Lecture 3 1. Did you learn anything in the session or reading material that surprised, impressed, or shocked you? If so what? And why did it have that effect on you? During the lecture, Sam introduced the origin of homosexuality. According to two British researchers, Wilson and Rahman, genetic factor is also a determinant of sexual orientation. I was quite surprised because I used to think that the homosexuality was mainly the result of the environmental factor. For example, some girls were born in a single parent family and the lack of a father makes them feel very protective of their family members.
Then, they would take up the role of male and become the support of the family. I always wondered why they had to choose to be a gay/lesbian, who has to go through many difficult times as a result of discrimination by the “normal people”. I thought the homosexual had a choice to decide who they are. Indeed, I was wrong. I did not realize till I saw the research that some of them were born to be a homosexual. It is not up to them whether they could live an easier life. So, I just learnt that they are just being who they are and it is not their fault to be who they were born to be.
I was so shocked by the behaviors of some homophobia. Isolation and teasing are common to the homosexual people. But I never realize that their life is under threat too. I feel sorry for them when I know that some of the minority were executed because of their sexual orientation. 2. How did you respond (as an individual) to Sarah? How are her lived experiences different from yours? Do you think of her sexual orientation as normal or abnormal? .. acceptable or unacceptable? .. different or deviant? .. healthy or sick? Do you believe she is living out a life choice?
Be prepared to explain your views Personally I have no special feeling for lesbians because I think there isn’t really a huge difference between us except that they prefer their partner to be a girl but I like guys more. It is similar to the various tastes of different people. Some of them may prefer Japanese cuisine, some other may like Thai more while others may want fast food. Although Sarah has a sexual orientation different from mine, I feel that is absolutely normal. Like I said, it is just a matter of preference. Indeed, for most of the people, the behaviors of the majority eans normal behavior and the rest are regarded as abnormal, which also implies ill deep inside “normal” people’s mind. Personal judgement is involved. Many people find homosexuality abnormal and unacceptable because their behaviors and sexual orientation are different from the “normal”. I reckon that so long as the homosexuals are ok with themselves and they do not harm the others, we should not say anything about their personal choice. Why is there such a huge gap of the responses of people towards the choice of the type of food and gay/lesbian’s sexual orientation?
It is because those people, in particular typical Chinese, think that the homosexual affects the core value of a family, which is the next generation as they cannot reproduce. So, homosexuality is usually suppressed to allow the extension of families. But then, more and more heterosexuals are choosing not to have babies. Even for homosexual couples, they can extend the family by adopting child. Basically, the collapse of a family should not be an excuse to deter them from staying with someone they love. People need to open up their mind towards variances. Homosexuality is a fact that they cannot deny.
It has already existed for a very long period of time, even back in 237AD in the imperial China. May they destroy the flowers and yet they cannot stop the spring. We should accept it to promote harmony in society. After all, homosexual also contribute to society like we “normal people” do and we should respect them like the way we respect the others. Lecture 4 What can a government do to recognize sexual health as a basic human right?? According to the World Health Organization, sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality.
A Government is responsible for upholding its people’s human rights. So, it should carry out both preventive measures and treatment to help to protect sexual health. Currently, our Government is doing well in some aspects of sexual health, for example education of AIDS, provision of support of AIDS patients, sex & reproductive health of woman. The action of Government shows its recognition on sexual health as basic human right it upholds. Here are some examples. Concerning sexual health, AIDS has been one of the diseases that catch most attention. It is a destructive disease with no cure at the moment.
There are more than 36 million people carrying HIV and 15000 people become infected with HIV in every 24 hours. (Klesius, 2011). 50% of the patients infected with HIV would develop AIDS if there is no proper treatment. Those people’s lives are at stake due to vulnerability and high susceptibility to infections. Being aware of the high infectiousness and the bad consequences of AIDS, the Government has put huge effort in combating the disease through promotion. For example, there are talks for students, imparting the knowledge about AIDS and advertisement on TV about prevention.
The effort has been rewarded as the number of newly infected with HIV case has dropped by more than 20% from 2007 to 2011, according to HK Government’s report. Yet, solely education is not enough because the Government has to take care of the infected too. More resources should be allocated to research to find out cure for AIDS, for example, potential HIV vaccines. (Klesius, 2011). Apart from the AIDS, the Government has also reacted to some alarming sexual health phenomenon, for instance the declining age of the patients of cervical cancer.
It is now offering subsidies for the injection of HPV vaccines, which offer more than 90% protection for women against HPV types 16 and 18 infections and their related cervical precancerous lesions and cervical cancer. The action marks the Government’s attitude towards sexual health as a basic right. However, protecting people’s physical health is not the sole mission for the Government but also the mental health. So far, it seems to ignore the mental health of the minorities, like LGBT. This is revealed from the failure to fight against the discrimination in society, which hurts their mental health.
More effort should be put to protect these minorities. The Government may start by education, not only for students, but also the public through advertisement, talks, forum to let them know more about LGBT and understand them. The Government should take the first step to open up its mind before it can open up the others. What can the LGBT community do to facilitate their sexual rights as human rights?? Curehelp them to identify what they really are After having learnt about homosexuality and its relevant issues, what can YOU do to help the LGBT community to achieve their basic human rights?
The LGBT should be active to fight for and protect their sexual rights. After all, Hong Kong is a relatively conservative society, which is deeply affected by typical Chinese mindset. These sexual rights include the right to express their sexual identity, sexual orientation and equity. Unfairness to LGBT is common in our society. For example, according to Equal Opportunities Commission, people are protected discrimination by Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO). It is an anti-discrimination law passed in 1995, which declares discrimination on the ground of sex, marital status and pregnancy, and sexual harassment are unlawful.
Both males and females are applicable. Yet, LGBT is not included in the group under protection. Till now, there is still no law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. This is obviously a kind of unfairness. So, the LGBT should communicate with the Government and express the need to draft the law, probably through media, email, or even demonstration to call for the Government’s recognition of sexual rights as basic human. Yet, the most effective way to facilitate the sexual right is actually to spread the message of equity in society and right the mindset of the public.
Discrimination derives from ignorance. It is the misunderstanding of the people that leads to their behaviors. The LGBT community may make videos or organize forum to share their view or experience with the ordinary people, just like what Sarah did. This can facilitate the communication between the two parties and thus a better understanding among the two groups. The Government can also include the topic of homosexuality in sex education. The most important thing is to correct how ordinary people think about LGBT. By then will they stop the discrimination.
After learning so much about homosexuality, I think my greatest contribution to achieve their basic human right is to stop discriminate against them. In the past, I belong to one of those ignorant people and felt that they were weird and scared of them. But after learning so much about them, I understand them a bit more. When my family or friends act like what I did in the past, I will explain to them, saying that every one of us should be respected. I hope what I do can influence my family and friends and make them understand the importance of equity, which is the key for harmony.
Hopefully, the influence can spread to friends of my friends and eliminate the discrimination against them. Lecture 5 1. Are people born heterosexual or homosexual, or does sexual orientation develop as they grow? ?2. What is the significance of the change of the terms from “homosexual” to “gay” to “queer”/“tongzhi”? ?3. How does homosexuality relate to identity politics? How does sexuality relate to politics?? For some homosexual people, their sexual orientation is inborn. A scientist D. F.
Swaab found that a portion of the hypothalamus of the brain of homosexual male was structurally different than a heterosexual brain and hypothalamus is the portion of the human brain directly related to sexual drive and function. (Johnson. 2oo3). This may explain why some people are homosexual. It is just because they are born to be who they are. Yet, I personally believe that the modeling of parents could have some effect on the “heterosexuals”. They have been implanted with the thought that a boy should always date a girl since they were small and they end up become heterosexual.
This is because they are educated to be heterosexual and they simply follow what they are told. However, I think for the majority, which is heterosexual, it is the natural phenomenon. Reproduction can only be carried out by the intercourse of opposite sex and it is the instinct of most human that they look for a partner of opposite sex for reproduction. However, I reckon that the above factors are not the only ones that determine the sexual orientation of people. Affection for the others is derived from his/her appearance, personalities, characters and inner beauty.
People are attracted to no matter the same or the opposite sex maybe just due to these factors but not the gene or environment. It is simply a way how human express their love. So it is possible that homosexuality is developed as people grow. The change of terms marks an increasing awareness of people on the issue of homosexuality. In the pas, from 1920 to 1950, “homosexual”, which is relatively more clinical, was more frequently used and then changed to “gay” from 1950s onwards and to “queer” from 1990s till now. This suggests that homosexuality is becoming a topic that more and more people will discuss about.
So the terms people are using are becoming less and less professional but more like a common language. It also reveals an increasing openness of society. This is because in the past the issue was severely suppressed that ordinary people could hardly touch. Now, people are more and more open-minded and the issue is not something prohibited anymore for most of the countries. So, the change of use of terms also represents a change of attitude towards homosexuality. Sexuality is related to politics in terms of the image of the leaders.
Most of the leaders appeared to be heterosexual. But being homosexual is seen as being abnormal by most of people. Even leaders are homosexual, they seldom reveal it because this will imply the end of the life in politics. In addition, leaders are trying to be very careful about their personal sexual affairs because it is a potential threat to their power, just like the scandal of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. People, especially in a society of Chinese, do not only look at one’s ability to lead but also the impact of their personal matters on society.
What the leaders do will have a profound impact on society because they are the ones who lead the people. Being heterosexual is a sign of being normal. People do not say it but this is what they think. To avoid a negative impression, “being normal” in terms of sexual orientation is what leaders do. Reference: Asia Times Online. (2011). In Hong Kong, a quiet advance for gay rights. Retrieved from http://www. atimes. com/atimes/China/MG15Ad01. html Centre of Health Protection. Cervical Cancer. (2011) Retrieved fromhttp://www. chp. gov. hk/en/content/9/25/56. html Equal Opportunities Commission. n. d. ). Sex Discrimination Ordinance and I. Retrieved from http://www. eoc. org. hk/eoc/GraphicsFolder/showcontent. aspx? content=Sex%20Discrimination%20Ordinance%20and%20I Johnson, R. D. (2003). Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture. AllPsych Journal. Klesius, M. (2011). Search for a Cure—AIDS Turns 20. National Geographic magazine. The department of Health. Knowing about HIV. (2011). Retrieved from http://www. gov. hk/en/residents/health/sexedu/aids. htm Wikipedia. (n. d. ). LGBT rights in Hong Kong. Retrieved fromhttp://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Hong_Kong
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