Bil Browning

Sex Ed: A Reader From Peru Writes

Filed By Bil Browning | June 06, 2010 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: is homosexuality a sickness, Peru, sex ed, sexual orientation, South America

A Projector from Peru writes about a surprising discovery. I've redacted names so no one gets in trouble.

My name is Kirsten. For the past three months, I've been living in Peru as an exchange student. In the US, I've been out of the closet as a lesbian for more than a year, though here I'm still looking for the proper opportunity, naturally wary because Peru is mostly Catholic... In fact, I attend a public Catholic school myself, even though I am not Catholic. I've heard a lot of varied opinions since I've arrived, and I thought it might be of interest to the LGBT community.

The first time orientation was really brought up was a school event when a nun from Cusco visited and gave a long speech to the students of my school, Nuestra Señora [Redacted]. Many of her words were ignorant, and as well as several completely untrue insults to the US on the subject of abortion, she said that it is not safe to get too close to your classmates (it's an all girls' school) because it might result in the development of sexual attraction.

I had been considering who I could come out to at the time, and this was incredibly discouraging. However, recently in class, one of the women who works in the school, Sister [Redacted], brought up the topic of sexual orientation. I learned, to my surprise, that she has a gay brother, and is actually very supporting of LGBT rights and equality. This is a handout we received in class the other day, in Spanish with a translation by me. I thought it might be something of interest to the Bilerico community.

It's after the jump. Check it out.


¿Que hace una persona tenga una orientación sexual determinada?

La orientación sexual forma parte de la personalidad de una persona, del mismo modo que el resto de sus gustos o preferencias. Por ejemplo, ¿Qué hace que una persona le guste la playa y a otra la montaña? la respuesta a esta pregunta es la misma respuesta que dará amos a la pregunta de qué hace que a un hombre le gusten los hombres y a otro las mujeres. Los gustos y preferencias de una persona, tanto sexuales como de cualquier otro tipo, forman parte de los aspectos más innatos de su personalidad. Es decir, si una persona nos dice que le gusta la playa, es probable que le haya gustado durante toda su vida.

Las personas no nacen ni heterosexuales, ni homosexuales ni bisexuales, por la sencilla razón de que esos conceptos han sido creados por la sociedad, como un modo de clasificar a las personas. Las personas nacen simplemente sexuales.

Algunas investigadores afirman que existe un gen relacionado con la homosexualidad.

¿Es la homosexualidad una enfermedad?

No, la homosexualidad es una caracterá stica normal del ser humano. Del mismo modo que existen humanos con los ojos azules y personas con ojos marrones, existen personas con una o otra orientación sexual. El hecho de que en muchos paá ses las personas con ojos azules sean una minorá a no lo convierte en una enfermedad, del mismo modo que el hecho de que la homosexualidad sea minoritaria tampoco la convierte en enfermedad.

¿Puede cambiarse la orientación sexual?

La orientación sexual no puede cambiarse voluntariamente, del mismo modo que si te gusta la fruta o la carne, no vas a hacer que deje de gustarte sólo por desearlo. Una persona bisexual puede elegir si asá lo desea, de modo que puede optar por uno de los sexos y no hacer caso de su atracción por el otro, aunque esa atracción seguiráยก existiendo. En el caso de una persona homosexual, no dejará de serlo nunca.


What makes a person have a determined sexual orientation?

Sexual orientation forms part of a person's personality, in the same way as the rest of their tastes or preferences. For example, what makes a person like the beach and another the mountains? The answer to this question is the same answer that we would give to the question of what makes one man like men and another women. The tastes and preferences of a person, as sexual as any other type, form part of the most innate aspects of their personality. That is to say, if a person tells us that they like the beach, it's probable that they have liked the beach their entire life.

People aren't born heterosexual, or homosexual or bisexual, for the simple reason that those concepts have been created by society, as a way to classify people. People are born simply sexual.

Some investigators affirm that a gene exists that is related to homosexuality.

Is homosexuality a sickness?

No, homosexuality is a normal characteristic of a human being. In the same way that there are people with blue eyes and people with brown eyes, there are people with one or another sexual orientation. The fact that in many countries people with blue eyes are a minority does not make it a sickness, in the same way that the fact that homosexuality is a minority doesn't make it a sickness.

Can sexual orientation be changed?

Sexual orientation can't be voluntarily changed, in the same way that if you like fruit or meat, you're not going to stop liking one just because you want to. A bisexual person can choose which they want, in the way that they can choose one of the sexes and not act on their attraction for the other, though that attraction will continue to exist. In the case of a homosexual person, they can never stop being homosexual.

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I think it's interesting that this says there's no being born gay because society created a category for it.

polargirl360 | June 6, 2010 4:07 PM

That's relatively modest statement compared to what the LGBT community says about gender identity. That it is fluid and always changing yet sexual orientation is fixed.

Feminists say gender identity is a social construct as well.

It seems like Christians are relatively less arrogant and obnoxious than queers and feminists.

If sexual orientation and gender identity were the same thing, you might have a point.

Sexual orientation is a lot more diverse than our dichotomous thinking allows for, but we're used to thinking in black/white terms: one is either "gay" or "straight" (and yes, I realize that there are bisexuals, but please keep in mind that the uninformed think "either/or," not "either/or-and-something-in-between"). One need only look at the work of Alfred Kinsey and more recent researchers to realize that reliance on binaries in this instance is a trap.

That said, there's also the interface between orientation and behavior: one can, indeed, be attracted to the same sex and not act on that attraction, with varying degrees of success. That's not going to change the basic orientation.

I haven't heard a feminist say that "gender identity" is a social construct. I have heard them say that "gender" is a social construct, and marshall some compelling arguments in support. The two are not the same.

As for Christians being less arrogant than queers or feminists, real Christians tend to be pretty good people. But please note that the nun's comments and that flier can easily be construed as more or less in direct opposition to Church dogma. And by all means, omit any reference to FRC, which supports executing gays; the Catholic hierarchy, which regularly threatens politicians who don't want to put Church doctrine into civil law; the Mormon Church, which bankrolled the Prop 8 campaign; or any of the so called "Christian" ministries that enjoy substantial revenues from demanding that their beliefs become the law of the land.

Do stop by again when you have more stones to throw.

It's kind of exhausting to think that, even as equality starts to become real in the US and Europe, there are so many other countries where the struggle is just getting started. On the other hand, it's inspiring to see some of the people in those countries with their own courageous consciences.

Agreed. Just when we think we have it bad, eh?

It's very inspiring to read the handout.

Big thanks to the reader who sent it in.