Prerna(1537249): The Homosexual Role

McIntosh, Mary. “The Homosexual Role.” Social Problems 16.2 (1968): 182-92. Web. 16 June      2016

Mary McIntosh in her article “The Homosexual Role” argues that instead of viewing homosexuality as a ‘condition’ one should refer to it as a social ‘role’. However there seems to be a problem with that. A role again is defined by McIntosh as ” a complex of institutional arrangements which depend upon and reinforce these ideas.” ( McIntosh 189). The ideas are referred to here once again are those of ‘normal’ socialization. In my opinion, the deeming of homosexuality as a ‘role’ as opposed to a’condition’ hasn’t done much to help the cause.

However the author does realize that feelings and actions associated primarily with the people we deem as homosexuals are not just limited to them. She also cites various examples from anthropological discourses to attest to the same. Furthermore, the author suggests that the deeming of homosexuality as a ‘condition’ functions as a form of social control in an essentially homophobic society.

It is noted that the author does not contest the notions of supposedly ‘normal’ gender roles. Also, contrary to what the author suggests, it is a possibility that not all homosexuals are ‘okay’ with being tagged as deviants. The supposed deviancy might not exactly be a site for celebration and acceptance into a homosexual community.

Mary McIntosh refers to Ford and Beech while suggesting that typically there are two broadly accepted patterns; “the institutionalized homosexual role and the liaison between men or boys who are otherwise heterosexual. (McIntosh 186).  

Through this particular article, McIntosh seeks to claim that there are no neatly demarcated categories, which one can consider to be homo or hetero sexual but rather there is a constant flux between the two. 





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