Gay advice from the Governing Body
cofty : Genuine question - is it not true that same-sex attraction can be a phase for some young people?
Its difficult to be definitive on this issue. Part of the problem is the clouded definitions.
Is homosexuality based on actions or inclinations? For example, Kinsey's* famous work and his conclusions were seemingly all based on activity, rather than desire.
That research led to a question, how do you classify a person who has sex with someone of the same sex once in their life, as against someone that does so every day? Hence the development of that scale. (Further consideration has led to more complex versions of the scale). And more, what classification should be used for a person who often wants to, but never can find the courage to do it?
A bi-sexual classification is another development (I think) of Kinsey's published work.
And, today - after centuries of bitter Christian church (and other religious) condemnation, which has certainly obscured the issues and even though most western countries have legalised same sex activity, discrimination and prejudice continues and obfuscates the answers to Cofty's question.
So its interesting to compare today's attitudes to periods in the past when same sex sexual activities were celebrated.
For example, ancient Greece (particularly, in terms of available information - Athens and Sparta). In both societies male to male romances were part of the social life of those cities, even though the participants were likely married.
See this recognised ancient history site, Livius: http://www.livius.org/articles/concept/greek-homosexuality/ )
But the era that may offer the best answer to Cofty's question is Edo era Japan (and East Asia more generally). Particularly, in the 17th and early 18th century, Japanese men can be seen as sliding easily between sex with women and sex with beautiful young men. I do not think it was purely a matter of effeminancy, as its also on record that young warriors were objects of desire on the part of older men.
Its an era in which I do a lot of research, (particularly for the interest of my gayxjw friend).
If you want to try and understand how a society can be radically different to our own (western) society may I suggest these books.
Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan. 1995, Uni of California Press. The author is Professor Gary Leupp, who teaches history at Tufts University.
The Love of the Samurai: A Thousand Years of Japanese Homosexuality. 1989, GMP Publishers. The authors are Tsuneo Watanabe and Junichi Iwata.
Cartographies of Desire: Male-Male Sexuality in Japanese Discourse-1600-1950. 2007, Uni of California Press. Author: Gregory M. Pflugfelder, Associate Professor, Department of History, Columbia University.
Sex and the Floating World: Erotic Images in Japan, 1700 -1820. 2009, Reaktion Books. The author is Timon Screech, Professor of the history of art at the School of Oriental and African Studies(SOAS), University of London.
And in particular, may I suggest this book, if you really want to understand a natural view of sex uncontaminated by the Christian church (The Japanese slaughtered nearly all their Christians in the 17th C.) It is a compilation of senryu, or short 'dirty' (in the western sense, but not the Japanese sense) verse.
The Woman Without a Hole & other Risky Themes from Old Japanese Poems, 2007, Paraverse Press - which is a self publishing title, The translator is Robin Gill, and an independent scholar. In this volume Gill considerably expands our understanding of Japanese sexuality, finding no clear line between hetero and homo - sexuality, so many of these short verses painting an image of a fashionable young crowd as likely having simultaneous desire for a young man and a woman. One may think this is bi-sexuality, but one of my lecturer's prefers the term, omni-sexual. I think its just a sense of, "I feel like sex tonight, whose around that attracts me?"
This doesn't really answer your question Cofty, but I hope it expands your thinking on the topic.
steve2 what an excellent post.
This is total madness. How do they get away with such ignorance in this day and age???
Calling people who are gay immoral is like calling people who are born blind immoral.
In both situations these individuals had no choice to how they were born.
Unfortunately the ignorant dumb ass holes who run the WTS. don't know or realize that.
Cofty I purposely avoided answering your question directly because I have trouble with the phrase, "Just a phase" and all that it implies (e.g., it will pass, it's not your main inclination, etc).
Besides, as I argued earlier, if that phrase must be used, then for me, heterosexuality was a phase. So what? Swings and roundabouts.
Thanks for your comments, Slimboyfat.
Fulltimestudent - very helpful addition to the discussion.
Only 30 years old. I'm sure I'll grow out of this phase any day now . . .
Fulltimestudent, I just want to say thank you for sharing your scholarship with us. I can tell you put a lot of effort into your comments both here and in other threads and I want to let you know that I appreciate it.
I always enjoy your thoughts and upvote them often.
I also agree that it is valuable to consider the insights of Eastern culture, since we live in Western culture and are therefore influenced by what we consider the norms to be. Stepping outside of one's cultural point of view helps us to disentangle "nature" from "nurture."
**Unfortunately the ignorant dumb ass holes who run the WTS. don't know or realize that.**
Perhaps one of these days on some Broadcast or assembly one of these guys will say something ignorant about homosexuals or minority groups and it will bite them in the ass!!!