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Born to be Gay: A History of Homosexuality (Revealing History) Hardcover – March 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


“Truly global in scope.” -- CHOICE

From the Publisher

Homosexuality has always been present in society. William Naphy’s book dramatically highlights the positive attitudes of bygone generations and cultures, as opposed to nineteenthcentury views of the “disease” of homosexuality. There has long been an assumption in the West that views on sex and sexuality are basically similar worldwide. This has never been the case. Many ancient cultures actively promoted same–sex relationships as an integral part of adolescence or even worship. The rise of Judeo–Christian views forced homosexuality “underground”, leading to Henry VIII’s 1533 ban on homosexuals and Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment for sodomy. Born to be Gay takes a radical look at the history of homosexuality, from Bacchanalian orgies to “Gay Pride”.

William Naphy is Senior Lecturer and Head of History at the University of Aberdeen. His other books include Plague and Sex Crimes, both published by Tempus.


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Product Details

  • Series: Revealing History
  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Tempus (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752429175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752429175
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,170,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Robert A. Valentine on July 1, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very informative yet a bit wordy. It's important to know your history and this book definitely delivers.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. P. Jay on July 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
You can tell that the author has been damaged by but is still captivated by Christianity. That he has to prove that it was the Christians who invented homophobia and that every other age and culture was fine with it, that he has to find some sort of cause for homosexuality rather than just accepting it as part of diversity, that there has to be some sort of damage done by dominating mothers and absent fathers (weren't most fathers `remote' until very recently?) - though one of our members, who is a psychotherapist, said, `there's something in it.'

When the Roman Empire officially became Christian, Constantine abolished recognition of gay marriages. Now that we are no longer Christian but multi-cultural, why should Christians continue to impose their morality on everyone else?

It was still necessary, in the Fourteenth Century, for Pierre de la Palude to write a compelling justification as to why priests should STOP blessing gay relationships

Many Africans say that homosexuality is an import from Western colonialism. If that is so, why are there records of woman/woman marriages, including bride-prices in these African cultures: Sotho, Koni, Tawana, Hurutshe, Pedi, Venda, Lovedu, Phalaborwa and Nareve Zulu, Kuria, iregi, Kenye, Suba, Simbiti, Ngoreme, Gusii, Kipsigis, Nandi, Kikuyu, Luo, Nuer, Dinka, Shilluk, Dahomean, Fon, Yoruba, Ibo, Ekiti, Bunu, Akoko, Yagba, Nupe, Ijaw, Nzemaa, Ganagana/Dibo?

The book is repetitive. There are also some glaring errors, e.g. the Great Schism in Fourteenth Century? The British Raj spelling of Mahommedan.
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