Across the nation, there are many different views on homosexuality. India is one of the many countries that have a negative view on homosexuals. The rule of section 377 of Indian penal code, which establishes that homosexuality is an “unnatural sexual offence, has created a stigma that being homoseuxal is wrong and against nature (Economist 2008).
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It has also created a fear to come out because consensual homosexual sex is punishable for up to ten years in prison so the people brave enough to be openly homoexual have to keep it hidden (Voeten 2013) . However, more than anything, many Indian homosexuals worry more about exposure to their families and colleagues than about the law. (Economist). The laws and the people who support them are creating issues even in their personal relationships.
Pakistan also has a similar view with homosexuality being an offence under Pakistan penal code and a growing prejudice for same-sex relationships (Infotrac 2014). Along with the many countries that don’t support homosexuality, China strongly discourages this behavior. Homosexual acts receive harsh punishment because there is little space for discussion of gay partnerships and marriage (Chan, 2017). In 1865, the Hong Kong government adopted the Offenses against Persons Acts of 1861 which prohibited anal sex and bestiality in order to try to discourage sex between the same genders (Chan, 2017).In fact, being homosexual was declared a mental illness in China which can affect an individual psychologically to be classified under this category. To be told that you have a mental illness, are a sinner or are going against what’s nature is extremely damaging to an individual.
Japan is also a country that is having issues with psychological damage to individuals that are having to face society being against them. Japan is struggling with losing people to suicides due to this negative stigma. One to three high rates of attempted suicide have been homosexual and bisexual men compared to heterosexual men. Japanese men experience psychological tension from their homosexual feelings might not identify themselves as homosexual which can lead to difficulty coming out (Hidaka, 2006). In Japan the mental health consequences are especially high due to the fact that Japanese culture emphasizes public honor and avoidance of shame which is why homosexuals in Japan tend to hide their same-sex feelings which leads to the development of mental health issues (Hidaka, 2006).
The problem that people are ignoring is how homosexuals are being psychologically affected by this negative treatment. Prior research has suggested that exposure to anti-homosexual bias can have important psychological and public health consequences (Hidaka, 2006). Mental health problems, including emotional distress, anxiety and depression can be caused when exposed to these types of bias. Having to hide such a large part that makes up your identity can lead to depression which also can cause identity problems, especially if this pressure occurs when growing up. A study of young homosexual men in their early adulthood in the US found that 37% of the people being asked had experienced verbal harassment, 22% had experienced discrimination and 5% had experienced physical violence in the recent past (Hidaka, 2006). This related to the fact that four to six mental health problems among homosexuals have a direct correlation to social stigma and prejudice which is shown in these statistics (Hidaka, 2006). This problem is unfortunately very present in other countries, however; it is also important to be aware that America still has a large amount of people that create this stigma and prejudice. These people don’t realize the way that they’re affecting them which is why it’s important to spread the message that even if it’s not something you agree with, no lives should ever be taken because of it.
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