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The Construction of Homosexuality

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  3 reviews
"At various times, homosexuality has been considered the noblest of loves, a horrible sin, a psychological condition or grounds for torture and execution. David F. Greenberg's careful, encyclopedic and important new book argues that homosexuality is only deviant because society has constructed, or defined, it as deviant. The book takes us over vast terrains of example and ...more
Hardcover, 645 pages
Published December 9th 1988 by University Of Chicago Press
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May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gay people
Recommended to David by: An anti-gay bigot who clearly hadn't read it but lazily relied on another anti-gay bigot's faulty synopsis.
I found this book on my partner’s bookshelf, having been prompted to read it by a Facebook exchange with an anti-gay bigot who posited the author, David F. Greenberg, as an ally of his, in that Greenberg purportedly argued that homosexuals choose to be that way, rather than being born that way.

I was bemused, therefore, to start reading and discover immediately that this book is not about homosexuals per se. Whether a “homosexual” is born or bred homosexual is mostly peripheral to Greenberg’s

This is slightly odd I know but this is not actually so much a review, as a correction of a major error that author David Greenberg made in this book (hence why I am not star rating). I'm an academic with two degrees worth of study on the ancient Near East, and it came to my attention that this book is the source used by James Neill's The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies which is then the source used by Wikipedia's article on the History of Homosexuality and other
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a very good book. At first I expected the book to be more about homosexuals and the way they were represented, seen medically, in history along with gay rights in general. However it was more about finding the reasons why varying ancient societys saw homosexuals differently.

Overall it explained why our society developed its current opinions on homosexuality. Greenberg does this by using different communities and civilizations, showing that homosexuality isn't perceived as an invalid act
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