When it comes to the topic of social problems, most of us will readily agree that the United States has its fair share of issues. Where this agreement usually ends, however, surrounds the question of where these problems originate. Whereas some are convinced that it is an individual’s problem, others maintain that it is the system-based issue (Eitzen et al., 12). Through the use of Social Problems by D. Stanley Eitzen et al. throughout this course, the authors discuss the causes and solutions of social problems such as the inequality towards sexual orientation, gender, race and poverty, from a systemic perspective. Although I agree with the author’s systemic view on those issues, I cannot fully accept putting blame solely on our social system. Thus making my initial view on social problems a combination of the systemic and individual perspectives.
When I was a child, homosexuality was never a topic of conversation. Whenever it came to examples of love it was always between a man and a woman. According to Eitzen et al., “in the heteronormative system of contemporary U.S. society, heterosexuality is the expected sexual orientation” for it is considered normal (242). The number of adults who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual in the United States is 3.5 percent (Eitzen et al., 247). While that percentage may seem small, a whopping 25.6 million Americans admit to having some same-sex sexual attraction (Eitzen et al., 247). With a number so large admitting to homosexual behavior, why is homosexuality viewed as deviant?
People with power have become like lawmakers, deciding who and what is deviant. Major religious groups, such as Judeo-Christians, believe that homosexuality is a sin because The Old Testament only approves of “sexual intercourse within marriage and for the purpose of procreation” (Eitzen et al., 250). With so many followers, these religious groups have formed boycotts against homosexuality, aiming them at companies and people who support the “homosexual agenda” (Eitzen et al., 252). Religion has also touched the legal system causing even more havoc.
Up until September 2011, the U.S military discriminated against gays and lesbians. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy set place in 1994 allowed homosexuals into the military only if they “stood in the closet” (Eitzen et al., 254). The U.S. government also made same-sex marriage illegal in all states. It wasn’t until 2003 when Massachusetts, Connecticut, and other states began to pass their own laws that allowed same-sex couples to obtain a marriage license (Eitzen et al., 256). Job discrimination has also been an issue influenced by the social system. According to Eitzen et al. “15 percent to 43 percent of gay men and lesbians have experienced discrimination and/or harassment in the workplace” (258). In some states, being fired or rejected from a job because of your sexuality is legally acceptable. Other states have passed laws that prohibit employment discrimination; however, there...