The Short History of Heterosexuality

April 19, 2017
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 “Normal” a word that has different meanings to every single one of us, but when it comes to our sexual preferences there is a lot of controversies. Since in the beginning of time dating back to the ancient civilization in Greece, homosexuality existed. Homosexuality is defined as “sexual or romantic attraction to people of one own’s sex”. That is the daily concept that people view homosexuality. Some may say that homosexuality is a new and abnormal concept, but that is not the case. The new concept our sexuality is called “Heterosexuality: the manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex; normal sexuality.” (BBC). Many are outraged when it comes to this definition and as stated by Brandon Ambrosio, the reaction of many is “That can’t be right! Well, it certainly doesn’t feel right. It feels as if heterosexuality has always “just been there”. The shift of our ideology on our sexual preferences has changed through these and understanding this shift will benefit our knowledge of our sexual identities.
   

“Sex has no history” as stated by theorist David Halperin. This is because Halperin believes that sex is “grounded in the functioning of the body” (BBC).  Yet when it comes to our sexuality, our culture can affect it. Many religions despise the word “homosexual” and even have tough consequences towards it, but little do they know that in reality that homosexuality or heterosexuality was never identified.  Hanne Blank,  who had written the book “ Straight:  The Surprisingly Short Story of Heterosexuality” has included scientific and historical research which states “Prior to 1868 there were no heterosexuals”  thus there weren’t homosexuals. People knew that they experienced both sexual desires, some even knew it was wrong, but there was no such terminology as “homosexuality” or “heterosexuality”. So how did we wind up with these new terms?


In the late 1860’s, Karl Maria Kertbeny had invented the terms homosexuality and heterosexuality.  Kertbeny had been using the word heterosexual to write a chapter in a novel about the discrimination of homosexuals, but his editor (Gustav Jager) decided not to publish it. The same term was used in Austrian-German psychiatrist, Richard Von Krafft-Ebing. Krafft-Ebing wrote about the abnormal acts of sexuality such as masturbation and homosexuality. Although stated in his work that heterosexuality was used 24 times, which is quite ironic since he was trying to explain through his work that heterosexuality was the “normal” sexual preference.
   

Coming back to the word “normal”. The word “normal has been misused in several occasions, especially in our sexuality desire. We can take multiple instances when “normal” was misused, such as thinking the universe was geocentric, or that kidnapping Africans and condemns them to slavery was considered acceptable; “normal”. Homosexuality for the past years has been viewed highly negative towards religion for homosexual intercourse was damned due to it being “ an act of spilling life-bearing seed” but even though not being homosexual was enforced in Catholic schools, “ this ethic comes not primarily from Christian or Jewish scriptures, but from Stoicism” (BBC). Moving on to Krafft-Ebing continuing about that sexual intercourse was in fact aimed for reproductive purposes or the engaging of “normal sex” although  later on the aim is that “Placing the reproductive aside in the unconscious, Krafft- Ebing created a small, obscure  space in which a new pleasure norm began to grow” (BBC). This was a new shift towards our society about sexuality, this shift changed the aim of sexual intercourse from it being about the reproductive instinct to now being an “erotic desire”. This was the groundwork for the society's cultural shift setting the bar of heterosexuality being “normal”.
   

In conclusion, the word “normal” has been ignorantly tagged, when it comes to our sexuality, only to heterosexuality for some. Although throughout years the cultural shift from reproductive aim, changed to erotic and passion, many do not see this cultural shift. I strongly believe that homosexuality and heterosexuality should be viewed positively and considered as both “normal”. I strongly believe that everyone should have the choice of who to love, no matter the gender because love is love. Love will be a term that can never change, not even gender-wise and that if love is normal, then who you love should be considered normal.






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