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Our society today is going through various changes as far as social lifestyle is concerned. These changes have resulted in the crop up of weird social behaviors that include lesbianism and gays. In order for individuals with such behaviors to exist peacefully and live an ordinary life like any other folk in the society it means that the society has to accept their sexual orientation. However the society at large has not fully accepted the social aspects of gays and as such it has resulted in some hidden violence against them. This has been termed as structural violence.
Structural violence against the gays comes in various ways. Such could include physical assaults to the use of words, discrimination in provision of services, legal sanctions, and employment. Given their state of minority they may not have well set up avenues to air their grievances (Bourgois 138).
The provision of services to gays has been and is an issue in the US for a long time now. The gays are not openly allowed to work in or with various institutions and organizations due to the mere fact that they are gays. The army of the US for example is such a place that gays would not be welcomed with a warm heart. Other institutions that allow gays to work with them have them psychologically tortured in way of handling them coldly.
The legal sanctions imposed on gays and their activities are a thing to contemplate. Such legal sanction comes in way of outlawing or the limitation of their activities. This has worked against the gay community as they can not work freely to realize their full potential.
Structural violence may also come in way of making negative statements and words that make the gays to feel that they are being intimidated. While such statements and words may not be having the direct intention of harming the gays the socialization of heterosexuals may just find them doing this.
Structural violence against gays is also done by groups and not on individual basis. The Catholic Church for example handles the issue of gays with a lot of negative considerations. The church for example in its strongest act wrote a letter to the US government advising it not to allow laws on gays to be initiated. As such the church makes the gay community to fill they are being discriminated against (Habib 48).
Reasons for gay violence
There are various reasons and factors that have contributed to the existence of structural violence against homosexuals. Such reasons could include authoritarian personalities, frustration, blame game and the reality group conflict and the general antigay/lesbian attitude.First, there is the effect of The Authoritarian Personalities. While a good number of individuals and groups who are proponents to structural violence against homosexuals are blamed for their actions, these actions are not pushed by inborn factors. The violence instigators act according to group psychology that tells them that homosexuality is an evil social behavior that shouldn't be tolerated at all cost. This is also boosted by the fact that majority of those they associate with are heterosexuals hence any deviation sums up to wrong social behavior.
The characteristics that are authoritarian personalities act in way to support the in-group behaviors hence no room for the non-conventional traits. An adult who grew up in a community where there were n gays for example yet the teaching in schools they wet discouraged gays will at all cost handle the issue of gays with all the negativity that he may have. As such when such a person gets to get one on one with a gay and know their sexual orientation they are likely to act in a manner that will discriminate the gay person. This could be in way of actions or words (Barak 79).
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Frustrations, Blame game and Realistic Group Conflict is the other reason. Just as psychologists have found out that humans tend to associate their successes with interior factors (themselves) and failures with the outside (others) factors so does it happen with structural violence on homosexuals. The war of words that many homosexuals get is mainly centered on exterior factors. For example the fact that homosexuality leads to increased spread of HIV/AIDS, this does not justify the general blaming of homosexuals for the whole mess that is the continued spread of the scourge as other methods such as unprotected sex with the infected persons could play a great role in the rise in the rate of spread (Merin 176).
The Attitude formation that is antigay/lesbian is the other reason. In handling the structural violence against homosexuals, we must agree that attitude carries the biggest effect on the trend. Just as sociologist argue that change in attitude will lead to outright change in behavior. This is probably the epitome of all the structural violence that the homosexuals go through.
The passing of laws to recognize gays and lesbians in various states in the US and the countries in the world over is an aspect that demonstrates change in attitude. For the laws to be changed the concerned authorities must at the beginning be composed of individuals that look at the homosexuality issue from an objective point of view. A positive change of attitude towards homosexuals will definitely lead to decrease in structural violence against them. The fact that one is not a homosexual he or she should handle the homosexuals like any other persons and keep his or her sexual orientations preferences to themselves (Behrendt 123).
Dealing with Structural Violence against Homosexuals
Given the nature of the occurrence of violence against homosexuals it will only be prudent if one acknowledges that change of the mind is the first key step to dealing with the problem. As such training needs to be done on the need to acknowledge the contribution of homosexuals in the society. This should though no be done in a manner that can be misconstrued to be encouraging homosexuality. Once the attitude is dealt with then other issues including legislations and policy making will be easy to carry out.
As the world heads to the reality of the increase in the number of homosexuals, there is need to understand that when a problem arises it should be dealt with at that moment. The homosexuals just like any other ordinary folk with the need for their sexual orientation, they ere entitled to enjoyment of the common rights enjoyed by the heterosexuals.It is time for the world to become tolerant with the lifestyle of the homosexuals. This is because failure to acknowledge their importance and contribution to the society is likely to breed future unrest as their numbers are always moving on an upward trend. The world needs to appreciate that even with their deviative sexual orientation characters, homosexuals can contribute much to the society given the right environment to work in.
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