Background of the Study
The gender of a person is socially learned behaviors and expectations that are associated with two sexes. Whereas maleness and femaleness are biological facts and becoming, a women or man is a cultural process. There are different roles attached to each sex and deviations from such roles are often seen negatively. Men are more physically strong and emotionally detached than women while females are intrinsically supposed to be more submissive to males and emotionally expressive. Seemingly existing in the society however there is another group, the homosexual gay and lesbians.
Society is fundamentally constituted by relations people form as they do and make things for survival. In every culture, in every age, men and women relate to each other in culturally specified ways. Society has created a variety of biases of sexes of which defines the appropriateness of sexual behaviour and orientation. As a result people who tend to fail to meet the standard of the society becomes the object of discrimination, scorn and contempt by the members of the society. This is badly experience and encountered by the lesbians. People scrutinize the person cues that will “tell” what the person “really” is. No one is entitled to judge and criticize lesbian people. They are also human beings who have worth, dignity, and need to be respected by others. The increasing number of lesbians nowadays happens for a reason. It has its own causes and corresponding effects in every action to what one takes, feels, and wants to say.
The early existence of the homosexuals in the 16th and 17th century and disappeared during the Spanish colonisation and was also the rise of the different gender identities and sexual orientations in 1960’s but never gained wide acceptance to the world. Lesbian can refer to a woman’s identity, to desire, or to romantic or sexual activity between women, as 20th century construct. Throughout the history, women have not had the same freedom or independence to pursue homosexual relationship as men, but neither have they met the same harsh punishments as homosexual men in some societies. As a result, the sexologists in the 19th century began to categorized and described homosexual behaviour , hampered by lack of knowledge about homosexuality or women’s sexuality, they distinguished lesbians as women who did not adhere to female gender roles and incorrectly designated them mentally ill—a designation which has been reversed in the global scientific community. Portrayals of lesbians in the media suggest that society has been simultaneously intrigued and threatened by women who challenge feminine gender roles and fascinated and appalled with women who are romantically involved with other women. Lesbians or homosexual women would say that they were born at the wrong body. Women who adopt a lesbian identity share experiences that form an outlook similar to an ethnic identity: as homosexuals, they are unified by the heterosexist discrimination and potential rejection they face from their families, friends, and others because of homophobia.
Homosexual nowadays rises in number. However, some are against homosexuality and they are not totally accepted by the people, there are still some who accept them to identify themselves as one. It is neither mental illness nor normal depravity. The way a minority of the population express human love and the way they feel it. Homosexuality should be thought of as a continuum rather than a category, that sexual relationships are the only one point on a continuum, which encompasses “women’s passion as well as women’s as allies, life companion and community.”
The Sociology of Gender is one of the largest subfields within sociology and features theory and research that critically interrogates the social construction of gender, how gender interacts with other social forces in society, and how gender relates to social structure overall. As one of the most important trends in sociology in the twentieth century, the study of gender has led to a new feminist paradigm and opened up new topics for research, especially the connection between gender, race, and social class.
In this study, the researcher focuses on the structures of the society, which is the educational system, primarily on the challenges encountered by the lesbians. This study will enable the reader to determine the reaction, negative and positive attitude among lesbians. This study particularly traced on how lesbians are being accepted by the Bicol University (BU), its male students. Along with this, it further opened up and theorized if the Male students of Bicol University are either an eye opener or a body of knowledge regards to the presence of lesbians.
Statement of the problem
This study aims to know the challenges encountered by the lesbian students on male dominated courses of Bicol University.
This needs to answer the following:
1. What is the profile of the respondents in terms of:
b. Coming out age
c. College or Unit
d. Course ; Level
2. What are the challenges encountered by the lesbians students in terms of
a. Social Aspect
b. Academic Aspect
3. What are their coping mechanism of the respondents in terms of
a. Social Aspect
b. Academic Aspect
4. What are the insights and aspirations about their life as a lesbian?
5. Gender and Development Activities.
Scope and Limitation
This study will focus on the lesbians in male dominated courses of Bicol University. They were taken as the key informants for they were identified as lesbians who are enrolled in Bicol University and are in male dominated courses. All the key informants came from the selected courses of Bicol University, this are College of Engineering (CENG), College of Industrial Technology (CIT) and Institute of Architecture (IA). Included in this research were the profiles of the key informants in terms of their age, coming out age, college or unit, and course or level.
This was limited however on their challenges they encounter in terms of ,social and academic aspect and also their coping mechanism. Lastly their insights and aspirations about their life as a lesbian.
This study is limited only to the three (3) campuses of Bicol University: Main Campus, Legazpi East Campus, and Daraga Campus. The researcher will be choosing the courses that have the male dominated courses coming from the three campuses. This three campuses consists five (5) colleges: College of Science (CS), Institute of Physical Education, Sports and Recreation (IPESR), College of Engineering (CENG), College of Industrial Technology (CIT), College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP). The researcher then employed the Quota and snowball sampling methods. The quota sampling will be used to include all lesbians students on male dominated courses of BU. The respondents are the students that are enrolled in the second semester, SY 2017-2018 only from third year to fifth year. There will be fifty (50) respondents: 30 respondents coming from the chosen courses in the East Campus, 10 respondents from Main Campus, and 10 respondents from Daraga Campus. The researcher will also use Snowball sampling to the research for determining the respondents that was referred by the other respondents.
Significance of the Study
The researcher is hopeful that this study may be of benefit the following:
To the LGBT Community. The result of this study may provide facts on how they are being accepted and on how they are recognized by the people around them and may in turn be a point of reference in how will they counteract and/ or adjust themselves within the Bicol University.
To the BU Community. This study may give them an idea on how they treat and/ or perceive lesbians in general, be aware of their possible biases, and either change or maintain them.
To the BU Magenta Organisation. This study may provide them valuable knowledge and information about lesbians, so that they may develop and improve intervention in extending help to meet their psychosocial needs.
To the students of Bicol University. This study may provide them awareness towards lesbians, and may reflect on how they view lesbians, and realize the worth of lesbians in the society.
To the Bicol University Administrator, Teaching Personnel and Non-Teaching Personnel. This study may help them become more conscious and aware of lesbians in the university and their work. This may also serve as a venue for them to express and have a better understanding.
To the Sociology Department. This study may contribute facts and give a wider viewpoint about lesbians. This study may be a source for academic discussion involving gender and development and a way to strengthen the advocacy of the department.
To the Future Researchers. This study may help the researchers as an additional source of information and guide for their future research. This study helped me acquire knowledge about the acceptance and attitudes of male students in Bicol University towards Lesbians. This practice helped me improve my skills as a researcher.