From sexual sin to sexual preference

  • Auteur(s):
    Angela Crott
  • Show to public:
    No

The gradual acceptance of homosexuality in the twentieth century in the Netherlands can be easily traced by looking at the four discourses emerging during this century in literature on the education of boys. With the Christian faith firmly rooted in society, the first and second discourse focus on homosexuality primarily as a sexual sin. With the secularization and sexual revolution in the sixties, homosexuality as sexual preference becomes the center of attention in discourse three and four. In the first discourse, continuing far into the sixties, the older homosexual male is seen as a seducer of boys. The second discourse, of homosexuality as a passing phase in a - mostly spiritual - friendship between boys, culminates in the fifties. The third discourse, of homosexuality as a congenital sexual orientation, begins in the early sixties and remains, supported by the gay emancipation movement of the seventies, an established fact in literature on the education of boys. In the mid-eighties, the fourth discourse is initiated, in which educators recognize the fear of homosexuality among adolescent boys, and try to remedy this. In their quest for male identity, many boys reject the (alleged) homosexual and therefore unmanly inclinations towards intimacy of themselves and others. This gay anxiety hinders their acceptation of homosexuality. It falls to parents and other educators to, time and time again, remind boys that homosexuality and manliness do not exclude each another.

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