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Deviance and Its Consequences

Actions that are considered deviant behaviors are those actions that violate social norms and engender societal reactions, mostly rejection, but sometimes acceptance. Due to variations in what different cultures consider norms, deviance differs from culture to culture. Although several behaviors, such as stealing and prostitution are considered outright deviance in many cultures, others such as heterosexual deviance and cross dressing have a lot of debate around them.

Heterosexual deviance is one topic that continues to spark a lot of debate and intense feelings all around the world. The topic of sexual orientation has been debated on since far back in history. There are heavy religious undertones to the perceptions on sexual orientation. Many cultures view normal sexual orientation to be the male-female attraction. In recent times, however, many countries grapple with the question of allowing same sex marriages, and there has been passionate, even violent, resistance to this deviance.

In the United States, the outcry for the legalization of same sex marriage began in the seventies. The movement has grown considerably, and there are currently nine states in the United States that have legalized same-sex marriage. According to research that has been carried out by different organizations, including the Pew Research Center, support for gay marriage has increased considerably in the last two decades. In 1996, for instance, about 27 percent of the American population supported same sex marriage, and this number remained constant for quite some time (Meezan and Jonathan). However, political players have had a hand in turning the tide around for the support of same-sex marriage. Since president Obama took office, support for same sex marriage has grown overwhelmingly. Polls have it that more than fifty percent of Americans believe that people should have the right to marry a person of their own gender if they wish.

Reactions to same sex marriage have not always been amiable and nonbelligerent. Same sex marriages have been fought against with religious fervor (Karlan). People have been so passionate about the topic that they have found little trouble in engaging in violent acts. All around the world, things sexual are considered taboos and people who violate the laid down social patterns are treated as pariahs. It has not been different in America. People silently suffer stigma that is associated with breaking the age-old social norm of heterosexual marriage, even though the law allows it.

It has not been an easy road for the Crusaders of same-sex marriages. Long after the act had been accepted in the legal framework of many states, some people have fought to have the rights revoked. Several states still hold the view that same-sex marriages are illegal and there is no shortage in the view that same sex marriages are outrageous. Of course, religious undertones play a huge role in this, but the general stereotype against same-sex marriages has been overwhelming. However, people who are convinced that this sort of deviance is socially acceptable have stuck to their guns, coming out in their numbers to support the action in the streets. Moreover, the political scene has helped to popularize the idea of same-sex marriage and make it a more acceptable. President Obama has, in particular, made no secret his support for same-sex marriages. As a consequence, the acceptance of same-sex marriages in America has grown dramatically, and recent polls show that the majority of Americans actually support same-sex marriages.

Therefore, heterosexual deviance has gained acceptance in the United States of America gradually, and with a helping hand from the political bigwigs. It is considered a serious deviance in several cultures, and there have been frantic efforts to forestall its acceptance in the law, but the support has caught on in America. As a consequence, the population of Americans that support same sex marriages has grown significantly, and it continues to grow.