Sexual Rights Center (SRC) conducted a baseline survey in tertiary institutions to interrogate young people’s perceptions on sex and sexual rights.
The baseline survey which had a total number of hundred and twenty- three participants revealed that 74% are heterosexuals, 20% are homosexuals and 6% are bisexuals.
“Among the hundred and twenty-three that participated, 53% were females, 43% male and 4% other,” said a SRC representative.
One of the key findings from the survey revealed that 65% of the participants said homosexuals should be allowed in church because sex is a right.
“I believe homosexuals should be allowed in church because they are humans like everyone else so they should be granted the opportunity to have an encounter with God like everyone else,” commented one of the students who were ask to share their views on the issue.
“I think homosexuals should be allowed in church because what they are doing is a sin against God so if they are allowed in church maybe they can repent and give their lives a turn around.”
According to the finding of the baseline, participants 51% of the participants said that homosexuals are immoral.
“It is so unfortunate that some still think being attracted to a person of the same sex is immoral and a crime yet this issue is really based on hormones, said another student. I think this this is scientific really. Being homosexual does not mean I am committing a crime or being disrespectful.
Participants in the baseline recommended that there is a need to raise awareness and critical consciousness on sexual rights and agency among persons in tertiary institutions.
The issue of sexuality is a very controversial issue in the African society which believes that any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality is an abnormal. Any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality is treated as a ‘scorn’ in most African societies.
In Zimbabwe homosexuality is treated as a sexual minority because homosexuals are secluded due prejudice and discrimination. A study by the Sexual Rights well known as the SRC revealed that homosexuals make up 20% and bisexuals 6% of the Zimbabwe population which also shows that they are the minority yet however it is important to bear in mind that 26% of these so called non- heterosexuals include people who openly revealed their sexuality meaning if everyone openly said their sexuality they could be more.
Anyway statistics aside, despite the point that some countries have legalised same sex relationships and marriages, this issue remains very sensitive in the society and as a result homosexuals continue to face a lot of stigma.
In our society, saying something positive about gays might stand a justification that you one them, as a result most helping professionals in developing countries have neglected the gay community for fear of losing credibility in society.
Homosexuals face a lot of seclusion from society people even make fun of them. The way they walk, dress or talk. Some are even victims of physical violence and rape because they are viewed as abnormal hence these offenders feel they the need to be violent so that they can transform them to become ‘normal’ like them’.
Unfortunately, our tabloid newspapers also contribute to the stigmatisation. These are the same papers who say their vision is to promote diversity but how do you do that by attacking one group?
At the end of the day I just wonder these people are, they have a different sexuality. So what? Does it really affect us? I don’t think so. We all different in our various way and the least we can do is to accept them for who they are and life goes on.
A blogging project by budding student journalists at Nust-ZW