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Ignorance is not bliss

Published : Aug 10, 2019, 1:22 am IST
Updated : Aug 10, 2019, 1:22 am IST

The reader was opposing the Delhi High Court judgment decriminalising homosexuality.

(Photo: AP/Representational)
 (Photo: AP/Representational)

I felt anguish upon reading a letter in a leading daily recently. The letter was about Section 377 of the IPC. The reader was opposing the Delhi High Court judgment decriminalising homosexuality. The reader’s 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 the truth. These fears reflect the fact that ignorance breeds misconceptions about sexual behaviour. Sexual orientation and sexual crimes are totally different issues. Research has proved that the inborn sexual attraction, whether to the opposite sex or the same, does not lead to criminality.

It limits itself only to who turns you on. Homosexuals can be mature, intelligent, skilled and humane. They are usually the black sheep of any group. In fact, the incidence of criminal acts perpetrated by heterosexuals outnumbers that committed by homosexuals.

Child sexual abusers are mostly relatives and people known to the children and in whom the children repose trust. These abusers are mostly developmentally dysfunctional straight men.

Similarly, rape is committed by psychologically disturbed individuals. According to Robert Hazelwood, former FBI special agent and behavioural scientist, the motives for rape range from power reassurance and power assertion to retaliation against real and imagined wrong and sexual excitation through sadistic acts. Sexual pleasure is not the motive. The pleasure of subjugating and humiliating the other person is more appealing than the sexual act itself to these rapists.

Epidemiological evidence clearly points out that HIV/AIDS is spread more through heterosexual intercourse than homosexual intercourse, in Asia and Africa.

The problem with most heterosexuals is that, being the majority, they consider themselves as normal and homosexuals as abnormal. Lack of knowledge about human sexuality due to poor sex education makes people fear, despise homosexuals. Scientific knowledge will help them understand and accept all the different types of sexual orientations as normal and equal.

The writer is a sexologist. Mail him at dr.narayana @deccanmail. com

Tags: section 377, child abuse, male rape