, clinical psychologists and psychiatrist), taking the total number of participants to fifty six. The findings revealed that the childhood of the sample comprising of gay men was quite different in terms of their interests, interaction patterns with parents and peer group. A considerably large fraction of participants were subjected to harassment at least once in their life which can be linked to their gender non conforming roles. There was no consensus in the attraction patterns which reiterated that every individual is different. Image conflict among participants was prevalent. Reflection by participants on the “coming out” phase revealed unanimous experiences that led to stress and discrepancy with regard to the need of coming out to others. Most however acknowledged the need of support systems in their lives that helped them to come to terms with their sexuality. The participants reported concerns that came their way as consequences of being gay. The legal status of homosexuality complicates their lives further. Majority of the straight participants had the knowledge of homosexuality, and were seen to be indifferent towards it and showed considerable acceptance. The professionals had information about the meaning of homosexuality whereas disparity was seen in their belief of what caused homosexuality which decided the approach they adopted when they come across gay people in their practice. It was concluded that though gay men are one of us and an integral part of the society, their lives have different facets. The attitude of the society is changing and efforts are being put to bridge the heterosexual-homosexual gap. However, it was felt that the need of the hour is for professionals to widen their horizons and to have a comprehensive approach in dealing with homosexuality as this can have a significant impact on the lives of gay men.

Keywords- Homosexuality, Gender roles, Attitude, Childhood, Coming Out, Legal Status

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© 2017 IJIP Authors; licensee IJIP. This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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