Case Study: The Laramie Project

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported on December 8th, 2014, “60.6% [out of] 1,402 hate crimes . . . based on sexual orientation [are] classified as anti-gay (male) bias” (Latest Hate Crime Statistics Report Released). Crimes against homosexuals have been reported nationwide, but a hate crime in Laramie, Wyoming changed the gay community. On October 12, 1998, twenty-one-year old Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten and murdered by two young Laramie citizens because of Shepard’s sexual orientation. In The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, Moises Kaufman and his team of interviewers uncovered Laramie’s many social problems, which led to individuals violently projecting their bias towards homosexuals. These individuals …show more content…
Is it genetic or environmental? Or is it a variety of reasons? According to Pillard, homosexuality is a result of genetic and is common within the family and could be inherited. Homosexuality could “have a significantly higher percentage of homosexual blood relatives than do heterosexuals” (Pillard 27). This way of thinking shows that homosexuality could form from a gene, but there has not been any evidence of this. This theory states that there are no environmental factors. The Illinois Family Institute believes homosexuality is formed from environmental factors such as a traumatic incident or harsh parental relationship. Homosexuality could be caused from “socially, medically, and morally unhealthy”, which is why the Illinois Family Institute believes that homosexuality should not be allowed (37). Both Pillard and the Illinois Family Institute believe homosexuality is caused by either genetics or environmental reasons. These theorists were ignorant just as many Laramie citizens were. Pillard and Illinois Family Institute have conservative views of homosexuality, which indicates that Laramie is not the only place that has homophobes, but rather the whole nation. Homosexuality is not caused by only genetics or environmental reasons, but rather by a combination of reasons. According to Charles Lopresto, “human sexual behavior is . . . determined by ancient genes, brain function, biological processes, and cognitive influences such as social and cultural attitudes” (Lopresto 42). This shows that homosexual behavior is caused by many different factors and is not solely based off of one reason. Although these theorists believe there is an reason why homosexuals choose their lifestyle, Erin Blades, believes the cause is irrelevant and is formed from homophobia. Those who try to find reasons for homosexuality are more than likely to be homophobes because they do not understand how a person

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