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Do breast implants make for better sex? Why love-making is more pleasurable for WOMEN after their enhancement
By VICTORIA WELLMAN
We all know men enjoy a generous chest but a new study claims that women with breast enlargements derive more pleasure in the bedroom than before their enhancements.
Of the women who participated in the online survey by RealSelf.com, 61per cent said they were having more sex.
And even more significantly, 70 per cent admitted that their sex life satisfaction had improved since their enlargements.
Better? A new study suggests that women like Heidi Montag, pictured before and after her breast augmentation, experience vastly improved sex lives post-op
Real Self, a ‘community for sharing and learning about cosmetic surgeries’, conducted the poll over a two week period and asked breast augmentation patients to rate their experiences between the sheets since their operations.
The findings showed that those who had undergone enhancements or contouring were able to achieve orgasm more easily and were overall more easily aroused.
Dr. Andrew P. Trussler, M.D., a plastic surgeon in the Dallas area, and Plastic Surgery Assistant Professor for the University of Texas told Real Self: ‘The poll results are not surprising. I see a transformation in what patients wear and how they carry themselves in the office after having a breast augmentation.
‘In my personal observation, women definitely feel more confident after the procedure, and you can easily see how that improved confidence will lead to improvements in other areas of their lives.’
One source who concurred told MailOnline: ‘I completely agree with this because if there has always been a part of your body that you’ve felt self-conscious about while in an intimate situation, then that definitely affects your confidence and therefore ability to relax and enjoy yourself.
‘It’s about feeling self-confident within, which enables you to enjoy a sexual experience more freely and uninhibited’
‘After having gone from an 32A cup to a 32FF, all of a sudden, the part of my body that had always been an embarrassment to me, became something that I was proud of and could feel confident while being with a partner.
‘It is not just about the ability to impress a man. It’s about feeling self-confident within, which enables you to enjoy a sexual experience more freely and uninhibited.’
Almost one million women in the U.S. have received breast enhancements in the last three years that cost between $6-10,000.
On a scale of 1-10, 28 per cent of the women who took part in the survey admitted that their sex lives had improved by more four points and 7.5 in 10 said the procedure was ‘worth it’.
‘I don’t believe breasts are just for a man’s pleasure,’ MailOnline’s source said. ‘If a woman embraces her own body and feels empowered by it, then she will enjoy herself more.’
Breast implant: the pre-operative (left) and post-operative (right) aspects of a young woman’s bilateral breast augmentation with high-profile, 500cc silicone-gel implants.
A breast implant is a medical prosthesis used to augment, reconstruct, or create the physical form of breasts. Breast implants are applied to correct the size, form, and feel of a woman’sbreasts in post–mastectomy breast reconstruction; for correcting congenital defects and deformities of the chest wall; for aesthetic breast augmentation; and for creating breasts in themale-to-female transsexual patient.
There are three general types of breast implant device, defined by the filler material: saline, silicone, and composite. The saline implant has an elastomer silicone shell filled with sterile saline solution; the silicone implant has an elastomer silicone shell filled with viscous silicone gel; and the alternative composition implants featured miscellaneous fillers, such as soy oil, polypropylene string, et cetera.
In surgical practice, for the reconstruction of a breast, the tissue expander device is a temporary breast prosthesis used to form and establish an implant pocket for the permanent breast implant. For the correction of male breast and chest-wall defects and deformities, the pectoral implant is the breast prosthesis used for the reconstruction and the aesthetic repair of a man’s chest. History
Breast implant: Dr. Vincenz Czerny (1842–1916) a pioneer in breast reconstruction surgery.
The 19th century
Since the late nineteenth century, breast implant devices have been used to surgically augment the size (volume), modify the shape (contour), and enhance the feel (tact) of a woman’s breasts. In 1895, surgeon Vincenz Czerny effected the earliest breast implant emplacement when he used the patient’s autologous adipose tissue, harvested from a benign lumbar lipoma, to repair the asymmetry of the breast from which he had removed a tumor. In 1889, surgeon Robert Gersuny experimented with paraffin injections, with disastrous results. From the first half of the twentieth century, physicians used other substances as breast implant fillers — ivory, glass balls, ground rubber, ox cartilage, Terylene wool, gutta-percha, Dicora, polyethylene chips, Ivalon (polyvinyl alcohol – formaldehyde polymer sponge), a polyethylene sac with Ivalon, polyether foam sponge (Etheron), polyethylene tape (Polystan) strips wound into a ball, polyester (polyurethane foam sponge) Silastic rubber, and teflon-silicone prostheses.
The 20th century
In the mid-twentieth century, Morton I. Berson, in 1945, and Jacques Maliniac, in 1950, each performed flap-based breast augmentations by rotating the patient’s chest wall tissue into the breast to increase its volume. Furthermore, throughout the 1950s and the 1960s, plastic surgeons used synthetic fillers — including silicone injections received by some 50,000 women, from which developed silicone granulomas and breast hardening that required treatment by mastectomy. In 1961, the American plastic surgeons Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow, and the Dow Corning Corporation, developed the first silicone breast prosthesis, filled with silicone gel; in due course, the first augmentation mammoplasty was performed in 1962 using the Cronin–Gerow Implant, prosthesis model 1963. In 1964, the French company Laboratoires Arion developed and manufactured the saline breast implant, filled with saline solution, and then introduced for use as a medical device in 1964.
Types of breast implant device
Breast implant: Late-generation models ofSilicone gel-filled prostheses.
There are three types of breast implant used for mammoplasty, breast reconstruction, and breast augmentation procedures
1. saline implant filled with sterile saline solution.
2. silicone implant filled with viscous silicone gel.
3. alternative-composition implant with miscellaneous fillers (e.g. soy oil, polypropylene string, etc.) that are no longer manufactured.
I. — Saline implants
• Surgical technology
The saline breast implant is filled with saline solution (biological-concentration salt water 0.90% w/v of NaCl, ca. 300 mOsm/L.). The early models were a relatively delicate technology that were prone to failure, usually shell breakage, leakage of the saline filler, and deflation of the prosthesis. Contemporary models of saline breast implant are made with stronger, room-temperature vulcanized (RTV) shells made of a silicone elastomer. The study In vitro Deflation of Pre-filled Saline Breast Implants (2006) reported that the rates of deflation (filler leakage) of thepre-filled saline breast implant made it a second choice for corrective breast surgery, after the silicone gel type of breast implant. Nonetheless, in the 1990s, in U.S. medicine, the saline breast implant was the usual breast prosthesis applied for breast augmentation, given the unavailability of silicone implants, because of the import restrictions of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
• Surgical technique
The saline breast implant was developed to facilitate a more conservative surgical technique, of smaller and fewer cuts to the breast, for emplacing an empty breast-implant device through a smaller surgical incision. In surgical praxis, after having emplaced the empty breast implants into the implant pockets, the plastic surgeon then fills each breast prosthesis with saline solution, and, because the required insertion incisions are small, the resultant incision-scars will be smaller than the surgical scar usual to the long incision required for inserting pre-filled, silicone-gel implants. Although the saline breast implant can yield good-to-excellent results of breast size, contour, and feel, when compared to silicone-implant results, the saline implant is likelier to cause cosmetic problems such as rippling, wrinkling, and being noticeable to the eye and to the touch. This is especially true for women with very little breast tissue, and for post-mastectomy reconstruction patients; thus, silicone-gel implants are the superior prosthetic device for breast augmentation and for breast reconstruction. In the case of the woman with much breast tissue, for whom partial submuscular emplacement is the recommended surgical technique, saline breast implants can afford an aesthetic “look” of breast size and contour (though not feel) much like that afforded by the silicone implant.
II. — Silicone gel implants
As a medical device technology, there are five (5) generations of silicone breast implant, each defined by common model-manufacturing techniques.
The Cronin–Gerow Implant, prosthesis model 1963, was a tear-drop-shaped sac (silicone rubber envelope) filled with viscous silicone-gel. To reduce the rotation of the emplaced breast-implant upon the chest wall, it was affixed to the implant pocket with a fastener-patch of Dacron material (Polyethylene terephthalate) attached to the rear of the breast implant shell.
In the 1970s, the first technological development, a thinner device-shell and a thinner, low-cohesion silicone-gel filler, improved the functionality and verisimilitude (size, look, and feel) of the silicone breast implant. Yet, in clinical practice, the second-generation proved fragile, and suffered greater incidences of shell rupture, and of “silicone gel bleed” (filler leakage through an intact shell). The consequent, increased incidence-rates of medical complications (e.g. capsular contracture) precipitated U.S. government faulty-product class action-lawsuits against the Dow Corning Corporation, and other manufacturers of prosthetic breast prostheses.
• The second technological development was a polyurethane foam coating for the implant shell; it reduced the incidence of capsular contracture by causing an inflammatory reaction that impeded the formation of a capsule of fibrous collagen tissue around the breast implant. Nevertheless, the medical use of polyurethane-coated breast implants was briefly discontinued because of the potential health-risk posed by 2,4-toluenediamine (TDA), a carcinogenic by-product of the chemical breakdown of the implant’s polyurethane foam coating. After reviewing the medical data, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded that TDA-induced breast cancer was an infinitesimal health-risk to women with breast implants, and did not justify legally requiring physicians to explain the matter to their patients. In the event, polyurethane-coated breast implants remain in plastic surgical practice in Europe and in South America; in the U.S., no breast implant manufacturer has sought the FDA’s approval for American medical sale.
• The third technological development was the double lumen breast-implant, a double-cavity device composed of a silicone-implant within a saline-implant. The two-fold, technical goal was: (i) the cosmetic benefits of silicone-gel (the inner lumen) enclosed in saline solution (the outer lumen); (ii) a breast-implant device the volume of which is post-operatively adjustable. Nevertheless, the more complex design of the double-lumen breast-implant suffered a device-failure rate greater than that of single-lumen breast implants. The contemporary versions of Second generation devices, presented in 1984, are the “Becker Expandable” models of breast implant device, used primarily for breast reconstruction.
Third and Fourth generations
In the 1980s, the models of the Third and of the Fourth generations of breast-implant devices were sequential advances in manufacturing technology, e.g. elastomer-coated shells that decreased gel-bleed (filler leakage), and a thicker filler (increased-cohesion) gel. Sociologically, the manufacturers then designed and fabricated varieties of anatomic models (natural breast) and shaped models (round, tapered) that realistically corresponded with the breast and body types presented by women patients. The tapered models of breast implant have a uniformly textured surface, to reduce rotation; the round models of breast implant are available in smooth-surface and textured-surface types.
Since the mid-1990s, the Fifth generation of silicone breast implant is made of a semi-solid gel that mostly eliminates filler leakage (silicone gel bleed) and silicone migration from the breast to elsewhere in the body. The studies Experience with Anatomical Soft Cohesive Silicone gel Prosthesis in Cosmetic and Reconstructive Breast Implant Surgery (2004) and Cohesive Silicone gel Breast Implants in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Breast Surgery (2005) reported low incidence rates of capsular contracture and of device-shell rupture, improved medical safety and technical efficacy greater than earlier generations of breast implant device.
Breast implant: the pre-operative aspects (left), and the post-operative aspects (right) of a bilateral primary augmentation with medium-volume (350cc) saline impants emplaced submuscularly through an inframmary fold (IMF) incision.
The breast augmentation patient usually is a young woman whose personality profile indicates psychological distress about her personal appearance and her body (self image), and a history of having endured criticism (teasing) about the aesthetics of her person. The studies Body Image Concerns of Breast Augmentation Patients (2003) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Cosmetic Surgery (2006) reported that the woman who underwent breast augmentation surgery also had undergone psychotherapy, suffered low self-esteem, presented frequent occurrences of psychological depression, had attempted suicide, and suffered body dysmorphia, a type of mental illness. Post-operative patient surveys about mental health and quality-of-life, reported improved physical health, physical appearance, social life, self-confidence, self-esteem, and satisfactory sexual functioning. Furthermore, the women reported long-term satisfaction with their breast implant outcomes; some despite having suffered medical complications that required surgical revision, either corrective or aesthetic. Likewise, in Denmark, 8.0 per cent of breast augmentation patients had a pre-operative history of psychiatric hospitalization.
Breast implant emplacement is performed with five (5) types of surgical incisions:
1. Inframammary — an incision made to the infra-mammary fold (IMF), which affords maximal access for precise dissection of the tissues and emplacement of the breast implants. It is the preferred surgical technique for emplacing silicone-gel implants, because it better exposes the breast tissue–pectoralis muscle interface; yet, IMF implantation can produce thicker, slightly more visible surgical scars.
2. Periareolar — a border-line incision along the periphery of the areola, which provides an optimal approach when adjustments to the IMF position are required, or when a mastopexy (breast lift) is included to the primary mammoplasty procedure. In periareolar emplacement, the incision is around the medial-half (inferior half) of the areola’s circumference. Silicone gel implants can be difficult to emplace via periareolar incision, because of the short, five-centimetre length (~ 5.0 cm) of the required access-incision. Aesthetically, because the scars are at the areola’s border (periphery), they usually are less visible than the IMF-incision scars of women with light-pigment areolae; when compared to cutaneous-incision scars, the modified epithelia of the areolae are less prone to (raised) hypertrophic scars.
3. Transaxillary — an incision made to the axilla (armpit), from which the dissection tunnels medially, to emplace the implants, either bluntly or with an endoscope (illuminated video microcamera), without producing visible scars on the breast proper; yet, it is likelier to produce inferior asymmetry of the implant-device position. Therefore, surgical revision of transaxillary emplaced breast implants usually requires either an IMF incision or a periareolar incision.
4. Transumbilical — a trans-umbilical breast augmentation (TUBA) is a less common implant-device emplacement technique wherein the incision is at the umbilicus (navel), and the dissection tunnels superiorly, up towards the bust. The TUBA approach allows emplacing the breast implants without producing visible scars upon the breast proper; but makes appropriate dissection and device-emplacement more technically difficult. A TUBA procedure is performed bluntly — without the endoscope’s visual assistance — and is not appropriate for emplacing (pre-filled) silicone-gel implants, because of the great potential for damaging the elastomer silicone shell of the breast implant during its manual insertion through the short (~2.0 cm) incision at the navel, and because pre-filled silicone gel implants are incompressible, and cannot be inserted through so small an incision.
5. Transabdominal — as in the TUBA procedure, in the transabdominoplasty breast augmentation (TABA), the breast implants are tunneled superiorly from the abdominal incision into bluntly dissected implant pockets, whilst the patient simultaneously undergoes an abdominoplasty.
Implant pocket placement
Breast implant emplacement: cross-sectional scheme of a subglandular breast prosthesis implantation (1) and of a submuscular breast prosthesis implantation (2).
The four (4) surgical approaches to emplacing a breast implant to the implant pocket are described in anatomical relation to the pectoralis major muscle.
1. Subglandular — the breast implant is emplaced to the retromammary space, between the breast tissue (the gland) and the pectoralis major muscle, which most approximates the plane of normal breast tissue, and affords the most aesthetic results. Yet, in women with thin pectoral soft-tissue, the subglandular position is likelier to show the ripples and wrinkles of the underlying implant. Moreover, the capsular contracture incidence rate is slightly greater with subglandular implantation.
2. Subfascial — the breast implant is emplaced beneath the fascia of the pectoralis major muscle; this is a variant of the subglandular position. The technical advantages of the subfascial implant-pocket technique are debated; proponent surgeons report that the layer of fascial tissue provides greater implant coverage and better sustains its position.
3. Subpectoral (dual plane) — the breast implant is emplaced beneath the pectoralis major muscle, after the surgeon releases the inferior muscular attachments, with or without partial dissection of the subglandular plane. Resultantly, the upper pole of the implant is partially beneath the pectoralis major muscle, while the lower pole of the implant is in the subglandular plane. This implantation technique achieves maximal coverage of the upper pole of the implant, whilst allowing the expansion of the implant’s lower pole; however, “animation deformity”, the movement of the implants in the subpectoral plane can be excessive for some patients.
4. Submuscular — the breast implant is emplaced beneath the pectoralis major muscle, without releasing the inferior origin of the muscle proper. Total muscular coverage of the implant can be achieved by releasing the lateral muscles of the chest wall — either the serratus muscle or the pectoralis minor muscle, or both — and suturing it, or them, to the pectoralis major muscle. Inbreast reconstruction surgery, the submuscular implantation approach effects maximal coverage of the breast implants.
The surgical scars of a breast augmentation mammoplasty develop approximately at 6-weeks post-operative, and fade within months. Depending upon the daily-life physical activities required of the woman, the breast augmentation patient usually resumes her normal life at 1-week post-operative. Moreover, women whose breast implants were emplaced beneath the chest muscles (submuscular placement) usually have a longer, slightly more painful convalescence, because of the healing of the incisions to the chest muscles. Usually, she does not exercise or engage in strenuous physical activities for approximately 6 weeks. During the initial post-operative recovery, the woman is encouraged to regularly exercise (flex and move) her arm to alleviate pain and discomfort; if required, analgesic indwelling medication catheters can alleviate pain. Moreover, significantly improved patient recovery has resulted from refined breast-device implantation techniques (submuscular, subglandular) that allow 95 per cent of women to resume their normal lives at 24-hours post-procedure, without bandages, fluid drains, pain pumps, catheters, medical support brassières, or narcotic pain medication.
Breast implant: Cross-section scheme of the mammary gland.
1. Chest wall
2. Pectoralis muscles
6. Milk duct
7. Fatty tissue
8. Skin envelope
The functional breast
The breasts are apocrine glands that produce milk for the feeding of infant children; each breast has a nipple within an areola (nipple-areola complex, NAC), the skin color of which varies from pink to dark brown, and has sebaceous glands. Within the mammary gland, the lactiferous ducts produce breast milk, and are distributed throughout the breast, with two-thirds of the tissue within 30-mm of the base of the nipple. In each breast, 4–18 lactiferous ducts drain to the nipple; the glands-to-fat ratio is 2:1 in lactating women, and to 1:1 in non-lactating women; besides milk glands, the breast is composed of connective tissue (collagen, elastin), adipose tissue (white fat), and the suspensory Cooper’s ligaments. The peripheral nervous system innervation of the breast is by the anterior and lateral cutaneous branches of the fourth-, fifth-, and sixth intercostal nerves, while the Thoracic spinal nerve 4 (T4) innervating the dermatomic area supplies sensation to the nipple-areola complex.
The augmented breast
Women with breast implants are able to breast-feed; however implant devices may cause functional breast-feeding difficulties, especially the mammoplasty procedures that feature periareolar incisions and subglandular emplacement, which have greater incidences of breast-feeding difficulties. Surgery may also damage the lactiferous ducts and the nerves of the nipple-areola complex (NAC).
Implants and mammography
Breast implant: Mammographs:
Normal breast (left) and cancerous breast (right).
The presence of radiologically opaque breast implants might interfere with the radiographic sensitivity of the mammograph. In this case, an Eklund view mammogram is required, wherein the breast implant is manually displaced against the chest wall and the breast is pulled forward, so that the mammograph can visualize the internal tissues; nonetheless, approximately one-third of the breast tissue remains inadequately visualized, resulting in an increased incidence of false-negative mammograms.
Breast cancer studies of women with implants reported no significant differences in disease stage at the time of diagnosis; prognoses are similar in both groups, with augmented patients at a lower risk for subsequent cancer recurrence or death.
Conservative Christian protesters at a 2006 gay pride event in San Francisco.
The relationship between religion and homosexuality can vary greatly across time and place, within and between different religions and denominations, and regarding different forms of homosexuality and bisexuality. Present day doctrines of the world’s major religions vary vastly generally and by denomination on attitudes toward these sexual orientations.
Among those denominations that generally are negative towards these orientations, there are many different types of actions they may take: this can range from quietly discouraging homosexual activity, explicitly forbidding same-sex sexual practices among adherents and actively opposing social acceptance of homosexuality, to execution. Many argue that it is homosexual actions which are sinful, rather than the state of being homosexual itself. Several organizations exist that assert that conversion therapy can help diminish same-sex attraction.
However within many religions there are also people who view the two sexual orientations positively, and many religious denominations may bless same-sex marriages and support LGBT rights, and the amount of those that do are continuously increasing around the world as much of the developed world enacts laws supporting LGBT rights.
Historically, some cultures and religions accommodated, institutionalized, or revered, same-sex love and sexuality; such mythologies and traditions can be found around the world. For example, some denominations of Hinduism do not view homosexuality as a religious sin. In 2009, The United Kingdom Hindu Council became one of the first major religious organizations to support LGBT rights when they issued a statement “Hinduism does not condemn homosexuality”.
Regardless of their position on homosexuality, many people of faith look to both sacred texts and tradition for guidance on this issue. However, the authority of various traditions or scriptural passages and the correctness of translations and interpretations are continually disputed.
Views of specific religious groups 
The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have traditionally forbidden sodomy, believing and teaching that such behavior is sinful. Today some denominations within these religions are accepting of homosexuality and inclusive of homosexual people, such as Reform Judaism, the United Church of Christ and the Metropolitan Community Church. Some Presbyterian and Anglican churches welcome members regardless of same-sex sexual practices, with some provinces allowing for the ordination and inclusion of gay and lesbian clerics, and affirmation of same-sex unions. Reform Judaism incorporates lesbian and gay rabbis and same-sex marriage liturgies, while Reconstructionist Judaism and Conservative Judaism in the USA allows for lesbian and gay rabbis and same-sex unions.
The Torah (first five books of the Hebrew Bible) is the primary source for Jewish views on homosexuality. It states that: “[A man] shall not lie with another man as [he would] with a woman, it is a תועבה toeba (“abomination”)” (Leviticus18:22). (Like many similar commandments, the stated punishment for willful violation is the death penalty, although in practice rabbinic Judaism no longer believes it has the authority to implement death penalties.)
Orthodox Judaism views homosexual acts as sinful. Conservative Judaism has engaged in an in-depth study of homosexuality since the 1990s with various rabbis presenting a wide array of responsa (papers with legal arguments) for communal consideration. The official position of the movement is to welcome homosexual Jews into their synagogues, and also campaign against any discrimination in civil law and public society, but also to uphold a ban on anal sex as a religious requirement.
Reform Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism in North America and Liberal Judaism in the United Kingdom view homosexuality to be acceptable on the same basis as heterosexuality. Progressive Jewish authorities believe either that traditional laws against homosexuality are no longer binding or that they are subject to changes that reflect a new understanding of human sexuality. Some of these authorities rely on modern biblical scholarship suggesting that the prohibition in the Torah was intended to ban coercive or ritualized homosexual sex, such as those practices ascribed to Egyptian and Canaanite fertility cults and temple prostitution.
Advertisement promoting religious tolerance of homosexuality in the United States.
Christian denominations hold a variety of views on the issue of homosexual activity, ranging from outright condemnation to complete acceptance. Most Christian denominations welcome people attracted to the same sex, but teach that homosexual acts are sinful. These denominations include the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox church, the United Methodist Church and some other mainline denominations, such as the Reformed Church in America and the American Baptist Church, as well as Conservative Evangelicalorganizations and churches, such as the Evangelical Alliance, and fundamentalist groups and churches, such as the Southern Baptist Convention. Pentecostal churches such as the Assemblies of God, as well as Restorationist churches, like Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, also take the position that homosexual sexual activity is sinful.
Religious protest of homosexuality in San Francisco
Some liberal Christians are supportive of homosexuals. Other Christian denominations do not view monogamous same sex relationships as bad orevil. These include the United Church of Canada, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), theEvangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. In particular, the Metropolitan Community Church, a denomination of 40,000 members, was founded specifically to serve the Christian LGBT community, and is devoted to being open and affirming toLGBT people. The United Church of Christ and the Alliance of Baptists also condone gay marriage, and some parts of the Anglican and Lutheranchurches allow for the blessing of gay unions. Within the Anglican communion there are openly gay clergy; for example, Gene Robinson and Mary Glasspool are openly homosexual bishops in the US Episcopal Church and Eva Brunne in Lutheran Church of Sweden. The Episcopal Church’s recent actions vis-a-vis homosexuality have brought about increased ethical debate and tension within the Church of England and worldwide Anglican churches.
Passages from the Old Testament have been interpreted to argue that homosexuals should be punished with death, and AIDS has been portrayed by some fundamentalist sects such as Fred Phelps and Jerry Falwell as a punishment by God against homosexuals. In the 20th century, theologians like Karl Barth, Jürgen Moltmann, Hans Küng, John Robinson, Bishop David Jenkins, Don Cupitt, Bishop Jack Spong challenged traditional theological positions and understandings of the Bible; following these developments some have suggested that passages have been mistranslated, are taken out of context, or that they do not refer to what we understand as “homosexuality.”
Some Protestant churches condemn same-sex sexual relations, based on scripture texts such as describing a man lying with another man as sinful acts. Where the Catholic view is founded on a natural law argument informed by scripture and proposed by Thomas Aquinas, the traditional conservative Protestant view is based on an interpretation of scripture alone. Protestant conservatives also see homosexual relationships as an impediment to heterosexual relationships. They interpret some Biblical passages to be commandments to be heterosexually married. Catholics, on the other hand, have accommodated unmarried people as priests, monks, nuns and single lay people for over a thousand years. A number of self-described gay and ‘ex-gay’ Christians have reported satisfaction in mixed-orientation marriages.
The Catholic Church insists that those who are attracted to people of the same sex as well as anyone who is not married practice chastity. The Catholic Church does not regard homosexual activity as a perfect expression of the marital act which it teaches is only possible within a lifelong commitment of a marriage between a man and a woman. According to the Church’s sexual ethics, homosexual activity falls short in the areas complementarity (male and female organs complement each other) and fecundity (openness to new life) of the sexual act. This is not to be seen as a fault of people with homosexual attraction, but rather Catholic church officials puport that this is a statement of fact about reality.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that no one should arouse sexual feelings outside of marriage, including those towards that same sex, and that these feelings should be overcome through self-control and reliance on the atonement of Jesus Christ. The church teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman, and is essential to God’s eternal plan.
“ What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, and leave the wives your Lord created for you? Nay, but ye are forward folk. ”
—Quran , 26th sura, trans. Pickthal
Youth seeking his father’s advice on choosing a lover
From the Haft Awrang of Jami, in the story A Father Advises his Son About Love;
All major Islamic schools disapprove of homosexuality, Islam views same-sex desires as a natural temptation; but, sexual relations are seen as a transgression of the natural role and aim of sexual activity. Islamic teachings (in the hadith tradition) presume same-sex attraction, extol abstention and (in the Qur’an) condemn consummation.
The discourse on homosexuality in Islam is primarily concerned with activities between men. There are, however, a few hadith mentioning homosexual behavior in women; The fuqaha’ are agreed that there is no hadd punishment for lesbianism, because it is not zina. Rather a ta’zeer punishment must be imposed, because it is a sin..'”. Relations between women, if they are regarded as problems, are treated akin to adultery, and al-Tabari records an execution of a harem couple under Caliph al-Hadi.
Islam allows and promotes filial love between siblings of the same sex. However, sexual activities between them are totally prohibited. Ibn Hazm, Ibn Daud, Al-Mutamid, Abu Nuwas and many others used this edict to write extensively and openly of brotherly love between men while proclaiming to be chaste
Bahá’í law limits permissible sexual relations to those between a man and a woman in marriage. Believers are expected to abstain from sex outside matrimony. Bahá’ís do not, however, attempt to impose their moral standards on those who have not accepted the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. While requiring uprightness in all matters of morality, whether sexual or otherwise, the Bahá’í teachings also take account of human frailty and call for tolerance and understanding in regard to human failings. In this context, to regard homosexuals with prejudice would be contrary to the spirit of the Bahá’í teachings.
Among the religions that originated in India, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, teachings regarding homosexuality are less clear than among the Abrahamic traditions, and religious authorities voice diverse opinions. In 2005, an authority figure of Sikhism condemned same-sex marriage and the practice of homosexuality. However many people in Sikhism aren’t against gay marriage. Hinduism is diverse, with no supreme governing body, but the majority of swamis opposed same-sex relationships in a 2004 survey, and a minority supported them. Ancient religious texts such as the Vedas often refer to people of a third gender known as hijra, who are neither female nor male. Some see this third gender as an ancient parallel to modern western lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex identities. However, this third sex is usually negatively valued as a pariah class in ancient texts. Ancient Hindu law books, from the first century onward, categorize non-vaginal sex (ayoni) as impure.
Hinduism has taken various positions, ranging from positive to neutral or antagonistic. Referring to the nature of Samsara,the Rigveda,one of the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism says ‘Vikruti Evam Prakriti’ (perversity/diversity is what nature is all about, or, what seems un-natural is also natural). Sexuality is rarely discussed openly in Hindu society, and LGBT issues are largely a taboo subject — especially among the strongly religious. A “third gender” has been acknowledged within Hinduism since Vedic times. Several Hindu texts, such as Manu Smriti and Sushruta Samhita, assert that some people are born with either mixed male and female natures, or sexually neuter, as a matter of natural biology. They worked as hairdressers, flower-sellers, servants, masseurs and prostitutes. Today, many people of a “third gender” (hijras) live throughout India, mostly on the margins of society, and many still work in prostitution, or make a livelihood as beggars.
Several hindu religious laws contain injuctions against homosexual activity, while some hindu mythologies speaks favorably of lesbian relations and some third-gendered individuals were highly regarded by hindu legends. Hindu groups are historically not unifyed regarding the issue of homosexuality, each one having a distinct doctrinal view.
The Indian Kama Sutra, written in the 4th century AD, contains passages describing eunuchs or “third-sex” males performing oral sex on men. However, the author was “not a fan of homosexual activities” and treated such individuals with disdain, according to historian Devdutt Pattanaik. Similarly, some medieval Hindu temples and artifacts openly depict both male homosexuality and lesbianism within their carvings, such as the temple walls at Khajuraho. Some infer from these images that Hindu society and religion were previously more open to variations in human sexuality than they are at present.
In some Hindu sects (specially among the hijras), many divinities are androgynous. There are Hindu deities who are intersex (both male and female); who manifest in all three genders; who switch from male to female or from female to male; male deities with female moods and female deities with male moods; deities born from two males or from two females; deities born from a single male or single female; deities who avoid the opposite sex; deities with principal companions of the same sex, and so on. However, this is not accepted by the majority of Hindus, and is often considered heretical in nature. Those who do accept it justify with the belief that both God and nature are unlimitedly diverse and God is difficult to comprehend.
Chastity is one of the five virtues in the fundamental ethical code of Jainism. For laypersons, the only appropriate avenue for sexuality is within marriage, and homosexuality is believed to lead to negative karma because the sexual act is outside marriage. Jain author Duli Chandra Jain wrote in 2004 that homosexuality and transvestism “stain one’s thoughts and feelings” because they involve sexual passion. Some texts in Jainism have depicted of Eunuchs are born with genetic defects or due to social pressure. There is also a mention of correction and lead normal life. It is a mental imbalance which can be cured in few of the cases. (Brhatkalpa bhasya V, 517374.)
The liberal humanitarian attitude of the Jaina society in the formulation of rules and their exceptions is evidenced in the case of the enunuch (who is considered to be female) who was raped by unknown man. Such a eunuch was kept in the monastery was well looked after, was fed by nuns and when well advanced in pregnancy was handed over to a devoted physician. All her duties as a person were suspended till her child sucked her; even her child could be initiated. One particularly remarkable aspect was that those who teased or condemned her were compelled to undergo expiatory punishment. (Brh. kalp. Bha., 4129-46).
The most common formulation of Buddhist ethics are the Five Precepts and the Eightfold Path, one should neither be attached to nor crave sensual pleasure. The third of the Five Precepts is “To refrain from committing sexual misconduct. However, the “sexual misconduct” is such a broad term, and is subjected to interpretation relative to the social norms of the followers. In fact, Buddhism in its fundamental form does not define what is right and what is wrong in absolute terms for lay followers. Therefore the determination of whether or not homosexuality is acceptable for a layperson is not considered a religious matter by many buddhists.
Buddhism is often characterized as distrustful of sensual enjoyment and sexuality in general. Traditionally, homosexual conduct and gender variance are seen as obstacles to spiritual progress in most schools of Buddhism; as suchmonks are expected to refrain from all sexual activity, and the Vinaya (the first book of the Tripitaka) specifically prohibits sexual intercourse, then further explain that both anal, oral as well as vaginal intercourse amount to sexual intercourse, which will result in permanent exclusion from Sangha. A notable exception in the history of Buddhism occurred in Japan during the Edo period, in which male homosexuality, or more specifically, love between young novices and older monks, was celebrated.
References to pandaka, a deviant sex/gender category that is usually interpreted to include homosexual males, can be found throughout the Pali canon as well as other Sanskrit scriptures. Leonard Zwilling refers extensively toBuddhaghosa’s Samantapasadika, where pandaka are described as being filled with defiled passions and insatiable lusts, and are dominated by their libido. Some texts of the Abhidharma state that a pandaka cannot achieve enlightenment in their own lifetime, (but must wait for rebirth as a “normal” man or woman) and Asanga and Vasubandhu discussed if a pandaka was able to be enlightened or not. According to one scriptural story, Ananda—Buddha’s cousin and disciple—was a pandaka in one of his many previous lives. Some classic buddhist masters and texts disallow contact between buddhists and pandakas and classify homosexuality as sexual misconduct.
The third of the Five Precepts of Buddhism states that one is to refrain from sexual misconduct; this precept has sometimes been interpreted to include homosexuality. The Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism interprets sexual misconduct to include lesbian and gay sex, and indeed any sex other than penis-vagina intercourse, including oral sex, anal sex, and masturbation or other sexual activity with the hand; the only time sex is acceptable is when it performed for its natural purpose of procreation. However, the Dalai Lama supports human rights for all, “regardless of sexual orientation.”
In Thailand, traditional accounts propose that “homosexuality arises as a karmic consequence of violating Buddhist proscriptions against heterosexual misconduct. These karmic accounts describe homosexuality as a congenital condition which cannot be altered, at least in a homosexual person’s current lifetime, and have been linked with calls for compassion and understanding from the non-homosexual populace.” However, Buddhist leaders in Thailand have also condemned homosexuality, ousted monks accused of homosexual acts, and banned kathoey from ordination. As per BBC article April 27, 2009, Senior monk Phra Maha Wudhijaya Vajiramedh is very concerned by flamboyant behavior of gay and transgender novices such as the wearing of make-up and tight or revealingly tight robes, carrying pink purses and having effeminately-shaped eyebrows. Phra Vajiramedhi acknowledged that it was difficult to exclude them from the monkhood – so he introduced Thailand’s & Buddhism’s “good manners” curriculum – the country’s first.
A later Popular Japanese legend attributed the introduction of monastic homosexuality to Japan to Shingon founder Kukai, although scholars now dismiss the veracity of this assertion, pointing out his strict adherence to the Vinaya. Nonetheless, the legend served to “affirm same sex relation between men and boys in seventeenth century Japan.” However, Japanese Buddhist scholar and author of Wild Azaleas Kitamura Kigin argued that there was a tendency in monasteries to avoid heterosexuality and to encourage homosexuality.
Most Mahayana teachings assert that all beings who correctly practice the dharma may reach enlightenment, since all possess an innate buddha nature. Enlightenment being achievable even in a single life.
Sikhism has no written view on the matter, but in 2005, a Sikh religious authority described homosexuality as “against the Sikh religion and the Sikh code of conduct and totally against the laws of nature,” and called on Sikhs to support laws against gay marriage. Many Sikhs are against this view, however, and state that the Sikh Scriptures promote equality and do not condemn homosexuality.
“ The man that lies with mankind as man lies with womankind, or as woman lies with mankind, is a man that is a Daeva [demon]; this man is a worshipper of the Daevas, a male paramour of the Daevas ”
The Vendidad, one of the later Zoroastrian texts composed in the Artificial Young Avestan language, has not been dated precisely. It is thought that some concepts of law, uncleanliness, dualism, and salvation were shared between the religions, and subsequent interactions between the religions are documented by events such as the release of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity by Zoroastrian Cyrus the Great in 537 BC, and the Biblical account of the Magi visiting the infant Jesus. The Vendidad generally promotes procreation: “the man who has a wife is far above him who lives in continence; he who keeps a house is far above him who has none; he who has children is far above the childless man; he who has riches is far above him who has none.” It details the penance for a worshipper who submits to sodomy under force as “Eight hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, eight hundred stripes with the Sraosho-charana.” (equal to the penalty for breaking a contract with the value of an ox), and declares that for those participating voluntarily “For that deed there is nothing that can pay, nothing that can atone, nothing that can cleanse from it; it is a trespass for which there is no atonement, for ever and ever”. However, those not practicing the Religion of Mazda were pardoned for past actions upon conversion.
Among the Taoic religions of East Asia, such as Taoism, passionate homosexual expression is usually discouraged because it is believed to not lead to human fulfillment.
Confucianism, being primarily a social and political philosophy, focused little on sexuality, whether homosexual or heterosexual. However, the ideology did emphasize male friendships, and Louis Crompton has argued that the “closeness of the master-disciple bond it fostered may have subtly facilitated homosexuality”. Homosexuality is not mentioned in the Analects of Confucius. “Biting the bitter peel”, a euphemism for homosexual relations, generally taken to mean anal sex, is mentioned as having been practiced by several individuals in the Classic of History as well as the Spring and Autumn Annals, both texts belonging to the Five Classics.
There is no single official position on homosexuality in Taoism, as the term Taoism is used to describe a number of disparate religious traditions. In a similar way to Buddhism, Taoist schools sought throughout history to define what would be sexual misconduct. Consequently, the literature of some schools included homosexuality as one of the forms of sexual misconduct. However, homosexuality is not unknown in Taoist history, such as during the Tang dynasty when Taoist nuns exchanged love poems. Attitudes about homosexuality within Taoism often reflect the values and sexual norms of broader Chinese society
The Wiccan Charge of the Goddess, one of the most famous texts in Neopaganism, states in the words of the Goddess, “all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”. In traditional forms of Wicca, such as Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, magic is often performed between a man and a woman, and the “Great Rite” is a sex ritual performed between a Priest and Priestess representing the God and Goddess; however, this is not generally seen as excluding homosexuals or magic between same-sex couples. Most groups still insist, however, that initiations be conferred from man to woman or woman to man. Any ritual sexual acts, whether actual or symbolic, take place between two consenting adults, normally a couple who are already lovers.
Satanism, in the LaVey tradition, is open to all forms of sexual expression, and does not preclude homosexuality. Satanism, in Spiritual traditions are also open to all forms of sexual expression.
The Unitarian Universalist Association supports the freedom to marry and compares resistance to it to the resistance to abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, and the end of anti-miscegenation laws. Several congregations have undertaken a series of organizational, procedural and practical steps to become acknowledged as a “Welcoming Congregation”: a congregation which has taken specific steps to welcome and integrate gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender (GLBT) members. UU ministers perform same-sex unions and now same-sex marriages where legal (and sometimes when not, as a form of civil protest). On June 29, 1984, the Unitarian Universalists became the first major church “to approve religious blessings on homosexual unions.” Unitarian Universalists have been in the forefront of the work to make same-sex marriages legal in their local states and provinces, as well as on the national level. Gay men and lesbians are also regularly ordained as ministers, and a number of gay and lesbian ministers have, themselves, now become legally married to their partners. In May 2004, Arlington Street Church was the site of the first state-sanctioned same-sex marriage in the United States. The official stance of the UUA is for the legalization of same-sex marriage—”Standing on the Side of Love.” In 2004 UU Minister Rev. Debra Haffner of The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing published An Open Letter on Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality to affirm same-sex marriage from a multi-faith perspective.
The Radical Faeries are a worldwide queer spiritual movement, founded in 1979 in the United States.
Religious groups and public policy
Opposition to same-sex marriage and LGBT rights is often associated with conservative religious views. The American Family Association and other religious groups have promoted boycotts of corporations whose policies support the LGBT community.
In conservative Islamic nations, laws generally prohibit same-sex sexual behaviour, and interpretation of Sharia Law on male homosexuality carries the death penalty. This has been condemned as a violation of human rights by human rights organisation Amnesty International and by the writers of the Yogyakarta principles. With the signature of the USA in 2009, the proposed UN declaration on LGBT rights has now been signed by every European secular state and all western nations, as well as other countries—67 members of the UN in total. An opposing statement put forward by Muslim nations was signed by 57 member states, mostly in Africa and Asia. 68 out of the total 192 countries have not yet signed either statement. In 2011 the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a landmark resolution initiated by South Africa supporting LBGT rights.