Monday, April 11, 2011

Same-sex relationships in history

O.M.G. My previous life as someone who thought all the time about reading queer contemporary U.S. stuff back into ancient Greece totally became relevant again today! I was watching a presentation on some research on same-sex relationships between adolescents, and the presenter mentioned, off the cuff, that these relationships are now "more visible than at any other time in history."

I'm an anthropologist now, so I could have talked about lots of groups and times and places where various visions of what is meant by "same-sex relationships" aren't stigmatized (e.g., in any number of African or Melanesian groups). But it was clear that his ethnocentric vision of "any other time in history" meant Western history. And that was wrong, too. So I got to say so.

Because, DUH, ancient Greece was totally down with the same sex relationships - especially when they involved youth! I think wikipedia's entry on Homosexuality in ancient Greece covers it better than I could, though, so I'm not gonna bother.


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