Homosexuals are in good company. Among the many famous homosexuals in history are the Greek philosophers Socrates and Aristotle, the Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great, the British King Richard the Lion-Hearted, the Italian painter-scientist Leonardo da Vinci and the Italian pope Julius III.
Other well-known homosexuals listed in the “Book of Lists” by David Wallenchinsky, Irving Wallace and Sylvia Wallace are the Russian Czar Peter the Great, Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, U.S. poet Walt Whitman, Russian composer Petr Ilich Tchaikovsky, British playwright Oscar Wilde, British economist John Maynard Keyes, U.S. tennis player Bill Tilden, former Swedish UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, U.S. playwright Tennessee Williams, and British singers David Bowie and Elton John.
How common is homosexuality? Surveys do not always tell the truth since not all homosexuals share their problem. In his first study in the late 1940s, American sex researcher Alfred C. Kinsey reported that this pattern of behavior was experienced by 37 percent of American men and 20 percent of American women although there were only a few exclusive homosexuals at that time.
Today, the percentages are higher but the number of true homosexuals has not grown much. Homosexual experien¬ces, however, are common.
"Although homosexuals make up only 10 percent of the adult male population, studies have shown that as many as 45 percent of American males aged 16 to 19 have experienced a homosexual advance, and 17 percent of boys report one or more homosexual experiences. Less is known about homosexuality in females, at any age, but 11 percent of girls aged 16 to 19 report a homosexual advance and 6 percent had homosexual experiences," revealed Dr. Karen Hein, associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Complete Home Medical Guide.”
Because of their sexual preference and alternative life¬style, homosexuals are often misunderstood and rejected. They are sometimes viewed as “circus freaks” and often blamed for a host of imagined ills.
In truth, homosexuals are no different from heterosexuals with regards to sexual rela¬tionships and practices. Many of the sexual acts we label as "homosexual" are, in reality, also practiced by ordinary couples. This only shows that there are infinite ways of expressing love and enjoying sex. This was pointed out by Paul M. Insel and Walton T. Roth in “Core Concepts in Health.”
"Change is the most universal quality of sexual attitudes and perceptions in the world today. We are not one culture but many, and the range of diversity can be stagger¬ing. We have a world in which one person's kinkiness is the next person's everyday sex, and in which today's kinkiness may be tomorrow's everyday sex," they said. (Next: Myths about homosexuality.)
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Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine www.HealthLinesNews.com.