For most of its history, lesbianism has been a subject of little interest in Jewish texts and societies. Only in the late 20th century have Jewish scholars and communities faced the issue of erotic love between women. Lesbianism is not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, in contrast to male homosexual behavior, which is expressly forbidden as a capital crime. The absence of discussion of lesbianism in this context has raised scholarly interest. Biblical critics have suggested that this difference exists because female homoerotic behavior would not have been considered sexual behavior, which in ancient times was understood to require the emission of semen. A related theory suggests that nothing women did without men would matter because women were not full persons by biblical standards.
Lesbianism is the sexual and romantic desire between females. There are far fewer historical mentions of lesbianism than male homosexuality, possibly due to many historical writings and records focusing primarily on men. An example of lesbianism being illegal comes from records of the late Middle Ages Laws created during the Inquisition in Spain and the Holy Roman Empire specifically mention lesbianism as well as male sodomy. England has never had any laws outlawing lesbianism, and at times particularly the 17thth centuries lesbianism has even been accepted. Several laws were proposed in the early years of the United States as well as during the colonial times , including a very specific law proposed by Thomas Jefferson in the s, but none were ever enacted, and in some cases, rejected altogether.
Lesbianism is the sexual and romantic desire between females. There are far fewer historical mentions of lesbianism than male homosexuality, due to many historical writings and records focusing primarily on men. The evidence about female homosexuality in the ancient Greek world is limited, it being hardly mentioned in extant Greek literature. At least among these Athenian men, the discussion and depiction of female homosexual activity seems to have been taboo.
A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The concept of "lesbian" to differentiate women with a shared sexual orientation evolved in the 20th century. Throughout history, women have not had the same freedom or independence as men to pursue homosexual relationships, but neither have they met the same harsh punishment as homosexual men in some societies. Instead, lesbian relationships have often been regarded as harmless and incomparable to heterosexual ones, unless the participants attempted to assert privileges traditionally enjoyed by men. As a result, little in history was documented to give an accurate description of how female homosexuality was expressed.