Open Access Library Journal
Vol.05 No.05(2018), Article ID:84444,11 pages

Homosexuality: Brief History and Considerations on the Manifestation of Jealousy in Homosexual Relationships

Thiago de Almeida1, Rafael Diniz de Lima2, João Marcos Panho3, Paulo Franklin Canezin4

1Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychology, University of São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazi

2Psychology Course of UNICEP, Sao Carlos, Brazil

3Psychology Course of FADEP, Pato Branco College, Pato Branco, Brazi

4Psychology Course of UFMS, Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, Brazil

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Open Access Library Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0).

Received: April 21, 2018; Accepted: May 8, 2018; Published: May 11, 2018


The jealousy is a reaction to a real or imagined threat perceived at an estimated relationship. The jealousy is present to a greater or lesser extent in all at some point in life. This study aims to understand how jealousy is experienced by homosexual couples, identifying if such mechanisms are similar or different of the heterosexual jealousy. To address this objective, we performed a systematic review of the literature on this subject. It can be observed that jealousy is present in affective-sexual gay relationships, being a protective factor for the maintenance of the loving relationship minimizing the risk of sexual and emotional loss. It highlighted the need for new issues to understand the homosexual jealousy can be more damaging relationships than in heterosexual jealousy and identify if cultural conditions affect the manifestation of it among homosexuals.

Subject Areas:



Jealousy, Homosexual Relationships, Love

1. Introduction

One of the biggest uncertainties to which the man saw himself vulnerable was the possible infidelity of their partners. In this context, jealousy arose as a protective emotion, ranging between normality and pathology according to the degree to which it was expressed. One of the most accepted understandings to the issue of jealousy was the White’s definition [1] pointing that jealousy is a “complex of thoughts, feelings and actions followed to threats to the existence or quality of a relationship, and these threats generated by perception of a real or potential attraction between a partner and a (perhaps imaginary) rival” (p. 129).

According to [2] , jealousy is always as one of the possible sources of affective and relational difficulties between couples, and they may appear in the clinical context, among other possibilities. According to [3] , jealousy appears when we have the perception that someone who we estimate could not be investing in the relationship as we judge as necessary. In the quoted definitions, we see how jealousy involves feelings of fear, not investment of other rejection, among others.

Currently, the social aspect starts to interfere in the heterosexual relationships as well as in homosexual, requiring psychological theories to consider all these factors. This study aims to identify how the manifestation of jealousy in gay couples is, and possible implications that experiences can bring to love relationships.

2. Homosexuality: Brief History

Authors (e.g. [4] ) put homosexuality as a recent description, being this kind of love placed the margin in many periods of our history. It note that homosexuality has always been present at all times in our history, being seen in different ways in each historical moment. Additionally, [5] points out that, sexual relations between men who have sex withwe areillustrated by the literature, throughout the development of humanity, at a time when the social representations of homosexuality had not been captured by the state and church interdicting devices.

Homosexuality, as we currently understand, dates back to the nineteenth century. To this study, the homosexuality can be understood as an auto expression emotional, romantic, or sexual of the gender that is manifested by attraction towards members of the same sex [6] . Under the nickname of homosexualism, according to Spencer [7] , first appears coined in a written pamphlet, by a Hungarian doctor named Benkert, in the year 1869. In English, this “manifestation” first appears in 1890 in a translation of the treaty Psychopathia Sexualis by the author Krafft-Ebing. At other moments they were used other terms to identify relationships between persons of the same sex. The homosexual term arose in 1869 by Karoly Maria Kertbeny and derives etymologically from the Greek “homos”, meaning “similar”, “equal”.

In 1990, at the General Meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO), on 17 May, homosexuality is no longer considered a mental illness, and there would be no treatment or cure for homosexuality, like heterosexuality. Both are forms of expression of affective and relational nature of people. Even before this new position of psychology, only in 1999 that the Federal Psychology Council, approved the resolution that prevents the psychologist refer to homosexuality as a disease and offer any kind of treatment to this event.

3. Homosexuality: Yestarday and Today

Homosexuality has always been present in society, being seen and understood with a multiplicity of perspectives in these periods in different societies.In fact, homosexuality exists not only in all historical times, but also in different countries. Some writings that reported the official historiography for some time has been hidden from public knowledge and studies directed towards gay people have been relegated to oblivion.

In his book, “Homosexuality: a hstory”, the author Spencer depicts the history of homosexuality. Attributes the lack of scientific knowledge on this subject to disapproval and homophobia that large areas of knowledge had on the theme, possibly a prejudice signal of its scientists, and this was present since the beginning of the world. In some cultures, homosexual behavior existed and it was common for the environment understood as something natural and even necessary [6] . In some tribes, as in natives Sambia of Papua New Guinea for example, theboy went to adult life through a sexual relationship with an older man, where it was believed that through the semen would pass virility to the other [8] . Although can discuss that this behavior is a example of socialogial behavior not a typical behavior of a homosexual relationship as the Maale people.The Maale peopleare a ethnic group of approximately 95,000 located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region at the border between north and south Omo of Ethiopia. They have a gender role called ashtime. There are opposing scholarly interpretations of the role and significance of this. Epprecht believes that they are male assigned at birth individuals who behave as women and also have sex with men [9] .

Another example of homosexual behavior is the Fa’afafine people. Accordingly Bartlett and Vasey [10] , Fa’afafines are people who identify themselves as a third-gender in Samoa, American Samoa and the Samoan diaspora. A recognized gender identity/gender role since at least the early 20th century in Samoan society, and some theorize an integral part of traditional Samoan culture, fa’afafine are assigned male at birth, and explicitly embody both masculine and feminine gender traits, fashioned in a way unique to this part of the world. But, Fa’afafines, as a third gender or anon-binary gender, have sexual relationships almost exclusively with men who do not identify as fa’afafines, and sometimes with women, but apparently not with other fa’afafines [11] .

Regarding female homosexuality its origins date back to antiquity. The poetess Sappho is considered lesbianism founder, and coined the term lesbian. They are women who make poetry and were taken as lesbian to be poetry such a restricted activity to man [12] .

In these societies, bisexuality, especially the man, was seen as something that was part of the cultural practices. These practices can be seen among the Greeks, Spencer (1996) says that sex between a boy and the adult man is a rite of passage to adult life and this period persisted for up to two months.Although, for authors like Salgueiro (2016) to refer to the term homosexuality to designate sexual acts practiced between people of the same sex, at this time it makes a mistake, because in Greek culture not even the word homosexual existed, therefore it could be inaccurate to use the term homosexual classificatory to configure the relation between people of the same sex in this historical epoch.

Jewish culture does not look kindly homosexual practices. According to Mott [13] , such practices hinder reproduction, where only the relationship between man and woman is able to produce offspring. Male homosexual relationship becomes more persecuted for theoretically be two people who bring with them the potential to generate life through the semen. Thus lesbianism was not much taken into account in that part of the story, because they are not wasting the potential of life and for being such a sexist and patriarchal society. With Christianity, homoerotic practices were condemned morally and biblically, such aspects are present even today.

With the arrival of the Modern Age, the situation was not promising for the homosexual population. In the Illuminism period, not only jurists and the Church persecuted pederasts, but also biomedical sciences have begun to identify in these groups, one suffering sexual kind of degenerative sexual diseases, psychological disorders, or hormonal and genetic disorders [14] . To put homosexuals in nosographic categorizations of the time, studies were carried out considering the biological role was preponderant in determining the fate of the sexual role of people and that they should be men or women and not a category that represents an interface between them. In many works of the time, the homosexual was marginalized and placed as a delinquent, a person able to subvert order and bourgeoisie morality.

In the Contemporary years, in the Brazilian scenario for example, in 2014, 326 people were killed in Brazil because of homophobia, which means a murder every 27 hours. Of the 326 deaths recorded in the survey in 2014, 163 were gay, 134 transvestites, 14 lesbians. In 2015, according to the same database, updated daily on the site “Who homotransphobia killed today”, 318 people LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) were murdered in Brazil in 2015, this is a hate crime every 27 hours. Of these, 52% are gay, 37% are transvestites, 16% are lesbians and 10% are bisexual. Homophobia kills not including LGBT people: 7% are heterossexual that by mistaken “looking like gay people” and 1% of transvestites lovers. In 2017, 445 lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals (LGBTs) were killed in crimes motivated by homophobia. The number represents one victim every 19 hours. The data for 2017 represent an increase of 30% compared to 2016, when 343 cases were registered. The number of violent crimes against this population in 2017 is three times greater than that observed 10 years ago when 142 cases were identified. Of the 445 deaths recorded in 2017, 194 were gay, 191 were transgender people, 43 were lesbian and five were bisexual. Regarding how they were killed, 136 episodes involved the use of firearms, 111 were with white guns, 58 were suicides, 32 occurred after beating and 22 were killed by asphyxiation. There is also a record of violence such as stoning, beating and disfigurement of the face. Regarding the location of the incident, 56% of the episodes occurred on public roads and 37% inside the victim’s homeThese data are part of Annual Report of Homosexuals murdered in Brazil, released in February by the GGB (Grupo Gay da Bahia) and may be accompanied, respectively, on the reports [15] [16] [17] [18] .

It can be seen that throughout history homosexuality was already seen from a rite of passage, a crime, a sin and even a disease. According to Kinsey [19] , homosexuals can get up to 10% of the world population. In spite of being a statistically relevant number they can still suffer from discrimination and multiple stereotypes for being minority. Almeida pointed out that many people associate homosexuality with “shameless” and “sin” [20] .

The homosexual movement has been one of the most important in decades. To Fabre, the homosexual movement has been fighting for inclusion in criminal law to the current civil law [21] . As widely significant elements we mention output of homosexuality from international disease Code and cause of the criminal conviction. Mott and Cerqueira point out that in Brazil, at the turn of the third millennium, every other day, a gay, transvestite, transsexual or lesbian was brutally murdered, victim of homophobia―put hatred to homosexuality [22] . Be the concern for the opinion of others, either homophobia or fear that their children were victims of homophobia across the country, parents proclaim without shame: “I prefer a thief son than a homosexual one” or “a prostitute daughter than lesbian” [23] .

Homosexuality is still the focus of polemics especially when it comes to marriage and homoparenthood, and scientists engage themselves on the topic to increase the range of their understanding about the subject. Homosexuality also heterosexuality, as we can see is a form of sexual orientation and expression in relationships and in this study we will understand how jealousy in homosexual loving partners manifest.

In sum, the conception of the Lomando and Wagner [24] , which, as we have agreed, sketched out a change in the evolution of the concept of homosexuality is adopted for this study. If before, we could identify the triad of crime-sin-disease, represented by the triangle to the left of Figure 1, which was established in its foundations by the Church, by the State and by the Medical Sciences; now we can have the relativization of these archaic understandings thanks to the contributions coming from the Human and Social Sciences, turning into a hexagon: Sin-Crime-Disease-Rights-Affection-Culture, as shown in Figure 1.

4. Jealousy Manifestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual People

We may call as romantic jealousy that happens between loving couples

Figure 1. Homosexuality―evolution of the concept.

constituted. As regards the manifestation of Jealousy, studies often put homosexual jealous similar to straight form.

Pasini [25] and Blévis [26] attribute jealousy to a fear of being abandoned, while Santos says jealousy as other care, and the common sense has this conception of jealousy is a demonstration of love [27] . Jealousy can be experienced in varying degrees of intensity, which can change according to the event that stimulates, and than cultural conditions affect the manifestation of jealousy.

Ferreira states that men tend to feel jealousyrelated to aspects that denote a sexual loss, while women tend to prioritize sentimental of loss [28] . Given this situation, women are more aware of the social isolation threatens which they may be subject [29] .

The differences in jealousy manifestation between men and women is a topic that evolutionary psychology is addressing in its studies. Trivers [30] suggests that differences in expression of jealousy are given for specific mental mechanisms. Buss [31] states that men would be more jealous of dominant rivals, men who potentially have a greater seduction factor. Jealousy heterosexual man is more linked to the sexual potential of a possible rival and their protection capacity, and for heterosexual women, emotional value and partner’s virtues. Ferreira points out that China and Germany men feel more jealous of emotional threats [28] .

An explanation for these differences can be given by the fact of man be socially encouraged to be independent, while women often depend on a greater social support and cultivate more emotional bonds with others [32] .

But how could we explain evolutionary and socio historically the manifestation of homosexual jealousy, taking into account that unlike the principal ancestors concerns of heterosexual paternity assurance for men and the flow of resources for women, occurs omnipresence among homosexuals romantic jealousy?

5. Homosexual Jealousy

From this moment we will analyze how is jealousy in same-sex couples. As point Hellstrand and Chrysochoou [33] jealousy for gay couples will be made differently.

Gays and lesbians, who may have suffered rejection by their friends and family, can feel threatened by a possible social isolation and also express jealousy. Homosexual relationships, jealousy can be presented in an intensive way, cause of common competition between men and women and are all the time having to deal with the social pressures surrounding. Romantic jealousy involves signaling loss, competition, removal of a rival (real or imaginary) and getting attention, as pointed to Arantes & De Rose [34] . And Morris [35] , puts that emotional infidelity by partners for gay men may have a greater significance. When it comes to loss, there are several signals that are capable to stimulate jealousy, for example, someone else more attractive or an ex, as well as trips and happy hours. In the case of homosexuals, there is a cultural signal of loss, which generates a competition and expand the possibilities of rivals: prejudice and heteronormativity. Due to constant social pressure that to be gay is wrong, gay couples can compete with this kind of loss as well. That is, any time one may not support the social influences and give up to establish a homosexual relationship.

According to Sagarin, Becker, Guadagno, Wilkinson and Nicastle [36] , in one of their studies with homosexuals and heterosexuals about the relation of jealousy demonstrations, gays and lesbians suffer too much with sexual infidelity, it is manifested by any sex, while heterosexual felt no jealousy in people of the same sex only the opposite. Dijltstra et al., point out that more gay men than gay women have the emotional infidelity as more disturbing [37] . Other studies suggests lesbians as more prone to sexual jealousy while gay men tend to have more jealous of emotional situations ( [38] [39] [40] ).

Buunk points out that homosexual men are more jealous of rivals with high dominance [41] , and less concern for others who feel less attractive. These results suggest that men and women respond almost automatically the signs that were ethologically judged as attractive as protection, survival, perpetuation of the species. Since the beginning of the 1970s, studies such as Wilson ( [42] [43] ) believe that homosexual individuals, in ancient times, could be useful in assisting in the creation of the children of close relatives, offering similar parenting to parents and biological mothers, helping increase the reproductive rate. It is one of the reasons for homosexuality not have been extinguished over the years.

It begins to have a greater concern in the pursuit of researches on homosexuality, but when it comes to sexual jealousy there is a lack of studies can give the small fee of homosexual population compared to heterosexuals, where the studies will seek always reach most of the population, giving priority to heterosexuals. There is also the fact that the homosexual population be brought to shore for long period of time, being placed as deviants and absent of any right. The belief that there are no differences in the jealousy of expression of homosexual to heterosexuals. Or even many understand jealousy as something natural, not requiring new studies and not as a phenomenon capable of studies.

So jealousy ends up being the focus of interest when the human being across its deviations reported in the media News Socializing these events. When taking a gigantic proportion.

6. Final Considerations

The subject of human sexuality is broad and permanent. The discussion of the determinants and variants of this dimension of the human is also ample. As we have seen, homosexuals in our contemporary society, although apparently more open to welcome this affective-sexual manifestation possible, are still a minority and not all homosexual men and women, feel willing to confess or assume homosexuality, because this is an even sexist and homophobic society. The challenge facing our contemporary society is to propose a new education that questions the archaic heteronormative aspects present in the formation of the sexual and gender identities of the human being, making it possible to discover the limits and possibilities imposed on each person when subjected to the stereotypes that are attributed to a fixed sexual and gender identity. It is important to learn that there is no single universal truth about sexuality, which requires that we review the mechanisms of know-power that constitute sexuality itself, often through biological and essentialist perspectives.

Thus, although homosexuality has lived with humanity, not unusual, it appeared camouflaged either as not interesting to be approached by science, taking into consideration that mostly people are heterosexual. Consequently, little support, especially clinical was developed to adequately treat this population and its difficulties experienced, as the question of romantic jealousy.

As we can see through this study, jealousy while a response to infidelity whether presumed, whether consummated or even platonic relationships, is deeply rooted in the human psyche. So it is not surprising that gay people can appreciate their deeper connections and they are afraid of losing them as much as anyone else. This is intimacy and love in a different way of manifestation unlike the heterosexual normative which has contact; neither better nor worse than that.

Regarding the possible limitations of this review, we emphasize that the selection of the articles was not intended to cover all the researches that focus on these themes, and it was necessary, due to methodological clipping, to disregard those studies that referred to populations with differentiated characteristics and new family configurations. Therefore, to generalize our notes to the whole wide range of behavior that involves jealousy towards the homosexual, would be reckless and naive.

Once ended this study, we would like to share some issues that were identified during this work that have not been clarified until the present in the scientific literature in order to encourage other researchers to choose such issues as guiding themes for their future research: Is jealousy in homosexual relations more harmful than heterosexual jealousy? Is the manifestation of jealousy in homosexual men more violent towards homosexual women? Could paternalistic/sexist and culturalconstraints, such as the social pressure around, interfere with the perception and manifestation of homosexual jealousy, as it occurs in relation to heterosexual jealousy? Who would be more jealous partners: male or female homosexuals? They are open and suggested these questions for future researchers to explore on them in their research.

To conclude, this review had the function of signaling a new field of research for the Human Sciences, especially for Psychology, which is aligned with contemporary social demands, in the sense of understanding the homosexual person in a way devoid of stereotypes and prejudices that make research impossible in what concerns this important social segment.

Cite this paper

de Almeida, T., de Lima, R.D., Panho, J.M. and Canezin, P.F. (2018) Homosexuality: Brief History and Considerations on the Manifestation of Jealousy in Homosexual Relationships. Open Access Library Journal, 5: e4612.


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