Homosexuality

Rear shot of two men hugging on a park benchHomosexuality or homoeroticism is having intimate sexual contact with, or feelings for, a person of the same sex. The term may be applied to both men and women and it is no longer considered to be a medical abnormality, but a variation of normal behaviour.

There are many theories as to why some people are homosexual, but no absolute reason is known. Six percent (6%) of adult men and three percent (3%) of adult women have partaken in some form of homosexual activity, but only about three percent (3%) of men and half that number of women are exclusively homosexual. Homosexual women may be referred to as lesbians.

There is a higher incidence of sexually transmitted disease than in heterosexuals, mainly because of a higher rate of promiscuity. AIDS is the most common of these, although in undeveloped countries it is a condition that is spread by heterosexual sex (between men and women) more than anal intercourse. Gay bowel syndrome is an inflammation of the lower bowel caused by anal intercourse that results in a constant urge to pass faeces (tenesmus), rectal discomfort and diarrhoea.

Individuals who have trouble accepting their sexual orientation because of peer or society pressures may desire psychiatric assistance.

(Last modified: 16th Oct 2014)

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