by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 166 views

Homosexuality refers to sexual attraction to the same sex. But when exactly is a person homosexual, how does sexual orientation develop and are there differences between same-sex and heterosexual partnerships? Learn more here.

Homosexuality: what is it?

If a person is only sexually attracted to people of the same biological sex, they are homosexual. Women who have a preference for other women are called lesbians. Men who are attracted to men are gay. For a long time some people do not know that they have a sexual attraction to their own sex. There is no uniform definition of when someone is homosexual.

The terms lesbian and gay were used in a pejorative way a few years ago, but have now become common parlance to denote male and female homosexuality.

When a person desires both men and women, it is called bisexuality . Read more about bisexuality .

inclination or sexual orientation?

It is important to know that some people have same-sex sexual contacts but actually prefer the opposite sex. Despite having same-sex sex, you are not gay or lesbian.

Zoologist Alfred Kinsey found that most people are not exclusively straight or homosexual: a scale named after him measures sexual attraction on seven levels, with 0 representing “exclusively heterosexual” and 6 representing “exclusively homosexual”. Most people fall into categories 1 through 5.

How many homosexual people are there in Germany?

According to the Federal Statistical Office, there were a total of 163,000 same-sex couples at the end of 2020. 34,000 couples also live in a registered civil partnership.

It is difficult to estimate how many people there are in Germany with a homosexual orientation. On the one hand, it is not clearly defined when a person is considered homosexual, on the other hand, many cannot classify their feelings and emotions correctly or are not yet ready to come out.

How does homosexuality arise?

Homosexual fantasies, activities and experiences in childhood and adolescence are part of a person’s normal sexual development. And even later, everyone has certain homosexual tendencies.

Take the time to find out which gender you feel significantly more or exclusively attracted to over time. Self-awareness is a long process and the boundaries are fluid. It may take some time before you have clarified your feelings and needs and are also ready to communicate them to those around you (coming out).

How exactly homosexuality arises and whether it is innate is unclear. Attempts to scientifically prove a cause have so far failed. What is known, however, is that sexual orientation is permanently shaped in the first few years of life. Presumably biological, psychological and social factors work together.

Homosexuality – like any other sexual orientation – is not a question of upbringing, it is not due to seduction and it is also not a disease! Therefore, it is not possible to “cure” homosexuality or “re-educate” the person

Homosexuality: Love and Sex

Feelings, affection, being in love – none of this differs between homosexual and heterosexual couples. Many heterosexuals have prejudices when it comes to the practice of homosexual eroticism. Homosexual partnerships are comparable to heterosexual ones.

The sexual reality of gays and lesbians is usually more differentiated than many people assume. Even in a gay and lesbian relationship, everything that is possible in heterosexual partnerships can take place during sex.

For example, lesbian couples may engage in vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse using certain devices such as a strap-on, while oral and anal sex is engaged in between men. Different positions are also possible without any problems.

Read more about sex toys .

As with sex between heterosexual couples, respect your partner’s wants and needs and be considerate of one another. Also, make sure you use the right contraception to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases.

Read more about Safer Sex .

This is how you can tell if you are homosexual

Recognizing homosexuality in yourself isn’t always easy: many people have occasional moments when they feel attracted to people of the same sex. This is especially true during puberty. Even having same-sex sex doesn’t necessarily mean someone is gay or lesbian.

Self-recognition is a long process, the boundaries between hetero-, bi- and homosexuality are fluid. Be mindful of your feelings and sexual attraction. Which gender do you feel more or even exclusively attracted to?

Coming out: These tips will help you

Coming out as gay or lesbian to family and friends is a momentous step for most people. Most of all, many are afraid of a negative reaction. The most important thing, however, is that you feel ready and don’t allow yourself to be pressured into publicly admitting your homosexuality. Pay attention to the following points:

  • Find a suitable moment. The ideal time is when no other event is in the foreground and the person you want to confide in can give you enough attention.
  • Start slowly, for example with a close confidant, and then let more and more people in on it.
  • Give those around you time to process the news.
  • Try to answer open questions.
  • Find support from someone who has your back.
  • When people have a problem with your sexual orientation, accept it and let them go.

Homosexuality in everyday life: what does it mean to be homosexual?

Society in Germany accepts gay and lesbian partnerships. Gay couples have been allowed to marry since October 1, 2017. Before that, same-sex couples could only enter into a civil partnership. Since then, couples who have been in a civil partnership can request a marriage from the registry office.

This change also allows homosexual couples to adopt children.

homosexuality over time

Whether a society views homosexuality as natural or abnormal depends on its cultural norms. Throughout history, homosexuality has manifested itself in very different ways in different periods of development and cultures.

However, there are hardly any historical records of lesbian relationships. The situation is different when it comes to homosexuality among men: in ancient Greece, romantic relationships between men were tolerated. In 378 BC there was even a military group in Greece that consisted only of gay couples.

Later, the times for homosexuals were dark for a long time. In the Middle Ages they were burned, castrated and killed during the National Socialist era. It was not until June 1994 that paragraph 175 was abolished in Germany, which stated that relationships between men constitute a criminal offence. Religious and ideological standpoints of the time determined the attitude of society towards homosexuality.

homosexuality and prejudice

Despite the advances, homosexuals still have to fight against prejudice. To this day, homosexuals are often deliberately devalued, persecuted in other countries such as Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar or even punished with death. It is also not long ago that homosexuals received medication and therapy because they were considered to be sick. The idea of ​​man and woman is firmly anchored in many minds. Many of those affected do not dare to show their sexual orientation publicly.

Sexologists no longer see same-sex love as a sexual deviation that requires treatment. Homosexuality also exists in nature, for example in mammals or birds. So it is a natural expression of sexuality.

Prejudice and discrimination cause many homosexual people to deny their identity. This creates a high level of suffering for those affected. Homosexuals are therefore at risk of developing a mental disorder. It is not homosexuality itself that causes the mental impairment, but the devaluation of society.

Younger homosexuals in particular are three times more likely to commit suicide. Many are bullied and bullied at school. Those affected and their relatives can get help and advice from various institutions, such as comingout.de.

Homosexuality: the flag

An important symbol of the gay and lesbian scene is the rainbow flag, also known as the Pride flag. Gilbert Baker, an American artist, designed it for San Francisco Gay Freedom Day in 1978. It stands for the diversity of gays and lesbians all over the world. In the original version with eight colors stood

  • Pink for sexuality
  • Red for life
  • Orange for healing
  • Yellow for the sun
  • Green for nature
  • Turquoise for art
  • Blue for harmony
  • Purple for the soul

There are numerous variants of the rainbow flag, some of which also take up other symbols from the LGBTQ scene (a collective term for all deviations from heterosexual orientation).

Homosexuality: Tips for more tolerance with each other

In Germany there is now a diverse lesbian and gay scene. Every major German city has lesbian and gay centers with numerous groups and meeting places. There are also advice centers for homosexuals, lesbian and gay bars, groups for artistic activities and discotheques.

In addition, the so-called Pride Month is celebrated around the world in June – during this time, attention is drawn to and clarified about the abuses in society towards the LGBTQ scene.

But what can you do to support gays and lesbians?

  • Respect the identity of the data subject and the language they use to talk about themselves. If you are unsure, ask.
  • Educate yourself about homosexuality to better understand it. Specialist articles, books, podcasts or videos are possible sources. Homosexuals also use social media to educate and combat prejudice.
  • Challenge prejudices about homosexuality – in yourself and in those around you.

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