On This Day
1990 – The General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) eliminates homosexuality from the list of psychiatric diseases.
Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is “an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions” to people of the same sex. It “also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions.”
Along with bisexuality and heterosexuality, homosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual–homosexual continuum. Scientists do not yet know the exact cause of sexual orientation, but they theorize that it is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences and do not view it as a choice. Although no single theory on the cause of sexual orientation has yet gained widespread support, scientists favor biologically-based theories. There is considerably more evidence supporting nonsocial, biological causes of sexual orientation than social ones, especially for males. There is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role with regard to sexual orientation. While some people believe that homosexual activity is unnatural, scientific research shows that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation in human sexuality and is not in and of itself a source of negative psychological effects. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.
The most common adjectives for homosexual people are lesbian for females and gay for males, but the term gay also commonly refers to both homosexual females and males. The percentage of people who are gay or lesbian and the proportion of people who are in same-sex romantic relationships or have had same-sex sexual experiences are difficult for researchers to estimate reliably for a variety of reasons, including many gay and lesbian people not openly identifying as such due to prejudice or discrimination such as homophobia and heterosexism. Homosexual behavior has also been documented in many non-human animal species, though homosexual orientation is not significantly observed in other animals.
Many gay and lesbian people are in committed same-sex relationships, though only since the 2010s have census forms and political conditions facilitated their visibility and enumeration. These relationships are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential psychological respects. Homosexual relationships and acts have been admired, as well as condemned, throughout recorded history, depending on the form they took and the culture in which they occurred. Since the end of the 20th century, there has been a global movement towards freedom and equality for gay people, including the introduction of anti-bullying legislation to protect gay children at school, legislation ensuring non-discrimination, equal ability to serve in the military, equal access to health care, equal ability to adopt and parent, and the establishment of marriage equality.
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Born On This Day
1860 – Charlotte Barnum, American mathematician and social activist (d. 1934)
Charlotte Cynthia Barnum (May 17, 1860 – March 27, 1934), mathematician and social activist, was the first woman to receive a Ph.D in mathematics from Yale University.
Early life and education
Charlotte Barnum was born in Phillipston, Massachusetts, the third of four children of the Reverend Samuel Weed Barnum (1820–1891) and Charlotte Betts (1823–1899). Education was important in her family: two uncles had received medical degrees from Yale and her father had graduated from there with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Divinity. Her brothers Samuel and Thomas would both graduate from Yale, and her sister Clara would attend Yale graduate school after graduating from Vassar.
After graduating from Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Connecticut Charlotte attended Vassar College, where she graduated in 1881. From 1881 to 1886 she taught at a boys’ preparatory school, Betts Academy, in Stamford, Connecticut and at Hillhouse High School. She also did computing work for the Yale Observatory 1883–1885 and worked on a revision of James Dwight Dana’s System of Mineralogy. Charlotte was an editorial writer for Webster’s International Dictionary from 1886 to 1890, and then taught astronomy at Smith College for the academic year 1889–90.
In 1890 Charlotte applied for graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, but was turned down because they did not accept women. She persisted and with the support of Simon Newcomb, professor of mathematics and astronomy at the university, she won approval to attend lectures without enrollment and without charge. Two years later, she moved to New Haven to pursue her graduate studies at Yale. In 1895 she was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics from that institution. Her thesis was titled “Functions Having Lines or Surfaces of Discontinuity”. The identity of her adviser is unclear from the record.
by Cory Max Montoya, Blog Profiles: Military & Veterans Blogs
By MessyNessy 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. DLIV): Aerial photographs of 1960s communal dining areas in Singapore’s social housing; For 2,000 years, the waters of the Euphrates have washed over these Roman mosaics in Zeugma, Turkey; The River Stone Collector; A Private Canyon Cliff House for your Next Getaway; An Anti-Smoking Sign 100 Years Ago outside Illinois (at a time when smoking was generally considered healthy); Inside the last matriarchy in Europe and more ->
By Alexander Chee, GQ: What My Korean Father Taught Me About Defending Myself in America Lessons in tae kwon do, style, and activism.
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