The social issue that this paper will address will be the controversial issue of homosexuality. Homosexual people are people who have a sexual attraction towards members of the sane gender. Initially, such people did not openly identify themselves. However, this has changed significantly in the past few decades. Homosexuals have come to the open and have started agitating for their rights. This has brought about a lot of controversy especially for people who do not support this affiliation. This debate has spread over all aspects of our lives such as in religion and politics. Even in the wake of increased criticism against the homosexual community, they have continued to raise awareness and fight for equal rights as their heterosexual counterparts.
a) Social Issues/ Problems
A social issue refers to a matter, which pertains to the interaction of people socially and is the cause of a lot of disagreement between the people involved. On the other hand, social problems are social issues that have persisted for a long while without being solved. For this reason, they have greatly affected several people and have damaged the society in question. Social issues and problems have differences and similarities. The main similarity between them is that they all arise from the same thing. That is, a social problem is because of an unrelenting social issue. If the social issue is solved in time, the social problem may be averted. Another similarity between them is that they both affect the same people. The affected people are the members of the society in question whereby the issue and problem originated from in the first place. The major difference between the social issues and problems is the general effect that they have on the people involved. That is, for an issue, it is in its initial stages and with successful deliberations, it may be solved. On the other hand, the effects of a social problem are graver and solutions to them are not easily obtained. This is because they are the result of an issue that has persisted without a solution and it ends up affecting several members of the society in question. The social problem that I have selected is homosexuality. It is a problem and not an issue because of the magnitude of the effect that it has had on the people in question. The problem exists because people are reluctant to accept change and are instead opposing it. For this reason, there has been a great divide between people with varied opinions.
The functionalism theory is the most appropriate to explain the issue of homosexuality. It is the most suitable since it enables one to understand why the problem exists and why it continues to exist. The theory explains that all mental states like a person’s opinions are composed purely by their functional responsibility. Functional responsibility in this case refers to the interactions between the inputs from the mind and the output that is expressed through one’s behaviors. This interaction is alleged to be solely theoretical since no actual proof has been found to support this theory. Because the mental states are determined by functional responsibility, they are assumed to exist in various levels and systems. This is why several emotions for instance are able to manifest in a person. From this theory, the problem of homosexuality can be easily explained. The problem is recurrent because the mental states of the people against it are fixed towards only one direction and they are not accepting the change that should accompany the realization that homosexuality exists (Hedstro?m and Bearman, 78).
c) Causes and consequences
The homosexuality debacle has two main causes. The first and main reason why homosexuality is not acceptable is that it is against most of the religions in the world. According to Christianity for instance, the first human beings to be created were male and female. God created them in order to multiply and fill the earth. For this reason, they completely disagree with the idea of two people of the same gender getting married since it is not in accordance to God’s plan. Another cause of the controversy is because there is no proof that the homosexual people are biologically oriented that way. Critics believe that theirs is a personal decision that is erroneous, according to them. The problem of homosexuality has brought about several consequences.
The main consequence of this debate is the discrimination of the homosexual people. This is because the critics openly criticize them without consideration of their feelings. They are also discriminated in places of works or any social places because of their affiliations. In some cases, they may not even obtain employment if their employers oppose homosexuality. Another consequence of homosexuality is that the affected people suffer from low self-esteem that may lead to depression and even suicidal tendencies. This arises because they are not accepted in the society and even at times by members of their own family. This affects the male people more than the female since it is considered more outrageous to be gay. For this reason, emotional breakdowns in cases of homosexuals are uncommon (Rotheram-Borus, 505).
e) How to bring about change
In order to end the controversy about homosexuality, the critics must accept change. Homosexuality has no proven biological basis and for this reason, it is a personal decision. The critics should understand that it is up to the individual in question to decide whether they will love a person of the opposite gender or of the same gender. Critics should avoid interfering with this decision since they are breaking the homosexuals’ rights to privacy. Another thing that may end this debate is for the homosexuals to get the rights that they are demanding. This is because they are as much human beings protected by the constitution as the heterosexual people. For this reason, it is necessary for them to get some of their requests implemented. However, these laws should be passed only if they do not interfere with the laws of the other people. These suggestions will be effective since they will address the needs of the homosexual community. If their needs are met, the will keep to themselves and the controversy will die down since they will not get too much publicity.
f) Sociological imagination
Social imagination refers to understanding the correlation that exists between experiences and the society (Shanahan and Ross, 49). The use of social imagination had helped me a great deal in the issue of homosexuality. This is because it emphasizes that the outcomes of a social problem heavily depend on the causes and social context. With this knowledge, it was easier to explain why the particular consequences took place. In addition to this, social imagination has enabled me to understand the main causes of the controversy behind the issue of homosexuality. This was very important since it enabled me to tackle all questions that required answers.