Societal Attitudes Toward Homosexuality

Societal attitudes toward homosexuality vary greatly in different cultures and different historical periods, as do attitudes toward sexual desire, activity and relationships in general. All cultures have their own values regarding appropriate and inappropriate sexuality; some sanction same-sex love and sexuality, while others disapprove of such activities. As with heterosexual behaviour, different sets of prescriptions and proscriptions may be given to individuals according to their gender, age, social status and/or class.

Most of the world's cultures have considered procreative sex within a recognized relationship to be a sexual norm — sometimes exclusively so, and sometimes alongside norms of same-sex love, whether passionate, intimate or sexual. Some right-wing sects within some religions, especially those influenced by the Abrahamic tradition, have traditionally censured homosexual acts and relationships, in some cases implementing severe punishments for offenders.

Since the 1970s, much of the world has become more accepting of same-sex sexuality between partners of legal age. The Pew Research Center's 2007 Global Attitudes Survey found that "eople in Africa and the Middle East strongly object to societal acceptance of homosexuality. Acceptance for homosexuality and bisexuality however is much higher in Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Many Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico also have a gay-accepting majority.

Many countries have also seen rising support for LGBT rights in modern times (including the legalization of same-sex marriage and other such rights).

Read more about Societal Attitudes Toward Homosexuality:  Difficulties Interpreting Homosexuality in Different Cultures, Measuring Attitudes Toward Homosexuality, Law, Religion, Regions and Historical Periods

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