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Medico-Legal Update

"Homosexuality" - A Socio-Medicolegal study

Author(s): Sandeep S. Kadu, Parikshit S. Jondhale, Mahesh Hampe

Vol. 8, No. 2 (2008-07 - 2008-12)

Sandeep S. Kadu٭, Parikshit S. Jondhale٭٭, Mahesh Hampe٭٭٭

٭Asst.Professor,Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, Dr.Vikhe Patil Medical College & Hospital Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, ٭٭Asst.Lecturer-F.M.T, Dr.Vikhe Patil Medical College & Hospital Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, ٭٭٭Asst.Lecturer-P.S.M, Dr.Vikhe Patil Medical College & Hospital Ahmednagar, Maharashtra


Homosexuality can refer to both attraction or sexual behaviour between organisms of same sex or to a sexual orientation.Sexual orientation is only attraction to same sex. Homosexuality is contrasted with heterosexuality (attraction, behaviour or orientation between opposite sex), bisexuality (both sexes) and asexuality (neither sex).

Etymologically the word homosexual is Greek and Latin hybrid with homo (often confused with the later Latin meaning of “MAN”, as homo sapiens)deriving from Greek word for same ,thus connoting sexual acts and affections between members of the same sex ,including lesbianism. In English speaking word Gay denotes male homosexuality and Lesbianism denotes female homosexuality. M.S.M (men who have sex with men)used in medical community when specifically discussing sexual activity of male and the people doing it also like the word M.S.M rather than Gay or Homo. Present study is carried out in Ahmednagar city of Maharashtra State, India.

We have studied homosexuality in relation with:

  1. Age
  2. Sex
  3. Religion
  4. Socioeconomic status
  5. Education
  6. Motivation for act
  7. Active or Passive agent
  8. Type of homosexuality
  9. Venereal diseases
  10. Marital status
  11. Use of condom
  12. Promiscuty
  13. Criminal behaviour

Ahmednagar is big district of Maharashtra state,with help of N.G.O: “SNEHALAYA”,we approached to M.S.M and carried out the study.

Key Words: a) Homosexuality b) Leisbianism c) A.I.D.S d) Venereal Diseases e) Sodomy-unnatural sexual offence section 377 I.P.C.


Homosexuality is practiced all over the world. It is feature of Human culture since ancient times. The lives of the many historical figures including Socrates, Alexander the great, Julius Caesar ,Edward-II, Michelangelo etc.were centered upon Love and sexual relationship with people of their own sex.. In Kamasutra the main source of information on ancient sexuality, mentions sodomy in any one passage, it suggest Fellatio is regarded as the defining male homosexual act.In ancient India homosexual act itself was ignored or stigmatized as inferior, but actively never persecuted. In ancient times punishment was given was mild in nature, ritual ban or fine. In ancient India, lesbian activity is described in Kamasutra at beginning of chapter on harems where many women lived together in absence of men.

Muslim theologians in India held that the prophet advocated the severest punishment for sodomy. In 1987, when 2 police women in state of Madhya Pradesh got married, media explanation given by them was that it was case of rebirth and in previous birth the couple had been permanently separated by cruel fate.

The gay activist Ashok Row Kavi tells about different panthis, men who have sex with other men because semen inside them twice as manly and capable of really satisfying their wives called as Dhurrati panthis. There are komat panthis who like to do oral sex but will not let themselves to touched. The kliba is a term traditionally used to describe a man who is sexually dysfunctional.

In India sexual offences are punished under section 377 I.P.C ,i.e: a) Sodomy b) Lesbianism c) Bestiality etc.. But in many countries like Netherland (first country allowing same sex marriage in 2001),Belgium, Canada, South Africa, Spain and U.S states of Massachusetts and Iowa,same sex marriages are legalized.(As shown in World Map)

Materials and methods

This study was carried out with the help of “SNEHALAYA”, N.G.O which is working for homosexual people at Ahmednagar which is one of biggest district of Maharashtra. This N.G.O established as a clinic for treatment and counseling of homosexual people. With help of casepapers and counseling of these people we had studied 102 cases of homosexual people in year 2007.


Table 1: “Age” in relation with homosexual activity.

Age(yrs) 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60-above
Cases 31(30.3%) 34(33.33%) 28(28.47%) 6(5.88%) 3(2.94%)

Our study reveals interesting finding that people more than 60 yrs aged are also involved in homosexual practice.

Table 2: “Age” at which first homosexual act done.

Age (years) 9-15 16-25
Cases 47(46.06%) 55(53.92%)

Study shows minimum age at which first homosexual act done is at the age of 9 yrs. At this age normally, no one understands the sexual relationship.

Table 3: “Religion” in relation with homosexuality.

Religions Hindu Muslim Christian
Cases 68(66.66%) 20(19.60%) 14(13.72%)

Table 4: Homosexuality in relation with “Socioeconomic” status.

Socioeconomic status Upper class Middle class Lower class
Cases 16(15.68%) 46(45.01%) 40(39.1%)

Table 5: Homosexuality in relation with “Active or Passive” act.

Type of act. Transgender Koti Panthi Koti-panthi
Cases 25(24.50%) 30(29.40%) 5(4.9%) 42(41.10%)

Table 6: Homosexuality in relation with “S.T.D’s”.

proctitis Inguinal
H.I.V No STD’s
Cases 16(15.68%) 6(5.8%) 21(20.58%) 2(1.96%) 2(1.96%) 55(53.9%)

Table 7: Homosexuality in relation with “Marital status”.

Marital status. Married Unmarried
Cases 86(84.31%) 16(15.68%)

Table 8: Homosexuality in relation with “Contraceptive” use.

Use of condom Occassionaly Single condom Double condom
Cases 12(11.76%) 72(70.58%) 18(17.64%)

Table 9: Homosexuality in relation with “Crimes”.

Nature of Crime. No crime Sec.320 IPC Sec.319 IPC
Cases 93(91.17%) 7(6.86%) 2(1.96%)


The American Academy of pediatrics as stated, ”Sexual orientation probably is not determined by any one factor but by a combination of genetic, hormonal and environmental influences.

A survey by the advocate, a homosexual magazine revealed that promiscuity is a reality among homosexuals. The American psychological Association as stated that “there are probably many reasons for a person’s sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people”. However, it states that for most people,sexual orientation is determined at an early age.

In 1993,Dean Hamer found the genetic marker xq28 on xchrosome. Study found a link between xq28 and male homosexuality, but original studys results have been disputed. Several mutations havew been identified in flies, such as changes in the fruitless gene,cause male flies to court and attempt to mate with other males;however, when a modified male fruit fly is isolated with only female fruit flies, then he will attempt to mate with them.

Twin studies give indications that male homosexuality is genetically common type of twin study compares the monozygotic (or identical) twins of people possessing a particular trait to the diazygotic (non-identical or fraternal) twins of people possessing the trait.. Bailey and Pillard 1991 in study of gay twins found that 52% of monozygotic brothers and 22% of the diazygotic twins were concordant for homosexuality.

Coming out

Many people who feel attracted to members of their own sex have a so-called “coming out” at some point in their lives. 1st phase-KNOWING ONESELF.. 2nd phase- ONE’S DECISION TO COME OUT TO OTHERS LIKE FRIENDS. 3rd phase-INVOLVES LIVING OPENLY AS AN LGBT PERSON. (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals, Transgenders).

The David P. McWhirter, M.D,and Andrew M. Mattison, M.S.W, ph.D study reported in their 1984 work. The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop stated that in regards to relationships involving male homosexuality that “all couples with a relationship lasting more than 5 years have incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationships”.

In 1985, Fritz Klein argued that sexual orientation may change over time and is composed of various elements, both sexual and non-sexual. A psychologist from the University of Utah measured changes in sexual attractions among whites, highly educated lesbians and bisexual women over a 2 years and found that changes in sexual attraction were generally small but that their self identification of their sexualities and their sexual behavior were more variable.

The American psychological Association states that homosexuality” is not changeable”, and that attempts at eliminating same sex attractions are not effective and are potentially harmful.

In many cultures, gay and lesbian people are frequently subject to prejudice and discrimination. Like many other minority groups that are objects of prejudice, they are also subject to stereotyping. Gay men are seen as effeminate and fashionable, often identified with a lisp or a female-like tone.

According to our study conducted, we have divided MSM from social behaviour into following group;

A) Transgenders(TG): Our study has reported 25 cases (24.50%) of transgenders. In this group peoples had changed their sex by surgical operation and hormonal therapy. Most of them are orphans. As surgical operation and hormonal therapy needs huge amount for this reason they take help of Guru. Guru: is usually a sex changed senior person. As per our tradition we have to give Guru dakshina, same principle is applied for MSM also. Guru gives legal support to TG’s, who in turn have to give almost 60% of their income to Guru. Every district or city is allotted to one Guru, he takes care of all MSM in his area. He arranges for bail if arrested under 377 IPC or any other crime. According to their rules every MSM has to practice only and only in his allotted area,if anyone doesnot follows the rule, he has to face physical as well as mental torture from MSM of original area.

They like to be identified as female, they wear sarees or Punjabi dress. Usually they have one regular partner (Panthi), he is emotionally attached with him, shares his suffering with him and gets much sexual gratification from him than other customers. They usually are found on Railway stations in our area. They have typical style to clap their hands called “THIKRI”.

B) Koti: Given study reveals 30 cases(29.41%) of Kotis. They are generally found in Male costumes, but their behaviour is more like a female. As like TG’s, these are also passive partner. They are usually found at night hours at Bus stand particularly near toilets, also found at lonely areas. They are professional homosexuals. Usually they have multiple partners.

C) Koti-Panthi: Study shows koti-panthis 42 cases (41.10%). Mostly this people are married ones. They have regular sex with their wife, but they have homosexual tendency. Usually they are passive one, but occasionally act as active partner. They do homosexual practice only for sexual gratification but not for income. They are from socially and economically sound families.

D) Panthi: Study shows 5(4.9%) cases of panthis in our study. Usually they are active partners and married ones. They have regular emotionally bounded passive partner called as koti. In this some of them pay for the homosex.

This group large in number amongst the population, data says 1 in 10 may has active homosexual tendencies.They does thisact very confidentially. They doesnot like them called as homosexuals.

Our study shows that most of the cases are from middle class 46 cases(45.09%) followed by lower class 40(39.12%)cases. As some of only for sexual gratification does homosexual act and are from middle class families. Present study reveals that 55 cases(53.92%)MSM does not have any venereal diseases and remaining 47cases(46.07%) are suffering from any of the venereal disease as given in Table No: 6. Ahmednagar is one of the largest district of Maharashtra state and governmental organizations and NGO’s doing awearness about condom use and prevention of STD’s very satisfactorily.

Their hard work shows 53.92%MSM are free from STD’s. A recent study showed that 55.1% of homosexual males in Shoreland-known as Chicago’s “gay center”-have at least 1 sexually transmitted disease.

3) A survey in Ireland by the Gay Men’s Health Project found that almost half of homosexuals said they were having unprotected sex.

Koti population are professional homosexuals so they have multiple sexual partners ranging upto 50 in numbers. Also kotipanthis practices promiscuity.

A survey by the Advocate, a homosexual magazine revealed promiscuity is a reality among homosexuals. The poll found that 20% homosexuals said they have had 51-300 different sex pattners in their life time, with an additional 8% having had more than 300”.

Above study shows only 9 MSM were arrested for crimes unde sec. 319 and 320 IPC’s,but small unreported quarrels are common. These quarrels are due to some one does homosex with others regular partner. these people are strongly emotionally bound with their regular partner, so they doesnot tolerate the interference.

A recent study by the Canadian Government states that “violence was twice as common among homosexual couples compared with heterosexual couples”.

In 2005 Dr. Harnam Singh, Dr. Luv sharma and Dr. Dhattarwal reported in the journal of Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine in regards to homosexuality and murders that homosexual murders are quite common and that these murders may involve both sexes either as victims or as assailants.

The eminent pathologist Bernard Knight and Pekka Saukko stated that it is a fact that some of the most violent homicides see by pathologist are among male homosexuals.

The journal of Indian academy of Forensic Medicine states regarding homosexual murders the following, These “Lovers Quarrels” between male homosexuals manifest an increase level of violence due to fact that the parties involved in the emotional conflicts are both sexual aggressors.

In U.S.A, FBI Reported that 15.6% of hate crimes reported to police in 2004 were based on perceived sexual orientation. 61% of these attacks were against gay men.The murder of MATTHEW SHEPARD, gay student, is the most famous case in U.S.A.

Suggestions and preventive measures

MSM class is socially ill treated class from society. As responsible members of society, we should also try for their better life and try to bring them to main stream of life. Instead of banning homosexuality, it should be advised to be practiced in safe manner, so as to prevent STD’s. As homosexuality is due to different factors like genetics, environmental, social etc. so it should not be regarded as a evil act. They are also human beings, so we should treat them as Human beings.


We are sincerely thankful to Dr. Girish Kulkarni, President of NGO-SNEHALAYA, Director General, Deputy – Director, Principal - Dr. Vikhe Patil medical college, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra- India, for their kind support.


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