The functionalist theory, the conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism are the three perspectives in sociology that provide fundamentally different views on the behavior of the population. Homosexuality is one of the topics that are highly divisive and, therefore, crucial to analyze from all points of view. This essay discusses the reasons behind this divisiveness by analyzing homosexuality via the lens of different perspectives.
The functionalist theory takes a focus on the natural course of life and the need to uphold this structure for a society to continue its existence. According to this perspective, homosexuality takes its roots in the unreleased desire, which is considered a sign of dysfunctionality (Thio & Taylor, 2011). Functionalists consider homosexuality as unacceptable for a large-scale promotion due to the endangerment of natural population growth (Griffiths et al., 2017). In the United States, the shift from a nuclear family to a more open approach to relationships outside of the need to procreate made it possible for homosexuality to become widely accepted.
The conflict theory views every societal notion via the lens of power differences between sides. From this perspective, the rise of homosexuality in the United States is a natural answer to the strict ban of this behavior in the past (Griffiths et al., 2017). Its promotion can also be linked with economic advantages, such as marriage benefits (Agoben, 2017).
Symbolic interactionism views societal topics on a less massive scale. It links sexuality directly with socialization, as personal experiences play a crucial role in this perspective (Warner, Leskinen, & Leyva, 2020). Therefore, the rise of homosexuality in the United States is a result of the perceptions of the sexual lives of others (Griffiths et al., 2017). The symbolic meaning of homosexuality is no longer stigmatized, which made it acceptable.
In conclusion, depending on the choice of a perspective, homosexuality can be either perceived to have an adverse impact on society or be a normal part of it. The history of homosexuality as a deviant behavior underwent a significant transformation in the United States, but the opinions continue to remain highly divided (Kenny & Patel, 2017). This topic will remain to be controversial due to the fundamental differences in views on it that can not be resolved.
Agoben, T. T. (2017). Unearthing the reasons behind human behaviour in society: A reappraisal of the theories in sociological behaviourism. SSRN Electronic Journal. Web.
Griffiths, H., Keirns, N., Scaramuzzo, G., Cody-Rydzewski, S., Strayer, E., & Vyrain, S. (2017). Introduction to sociology (2nd ed.). Houston, TX: OpenStax.
Thio, A., & Taylor, J. D. (2011). Social problems. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Warner, L. R., Leskinen, E. A., & Leyva, J. (2020). Sexuality and socialization. Companion to Sexuality Studies, 160-178. Web.