The Danger of Male Homosexuality vs Female Homosexuality

I’m not interested in arguing the im/morality of homosexuality here (my personal opinion is that it’s fine, which is good because that’s also the fact of the matter).

Why is male homosexuality seen as so much more dangerous than female homosexuality? Homosexuality drops a person of either gender out of the reproductive equation, but it seems to me that, all other things being equal, it is much worse for a population that one (or two, or three) of its women be out of the game than it is for one (or two, or three) of its men to be.

That has nothing to do with anything. It’s been a long time since we’ve had to be concerned with the issue of maximizing our population.

'Cause female homosexuality is hawt.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to be concerned about starving to death, but that doesn’t stop my stone age body from craving the fatty foods that’ll get me through the next famine. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to worry that the bunch of people forty miles away on the other side of the hill might be plotting to come and kill me and take my wife and other stuff, but that doesn’t stop my stone age mind from being more trepidatious when I’m around a bunch of complete strangers than when I’m around my neighbors.

My personal opinion is it’s due to general gender roles.

Historically, men are usually the aggressors in relationships. (Yes, I realize there are exceptions. But I’m talking about the general rule.) In most societies, men are the pursuers and women are the pursued.

Female homosexuality doesn’t threaten this norm. Men fall entirely outside of the range of lesbian attention. And even the women being pursued by lesbians are still acting within their normal social roles - it’s just that they’re being pursued by another woman instead of a man.

But male homosexuality does threaten this norm. Male homosexuals are pursuing other men, which means that these men find their role has changed. They’re being pursued rather than doing the pursuing. This role reversal undermines the overall system.

The result is that most societies have seen the presence of male homosexuals as much more threatening to the established order than the presence of female homosexuals.

It’s the gay sex. Straight men do, or think they do, everything that gay women do when they have sex, but they’re kinda freaked out by the anal sex.

Cite? Where do you see any references to either being dangerous? My only guess might be in AIDS statistics, but I’d rather not comment on your question before I am clear on what it is that you’re asking.

I think this is largely right but it may be a bit simpler. Back in historical male dominated society, It didn’t really matter what women thought. She was going to get married off, and have sex and produce children for her husband whether she was attracted to him or not. What women did with each other was also unimportant because it didn’t affect the men. While a male who didn’t like women would be far more noticeable.

I think it comes from the inappropriate combination of homosexuality and pedophilia. They are distinct things but most of the scare tactics have to do with homosexuals preying on children.

As far as I can tell, most if not all human cultures take homosexuality to be taboo to some degree. Also as far as I can tell, in practice if not in spirit most if not all human cultures condemn male homosexuality much more severely than they do female homosexuality.

If I had to bet, I’d bet throughout history the men killed, tortured, bullied, or whatever because of their homosexuality greatly outnumber the women killed, tortured, bullied, or whatever because of their homosexuality. Not very scientific I suppose, hence no citation, but I’d be willing to bet the farm on it nonetheless.

I’d say it’s some combination of the following:

  1. The perception that female homosexuality isn’t “real” – a woman engaging in homosexual behavior is confused, experimenting, extremely slutty, hates men, hasn’t found the right man, etc. – and/or that what two women do together isn’t “real sex”, it’s just fooling around or foreplay.

  2. Historically, and in parts of the world even today, women had very little sexual freedom. We were expected to have sex only with our husbands, and we didn’t necessarily even have much say when it came to choosing that husband. Most women, regardless of sexual orientation, got married whether they liked it or not and at least occasionally had sex with their husbands whether they liked it or not. Most men were also under a lot of pressure to get married and have babies, but had somewhat more freedom to opt out.

  3. For some reason a lot of homophobic straight men seem worried that gay men are just itching to rape them. While there are stereotypes about aggressive, predatory lesbians, the possibility of being raped by another woman doesn’t seem to be something that most homophobic women are particularly concerned about. This could tie back to #1, or it could be because female-on-female rape is so rare compared to male-on-female rape.

and of course

  1. AIDS, in the US at least, has been perceived since the beginning as primarily a gay men’s disease. While things have improved, in the '80s I remember there were people who were afraid they could get AIDS from even casually interacting with a gay man, and also people who felt AIDS was god’s way of punishing gay men. Far fewer people associate lesbians with AIDS, presumably because the actual rate of infection among lesbians is low.

Taboo? Oh, well, that’s different. I thought you meant “dangerous” as in “why is this more unhealthy than that”, but actually, you’re asking “why are people more bothered by this than by that.”

I was going to complain that most of the posters are showing their biases by responding to a question that wasn’t asked. But as it turns out, I was the one who misunderstood the question.

Yeah, I should’ve titled the thread, “The Perceived Danger of Male vs. Female Homosexuality and Its Expression in Cultural Taboos”.

But it can work out nicely if you consider that woman died in childbirth. Thus, in any tribe, you were more likely to have a surplus of men. If some of those men paired off, there would be less competition for the women, which means the tribe would have less internal strife. Over millennia, this became an advantage to the tribe.

And, of course, homosexuality doesn’t drop you out of the reproductive equation, since a gay man can still have sex with a woman, even if it’s not his main preference. Some gay men would try heterosexual sex at one point, with their genes being passed along.

Lesbian women are likely to have more opportunities to molest children, so that’s not quite right. Except that it falls under two tropes that are more acceptable to society.[ul]
[li]Women having sex with boys is not considered to be as great a crime as vice versa. Although it’s being prosecuted more now for the sake of fairness.[/li][li]Women having sex with girls falls under the category of lesbianism, which is accepted more than male homosexuality.[/li][/ul]

Let’s move this over to Great Debates.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

The passage in Leviticus 18:22, the one most often quoted in Biblical justifications of homophobia, only specifically prohibits man-on-man sex. I don’t know if that’s the cause of the cultural attitudes, or just proof they’ve been going on a long time. I’d say it was written that way because at the time they didn’t even consider the possibility of women instigating sexual encounters so there was no need to warn them off of improper ones, but then there’s the story of Lot’s daughters just a couple of books earlier.

I suspect this has to do with perception of gender roles.

A man’s role is to get the woman pregnant. The entire role is tied up in the “agressor” concept, chasing down and seducing/persuading/whatever the woman, etc. Their main roles are to produce offspring and prevent others from making use of the same fertile ground, so to speak; keep other guys away from their woman/women.

the woman’s role is longer and more complex. It’s less about havig sex so mcuh as the entire pregnancy and nurturing process.

Thus a man who feels that he is being relegated - or might be relegated - to the opposite role, to be pursued and “penetrated” would feel his basic role is being negated. (Note that in some cultures, something I saw mentioned in a discussion of AIDS in Africa, some cultures don’t consider the man doing the penetrating as homosexual, just the one on the receiving end. Thus, a person who would seem to be threatening (by their very existance) to do something like that would be percieved as a threat.

Lesbians, by simple anatomy are incapable of “trespassing” where a man should go, (not counting fisting, I suppose) so are less threatening to men. All they possibly would doin a man’s eyes is “run interference” during the chase-and-seduce or provide and enticing opening act if he gets to watch; more of an annoyance than a threat. Of course, as mentioned above, In The Good Old Days, women really did not have much of a choice about the reproductive process anyway.

I question the basic assumption that male homosexuality is specifically viewed as more threatening than female homosexuality. I think you tend to hear more demonization of male homosexuality because homophobia is strongly tied to a more general sexism - the people denouncing homosexuality focus on male homosexuality because they view issues involving men as inherently more important than issues involving women, because they view men as inherently more important than women. But if asked directly if they viewed male homosexuality or female homosexuality as more dangerous, I don’t think they’d generally make a distinction between the two.

While the observations in the OP are, I think, the rule, just as a pedantic point of conversation, they’re not exclusive. I’ve met a few males with a deep, consuming hatred of lesbians which was scary to behold - one which over the conversation definitely did not seem to be directed towards gay men. I think that case is definitely the exception. The root of their hatred was essentially two-fold: the stated case that “they’re stealing our women,” and an implied one of “they’re excluding men, making a private world of their own to which men are not invited.”

I’ve also known males who had a deep-seated fear that another male would find them attractive. Now why one would have this fear is somewhat odd - unless you feel like gay men are going to be dropping on you like ninjas in the trees and spirit you away to their sinful seraglio, I don’t know why this would bother you. It maybe is psychological, meaning that if they are attractive to a gay man, then they must have characteristics similar to those of gay men, etc.