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SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS IN HOMOSEXUALITY IN LAFIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, NASSARAWA STATE

SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS IN HOMOSEXUALITY IN LAFIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, NASSARAWA STATE

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ABSTRACT

The study explored the socio-psychological factors in homosexuality in lafia Local Government Area, Nasarawa State. The objective of the study was to investigate the socio-psychological effects of homosexuality among residents of Lafia. The study adopted the survey research design, while questionnaire and in-depth interview were employed to gathered data from the field. A sample size of 400 was selected for the study. Respondents were selected through simple random and purposive sampling techniques. Tables and simple percentages were employed to present quantitative data, while manuel content analysis was employed to analyze qualitative data. The study found that social media and peer pressure were important factors that promote the involvement of residents in homosexuality. It was further revealed that emotional satisfaction encourages homosexuality in the study area. It was recommended that homosexuality should be discouraged through public enlightenment through the organization of seminars and sensitization programs on the dangers of homosexuality and that the full weight of the law should be carried out on those who engaged in such act.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background to the study. 

Homosexuality has attracted much interest and attention but attitudes towards such preference of having sex with one of the same gender have varied in different epochs and cultural groups ranging from acceptance as among the ancient Greeks, to measured tolerance in the Roman times and outright condemnations (Reeder, 1999). The practice of homosexuality is a global phenomenon, it is practice in every parts of the world, both developed and developing countries have seen an imprint of homosexuality. The word homosexuality did not exist prior to 1869, when it appeared in a pamphlet that took the form of an open letter to the German minister of justice. It is no news that homosexuality or same sex partnerships are practiced in many parts of the world today. It may be fair to suggest that most parts of the Western world have reasonably embraced homosexuality and enabling frameworks been endorsed to support their activities. In America for example, there are enabling laws that protect the rights of these people.

This idea that some individual’s sexual attraction for persons of the same sex was an inherent and unchanging aspect of their personality was radically new. Thousands of years of recorded history and the rise and fall of sophisticated and complex societies occurred before homosexuality existed as a word or even as an idea. In order to understand homosexuality today, we need to understand how same sex eroticism fit into these ancient culture (Francis Mark Mondimore, 1996).

However, that is not the case in Africa and Nigeria. Homosexuality is presently criminalized in 38 out of the 47 African countries, with sentences ranging from fines to imprisonment (3 months to 14 years); in some Islamic states homosexuality is even punishable by death. In parts of northern Nigeria, where Islamic Sharia law is enforced, gays and lesbians can be legally stoned to death. Homosexual activities either between male or female adults were considered as acts or activities carried out between two consenting adults as purely private affairs in society. Different legal systems of the world at one time or the other frowned at it and by legislations criminalized it, thereby making it a punishable offence with terms of imprisonment.

The act of homosexuality has been met with stiff opposition by proponents of both religious and cultural ideologies here in Nigeria (Ukah, 2018). This resistance has led to the creation of stringent laws with severe punishments for homosexuals in Nigeria (Amnesty International, 2015/16). The laws in Nigeria prescribe that offenders risk a 14-year jail term for homosexual acts or 10 years jail term for those who promote it. All these laws are stated in the Nigerian Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act of 2013. In view of this development, it is imperative to understand that implication of this scenario in a formal study.  One of the contentious issues in the debate over homosexuality and same sex marriage in Nigeria is whether a marriage between persons of the same gender is totally alien to Nigerian culture and tradition. Those opposing same sex marriage have continued to argue that same gender union is foreign to Africa. But on the contrary, Igwe (2008) has argued that ……. Get complete material 

1.2 Statement of the problem.

Homosexuality involves an apparent same sex orientation that comprises emotional or romantic bindings to a member of the same sex. This orientation has become so accepted as a norm in Western societies that people who practice homosexuality have created an identity making them a minority group in the society (Garnets & Kimmel, 1991; Lozano-Verduzco, 2015). They now belong to a set community which they believe they should be free to exercise their rights openly without stringent moral and religious confines that may restrict them (Mckay & Angotti, 2016).

In Nigeria, homosexual persons are still far from achieving social recognition, just as in most sub-Saharan African countries. Religion-induced homophobia remains a factor that cuts across the ethnic disparities and prevails whenever homosexuality or transsexuality is broached. Nigeria is a highly religious society, with its 167 million people roughly divided in half between Christians and Muslims; but however reunited by collective homophobia and their opposition to homosexuality.  Get the complete material

In Nigeria the situation deteriorated in the past few years by the introduction of a new law that further criminalized homosexuality and included the prohibition of same-sex marriage (legalpedia, 2014). According to this law, “a person who enters into a same sex marriage contract or civil union commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment; a person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisation, or directly or indirectly makes public show of same sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment; a person or group of persons who administers, witnesses, abets or aids the solemnization of a same sex marriage or civil union, or supports the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organizations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.”

Recently, even in Nigeria, homosexuality is beginning to spread and open up and even though there has been a law against the act, still it is in existence in the country and also in various cities in the country. Including Lafia, Nassarawa state where there have been cases of homosexual activities amongst individuals though not too obvious and popular but it exists. As far as gay practices in Nigeria are concerned, Nigeria is a hostile place for their life style.  In Nigeria, the principle of right and wrong behaviour is a communal responsibility. Consequently, homosexuality in its present form, is a modern western social construct and unacceptable within the Nigerian moral context. Nigerians prized its level of morality, family life, community life, sociability and solidarity highly. This is shown through its own way of educating its youth through initiation, stories, rites of passage, and so on.  This could differ from one tribe to another or one culture to another, but the ontological meaning remains the same. Nigerian morality is different from the liberal Western morality. It is a conservative and dynamic morality. As long as Nigerian morality remain conservative morality, homosexuality as it is being propagated today, will remain aberration, deviant, unnatural and foreign.

Zacharia (2004) argued it is worth noting that the moral and ethical framework of oppositions toward homosexuality and, for example gay marriage in Nigeria and most African and Western societies must be understood both from the process of institutionalism within Nigerian society and from the communitarian view of human being as a communal being. He also maintained that these negative attitude towards homosexuality results from a mechanism within which, what is morally regarded as normal, sane, constructive and right, and what, in contrast, is not, depends on the institutionalization of moral reality”. So what may be taken to be Nigerian moral values as distinct from Western values will be those “set of institutionalized ideals which guide and direct the pattern of life of Nigerians. By this analysis, homosexuality has failed Nigerian moral test.

There are a number of factors that are being attributed to the practice of homosexuality among scholars, ranging from the psychoanalysis concept, biological and the social learning theory, but one thing that seem clear is that the practice of homosexuality could pose a serious threat to the continuity of the human species. The majority of homosexuals believe they were born homosexuals. This belief often supplies them with comfort, relieving them of any responsibility to change. However, there is no solid scientific evidence that people are born homosexual. The overwhelming majority of gay and lesbians people are completely normal genetically they are fully male or female. (Geisler, 2006)

Some people believe homosexuality is learned behavior which is influenced by a number of factors: A disrupt family life in early years, a lack of unconditional love on the part of either parents, a failure to identify with the same sex parent. Later, three problems can result in a search for love and acceptance, envy of the same sex or opposite sex, a life controlled by various fears and feeling of isolation. (Geisler, 2006).

One thing that does seem clear is that homosexuality is brought about by a multitude of root causes. It is simple thinking to lay the blame on any single area. Fear of the opposite sex, incest or motivation, dominant mothers and weak fathers, demonic oppression; all of these may play a part in causing homosexuality, but no factors alone can cause if along with outside factors in a person’s life, his own personal choice have played a key role in forming and shaping his homosexual identity, though few will admit this. An important question that has being asked over time is: What causes homosexuality? Some scholars suggest that homosexuality is influenced by biologic factors i.e. it is innate. Others suggest  that homosexuality is developed as a result of psychological influences and early experiences i.e. it is acquired while others thinks it is influenced by the social interactions had by individuals in the society

There is also evidence to support the role of peers in the development of same sex attractions as well. Research suggests that the lack of connection with same-sex peers sets the stage for later development of same sex attractions. Young men experiencing peer neglect or peer abuse, such as teasing and bullying, often feel disconnected from their own masculinity (Rekers, 1988). Such Trauma, particularly during the early preadolescent years, can cause gender confusion and subsequent problems with sexual orientation (Fitzgibbons, 1999).  A more recent work of a Pennsylvania psychiatrist, Richard Fitzgibbons, further supports the contribution of peer abuse to the development of same sex attraction (Harrub, 2001).

However, there is very little on the psychological and social dimensions of homosexuality, this study aims to fill in that gap. The current study explores some of these socio-psychological factors in homosexual experience and what it really means to them in the Nigerian context (Mapayi, Oginni, Akinsulore, & Aloba, 2016).This is in view of the fact that in the Western world, rights and privileges of homosexuals are well protected by the law. In the United States or United Kingdom, for example, there are laws that protect homosexuals from being fired for their sexual orientation. ……. Get complete material 

1.3 Research questions

This study was designed to provide answers to the following questions:

  1. How does social media encourage homosexuality in Lafia Local Government area?

How does peer influence promote homosexuality in Lafia Local …….. Get the complete materials

1.4 Research objectives

The General objective of this study is to explore the Socio-Psychological factors in homosexuality in Lafia local Government area, Nassarawa state. The specific objectives are as follows:

To determine the effect of social media on homosexuality in Lafia Local….Get the complete materials

1.5 Significance of the Study

The issues of homosexuality and same-sex sexual relationship have been a controversial issue in the contemporary Nigerian society. In understanding the nature of same-sex sexual relationship one should wonder why men and women should be sexually attracted to the members of the same gender. These particular issues of homosexuality and lesbianism give no room for conventional way of procreation to take place. Homosexuality stands against most Societal values, beliefs, and is considered to be taboo among various cultures and subcultures (Reilly, 2012). Homosexuals and their lifestyle are faced with many challenges…. Get the complete materials

1.6 Scope of the study

This study covers variables such as social media, emotional benefits and peer pressure and it will be carried out in Lafia, Nassarawa state, Nigeria. Homosexuality is a general problem in Nigeria. It cuts across different states in Nigeria. However, due to resources, time and nature of the topic, the research is limited to Lafia metropolis in Nassarawa state, both male and female respondents. Finally the research work covers the socio-psychological factors in homosexuality in Lafia Nassarawa state.

1.7 Operational definition of terms

Homosexuality: Homosexuality is a sexual intercourse between members of the same sex or gender.

Lesbianism: Lesbianism is the sexual relationship between two women, when someone is a lesbian it simply means that a woman is having sexual relationship with another woman.

Gay: This can be referred to as sexual relationship between two men.

Social Media: is defined as a websites and application that enable users to create and share contact or to participate in social networking.

 

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

This section focus on the review of some related literatures as well as presenting a relevant theoretical framework to the study. This chapter is directed at reviewing what humanity has already said about the topic of the research. That is, reviewing the various objectives of the study which are: social psychological factors in homosexuality which are poverty, emotional benefits and peer pressure and what can be done to curb homosexuality in Lafia, Nassarawa state Nigeria.

2.1 The concept of homosexuality 

Homosexuality has been defined as the romantic or sexual intercourse or behaviour between members of the same sex. (Beth, 1992). Homosexuality can

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