Situational Homosexuality

Situational Homosexuality


Situational homosexuality is the act of engaging in homoerotic activity due to the prolonged absence of partners of the opposite sex. Participants are not seeking out a permanent gay life style, but rather a sense of gratification or release in a single-sex environment. A single-sex environment could be described as a venue or institution in which individuals are gender-separated for purposes based upon social expectations, the law, or simply deprivation. Consequently, situational homosexuality is also referred to as "emergency homosexuality" or "functional homosexuality" because the practitioners revert back to their "true" heterosexual state after that have the chance to be with the other sex again. The sociological phenomenon of situational homosexuality dates back to ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. During this era it was common for men to partake in homosexual activity with free-born boys as a form of mentoring and right of passage. However, this practice was not limited to ancient Europe: Man-boy sexual relationships extended to locations such as China, Japan, and tribal regions of the world.

Situational homosexuality is still a prevalent theme today. Although the practice is still a part of numerous global cultures, the activity has become common in extended single-sex environments, such as: prisons, military bases, boarding schools, monasteries, ships at sea, and universities. This sexual behavior has created stereotypes and generalizations about these venues and the practitioners within them. In prison, situational homosexuals are referred to as "jailhouse turnouts," while situational lesbians on college campuses are labeled as "lugs," meaning lesbians until graduation.


Even though these interactions may be deemed culturally acceptable in some regions, not all situational homosexuality is comfortable and/or experimental in nature. Certain types of situational homosexuality can be frightening or abusive. For example, prison rape and sexual domination are common in jails, and long-term sexual repression has had a history of making these activities dangerous and psychologically painful for many participants.

(Snapshot from the movie, 'BrokeBack Mountain')

Although situational homosexuality is a natural occurrence in human beings, research has proven that there is a large population of heterosexuals and homosexuals that will never engage in sexual activity with the non-preferential sex, regardless of the deprivation extent. Consequently, these trends have allowed researchers to determine that situational homosexuality is most commonly found in males. This fact can be attributed primarily to the increased sex drive found in most men and the higher frequency of male same-sex environments, including prisons, military compounds, ships, and boarding schools. Moreover, analysts have determined that the most situational homosexual activities occur with males in their sexual prime.


GLBTQ Encyclopedia. "Situational Homosexuality". November 1, 2007.
Wikipedia-Encyclopedia. "Pederasty in Ancient Greece". November 1, 2007

Created June 2, 2008



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