Homosexuality in the ancient world

Homosexuality is generally defined as sexual interest in and attraction to members of one's own sex. In different eras, cultures, and religions, homosexual behaviour has been variously approved, tolerated, punished, or banned.

Homosexuality was not uncommon in ancient cultures, though the forms and views of homosexual behavior vary significantly. In most of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, both the subject and the behaviour are considered taboo, with some slight exception made in urban areas.

Homosexuality in the world's religions

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were generally accepting of homosexual behavior within certain contexts. Hinduism and Buddhism tend to view homosexuality primarily from the standpoint of its karmic effects, with varying conclusions.

Jewish, Christian, Sikh and Muslim cultures have generally perceived homosexual behaviour as sinful. Many Jewish and Christian leaders, however, have gone to great lengths to make clear that it is the homosexual acts and not the homosexual individuals or their "orientation" that is condemned.

Some liberal strands of both mainstream Protestant Christianity and Reform Judaism advocate, on theological as well as social grounds, the full acceptance of homosexuals and their relationships.

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