The Age of Discovery

The European discovery of the New World greatly enhanced curiosity about homosexuality. Explorers' many accounts of "sodomy" in the newly discovered cultures were often used to justify the subduing of native peoples. In the early 1500s Cieza de Leon complained of homosexual temple prostitutes among native cultures along the Peruvian coast, and these complaints reinforced the conquistadors' will to stamp out native religions (Murray, 2000). In the early 1500s Balboa sent wild dogs to kill homosexual shamans in California tribes (Grahn, 1986).

Explorers, traders, and missionaries continued to report on the homosexual activities of newly discovered cultures well into the 20th century. Over time the moral judgments diminished and the descriptions became richer. The 19th-century English explorer, Sir Richard Burton (1967), based many of his detailed descriptions of homosexuality in different countries on "participant observation." Although he left us with many valuable texts, his widow burned many more (Rice, 1990).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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