Herek's blog. Follow DrGregoryHerek. Open bibliography in a separate window Members of disliked minority groups are often stereotyped as representing a danger to the majority's most vulnerable members.
I turned fifty in August and, rather than marking my minor midlife crisis with an affair too complicated or a fancy car too expensiveI opted for a tattoo sleeve, which took months to complete. Among the many symbols of sufficient import to me to wear permanently on my skin is a bear paw, a big one covering the inside of my upper left arm. This visual identification with the gay bear subculture seems timely, for appears to be my Annus Ursi, Year of the Bear.
There are so many products. Hair spray, mousse, wet-look gel and powder promising that tousled surfer look. Often, the queue to wash your hands is endlessly drawn out by people preening in the mirror.
It literally is scientifically driven due to the fact that we have testosterone pumping through our bodies. Add to the fact that our culture is obsessed with imagery and sex, and it becomes almost impossible to escape thoughts of sex. As gay men the testosterone levels are doubled in the dating world, and we are constantly playing with fire as we try to think with our brains and not our dicks. Going one step deeper into the conversation about gay men and sex, we have to acknowledge how easy it is to find sex.
In male gay culturea bear is often a larger or obese hairier man who projects an image of rugged masculinity. Bears are one of many LGBT communities with events, codes, and a culture-specific identity. However, in San Francisco in the s, any hairy man of whatever shape was referred to as a 'bear' until the term was appropriated by larger men, and other words had to be used to describe hairy other-shaped men such as otter slimcub young bear on the wayor wolf hairy, medium build.
However, it is only relatively recently that developmental scientists have conducted controlled studies with one clear aim in mind, which is to go beyond mere stereotypes and accurately identity the most reliable signs of later homosexuality. In looking carefully at the childhoods of now-gay adults, researchers are finding an intriguing set of early behavioral indicators that homosexuals seem to have in common. And, curiously enough, the age-old homophobic fears of parents seem to have some genuine predictive currency.
Recently, scientists announced that they found some genes that might be associated with sexual orientation and a biological explanation for the reason gay men tend to have older brothers. But the field of sexual orientation research is far broader and more complicated than two studies—and Lisa Diamonda psychologist and sexual orientation researcher at the University of Utah, knows that better than most. She spoke with Newsweek about what she and her colleagues in the field know—and what they don't—about how a person's sexual orientation might form.
The Bear community exists as a subculture in reaction to the larger gay community. It rejects the normative idealized male beauty revered by mainstream gay men. Our studies indicated that Bears were more likely to be hairier, heavier, and shorter than mainstream gay men.
Until recent decades, same-sex behavior was placed in the same category with gluttony or drunkenness — as a vice of excess anyone might be prone to — not as the expression of a sexual orientation. Celibacy is a gift, not a mandate. The Bible honors celibacy as a good way of living — Jesus was celibate, after all — but it also makes clear that celibacy must be a voluntary choice.