I was anguished on reading a letter in a leading English daily. The letter was about section 377 of IPC, which treats homosexuality as a crime. The reader was opposing an NGOs appeals to decriminalise homosexuality and the Supreme Court deciding to review the laws. The readerâs argument was that if this alternative sexual orientation is legally permitted there will be a rise in child abuse, male rape, and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Nothing can be farther from truth.Â These fears reflect the fact that ignorance breeds misconceptions. Sexual orientation and crime are totally different issues. Behavioral and medical research has proven that sexual attraction whether to the opposite sex or to the same, does not lead to criminality.
In fact, the incidence of criminal acts perpetrated by heterosexuals out numbers that committed by homosexuals.
Child sexual abusers are mostly close relatives and persons known to the children and in whom the children repose trust. These abusers are mostly insecure and developmentally dysfunctional heterosexual men.
Similarly rape, is committed by psychologically disturbed individuals.Â According to Robert Hazelwood, former FBI agent and behavioral scientist, the motives for rape range from power assertion, retaliation against real and imagined wrong, sexual excitation through sadistic acts etc.
Epidemiological evidence also points out that HIV/AIDS is spread more through heterosexual intercourse than homosexual intercourse, in Asia and Africa.
Lack of knowledge about human sexuality due to non-existent sex education makes people fear and despise homosexuals. What we need is equal rights forÂ homosexuals and not a law against them.
The writer is a sexologist. Mail him at dr.narayana @deccanmail. com