Sociology Paper on Discrimination against Homosexual Community

Discrimination against Homosexual Community

Introduction

Sociology refers to the study of social problems in the society. Other scholars have defined sociology as the study of development, structure, as well as the functioning of the society. Sociology attempts to understand the causes of commonly seen social problems and provide the appropriate solutions for solving the above problems (Swank, Fahs, & Frost, 2013). Sociology plays an essential role in the society. It serves to study the role of different individuals in the development of individuals and society at large. For example, it seeks to investigate the important role that the church, home, and the entire society serve in the growth of an individual. The study of sociology is important in the planning of society. It is difficult to solve the numerous problems present in the society without understanding sociology. It also serves to enrich the current culture and provide more understanding why people behave in a given manner in the society (MacInnis & Hodson, 2012). It also serves to explain the different behaviors that differ from the norm and witnessed in the present society.

Aim

The aim of the paper is to show how discrimination against individuals considered to be homosexuals has been advanced in the current societal settings.

Discussion

One major problem affecting the current society is homosexuality. It is claimed that most societies never envisioned people being homosexuals. Most society’s laws of attraction were based on mutual attraction between a man and woman. However, social changes have occurred over time in the society resulting in laws of attraction changing between the different genders (Swank et al., 2013).  Nonetheless, the society has not fully accepted homosexuals as members in the society (Jones & Williams, 2015). As a result, they have every opportunity to attack and discriminate such individuals to a point individuals preferring same sex preferences have to hide from the public limelight farting for their safety and that of their families (Altman, Aggleton, Williams, Kong, & Reddy, 2012). It is significant to note that not all communities have accepted same-sex marriage among the different parties. Homosexuality is legal in developed countries in the west while in most developing countries, it remains a crime.  However, even in developed countries where same-sex marriages and unions have been legalised, the discrimination effect is still felt on all sides. Most homosexuals are not allowed to attend their weddings, and in some cases, some are even denied their marriage certificate after being told by the clerks that they do not meet full marriage equality (Altman et al., 2012). Public serving agents are even more afraid of providing their services to people in the same-sex marriage (Altman et al., 2012). The rise of civil rights group fighting for their rights has helped reduce the effects of discrimination though it is still rampant in different areas across the world.

It is difficult to determine the total population of homosexuals together with bisexual and transgender people within the society because of different limitations that exist and by the fact that most people are afraid of coming out openly. Nonetheless, previous studies conducted indicate that the number varies depending on the country.  In Canada, it is estimated that between 1.3% of Canadians aged between18-59 are either lesbians or gay (“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Workplace Issues”, 2016). In Japan, it stands at 5% of the total population while in the United Kingdom it stands at a value of 1.5%. In the United States, this population makes about 1.6 % of the total population (“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Workplace Issues”, 2016).  This number may not necessarily provide a true estimate of the number of gay and lesbian people within a society since the above census conducted by the government is only based on household cases.

Most countries and states do not provide for laws that prevent any form of discrimination based practices on people coming from the LGBT community. Colonial-era laws applied in countries such as India prohibit same-sex marriages and individuals caught or suspected not only feel the full effects of discrimination but also be charged in law courts (Doyle & Molix, 2012). This is also the case in most African countries that still hold a firm belief about practices relating to homosexuality. Same sex marriage are not legalized in their countries meaning anything related to homosexuality is completely banned. Most countries cannot protect the rights of such groups until a law is in place to safeguard such people in the society. Today, only about 61 countries have laws that protect such special groups in employment (“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Workplace Issues”, 2016).

The majority of nations across the world would fire an individual due to their sexual preferences. In the United States, there is no federal law that protects the rights of lesbians and gay community meaning that the states have the right to choose whether they are going or not to protect this group of people. 29 out of the 50 states do not protect LGBTs. This means that employees in such states who are part of the LGBT community are more likely to be dismissed from their jobs or remain unemployed in the market for longer periods compared to the other members of the society (“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Workplace Issues”, 2016). The case is not different in Europe. About 20% of these individuals expect to experience discrimination at their different places of work because of their sexual orientation or preference. In France, 20% members of the LGBT community experience discrimination in job interviews while the number is slightly higher in countries such as Germany (“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Workplace Issues”, 2016).

Members of the LGBT community work at the same rate as other members of the society especially when it comes to performing their roles in their respective areas of employment. If their work rate were low as compared to other members of the society, then there would be a comprehensible basis on why such people would have been discriminated from employment opportunities. However, since their work rates are the same and in some cases in even higher, then there is no basis for discrimination against such individuals (Ahmed, Andersson, & Hammarstedt, 2013).

Some companies are afraid that their brand image may be affected by people of such nature that that is not the case. Employment opportunities are supposed to provide a platform for diversity where the only constant factor that determines the success of any business unit remains to be the work rate of individual members of the organization. Today many different countries listed under Fortune 500 have greatly benefitted from the LGBT community. 88% of these companies have anti-discriminatory employment laws (“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Workplace Issues”, 2016).  They also offer some benefits to members of the LGBT community working in their respective places of work. Some of the benefits offered include gender identity protection, protection for sexual orientation, domestic partner health benefits, and transgender health inclusive benefits. When organizations have open policies on such matters, then there are reduced incidences of ay associated issues related to discrimination (Ahmed et al., 2013). However, when the case is different and discrimination is openly practised in the company even in the presence of laws. Some studies conducted in different workplaces where members of the LGBT community were either joked about or experienced any issue related to discrimination resulted in about 31% of them being closeted employees who lost any form of connection with their co-workers. 23% feared that they might not be offered an opportunity in the company to advance as part of the company growth structure (Ahmed et al., 2013). Also, such employees felt like leaving the workforce because they felt they were unwelcome in such places. About one in every ten LGBT employees leave their jobs because the environment in which they are living in is hostile and unwelcome. More than 70% of this member of the LGBT community felt it was unprofessional for any member of the staff to discuss issues relating to sexual orientation in workplaces (“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Workplace Issues”, 2016). Due to the hostile nature and discriminatory effects felt in the society most members of the LGBT community have resorted to hiding issues relating to their sexual orientation from other members of the society. A greater majority even lie about their sexual preferences in their workplaces to keep friends or be associated with anybody in the society.

The discriminatory nature appears in all spheres of work. As a result, a large number of people have chosen to hide their gender identity or sexual preferences especially when they are accessing certain forms of services at social or community events and even in places of work (Ahmed et al., 2013).  The trend seems to be higher in younger people aged between 16 to 24 years compared to any other population. Younger people have also become the victims of verbal homophobic abuses which may occur in different forms. Some have been victims of cyberbullying, social exclusion, humiliation, and other different forms of homophobia. Close to 80% of homophobic bullying involving members of the LGBT community occurs in school settings meaning that young people associated with the LGBT community are also affected though they might not directly be members of this group (“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Workplace Issues”, 2016). Member of the LGBT community has also fallen victim to physical and non-physical abuse, similarly to other special groups in the society. Gays and lesbians are more likely to experience depression because of the sustained effects on their lives compared to the broader population. Also, most members of this community experience physical abuse because of their sexuality in the society.

 

 

Conclusion

Though the society has an important role to play in the society in safeguarding the rights of all members irrespective of their sexual preferences, less investment have been made by the same community in accepting people who differ from the norm (Ahmed et al., 2013). Instead of the community understanding such people and attempting to assist them in any way possible, they have turned into the judge and executioner, sentencing such people at will. As a result, the discriminatory effect has negatively affected this member of the society to the point that such individuals have found it more difficult to co-exist peacefully in the society. The society should find a way to accept that such individuals do exist among them, and some do exist by choice while others it only occurs naturally. When the society accepts such people, and reduces the discriminatory nature witnessed, then it becomes easier for everyone to co-exist in the community.

 

References

Ahmed, A. M., Andersson, L. & Hammarstedt, M. (2013). Are Gay Men and Lesbians Discriminated against in the Hiring Process? Southern Economic Journal, 79(3), 565–585. http://doi.org/10.4284/0038-4038-2011.317

Altman, D., Aggleton, P., Williams, M., Kong, T. & Reddy, V. (2012). Men who have sex with men: stigma and discrimination. The Lancet. Retrieved from http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)60920-9/fulltext?rss=yes&utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=196607&utm_campaign=0

Doyle, D. M. & Molix, L. (2012). Perceived discrimination and well-being in gay men: the protective role of behavioural identification. Psychology & Sexuality, 5(2), 117–130. http://doi.org/10.1080/19419899.2011.653689

Jones, M., & Williams, M. (2015). Twenty years on: Lesbian, gay and bisexual police officers’ experiences of workplace discrimination in England and Wales. Policing and Society. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10439463.2013.817998

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Workplace Issues. (2016). Catalyst. Retrieved 30 October 2016, from http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-workplace-issues#footnote1_iw9p14g

MacInnis, C. C., & Hodson, G. (2012). Intergroup bias toward “Group X”: Evidence of prejudice, dehumanization, avoidance, and discrimination against asexuals. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 15, 725–743. http://doi.org/10.1177/1368430212442419

Swank, E., Fahs, B. & Frost, D. (2013). Region, social identities, and disclosure practices as predictors of heterosexist discrimination against sexual minorities in the United States. Sociological Inquiry. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/soin.12004/full