Sexual behavior, like all aspects of human behavior that are of central importance to our identity, is one of the arenas that is governed by religious doctrine. Most of the world’s major religions have official policies concerning homosexuality, although it should be noted that actual practice often varies from formal doctrine. This paper examines the views of a number of different major religions on the subject of homosexuality.
It should be noted that homosexuality is considered to be a deviant mode of behavior not only by the doctrines of many religions but also by many civil authorities. Indeed, homosexuality is often considered to be a crime, at least if we abide by constructivist models of “wrong” behavior.
The constructivist model of criminality and deviance is the opposite of this: Constructivists hold to a relativist position that deviant behavior has no intrinsic characteristics. In other words, criminals are not made (as the positivists argue) but determined to be criminals by others in society – those who in a given society hold the power to determine what is “normal” behavior (which conforms to their own preferences and sets of values) and what is “different” and – farther down the same scale – “deviant”(Miethe and Meier, 1994, p. 34).
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