Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-3770
  • E-ISSN: 2211-3789
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This article examines Finnish online forum discussions where religion and discourses of ‘homosexuality’ are connected in various ways. Previous research (e.g. Jantunen 2018a) shows that in Finnish online discussions where sexual minorities are the topic, religion stands out as a significant feature – particularly in discourses on ‘homosexuality’. Via corpus-assisted discourse analysis (CADS), the present study adds to previous knowledge on this subject by qualitatively analyzing the occurrences of certain keywords in the Finnish societal context – one in which immigration and the visibility of both Islam and sexual minorities are perceived to have increased. The analysis found four interrelated key discourses in these online discussions: (1) Islamization as an alleged threat to gay people (in the data: ‘homosexuals’); (2) the alleged indifference/ignorance of people to Islam’s stance against sexual minorities; (3) relativist discourse(s) claiming all fundamentalists to be similar; and (4) othering – including for instance, the verbal stylization of Muslims as being particularly hypersexual.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Afzal, Ahmed
    2014 “Being gay has been a curse for me”: Gay Muslim Americans, narrative and negotiations of belonging in the Muslim ummah. Journal of Language and Sexuality3(1): 60–86. 10.1075/jls.3.1.04afz
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jls.3.1.04afz [Google Scholar]
  2. Anthony, Laurence
    2015AntConc. Version 3.4.4. Computer Software. Tokyo: Waseda University. www.laurenceanthony.net/software/antconc/ (December7 2017)
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bachmann, Ingo
    2011 Civil partnership – “gay marriage in all but name”: A corpus-driven analysis of discourses of same-sex relationships in the UK parliament. Corpora6(1): 77–105. 10.3366/cor.2011.0005
    https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2011.0005 [Google Scholar]
  4. Baker, Paul
    2004 ‘Unnatural Acts’: Discourses of homosexuality within the House of Lords debates on gay male law reform. Journal of Sociolinguistics8(1): 88–106. 10.1111/j.1467‑9841.2004.00252.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2004.00252.x [Google Scholar]
  5. 2006Using Corpora in Discourse Analysis. London: Continuum. 10.5040/9781350933996
    https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350933996 [Google Scholar]
  6. 2018 Language, sexuality and corpus linguistics: Concerns and future directions. Journal of Language and Sexuality7(2): 263–279. 10.1075/jls.17018.bak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jls.17018.bak [Google Scholar]
  7. Carlson, Elof Axel
    2013The 7 Sexes: Biology of Sex Determination. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Charpentier, Sari
    2000 Gender, body and the sacred: Heterosexual hegemony as a sacred order. Queen: Journal of Rhetorics and Power1(1). saricharpentier-genderbodyandthesacredheterosexualhegemonyasasacredorder-160221202352.pdf (May6 2020)
    [Google Scholar]
  9. 2001 Pyhä, sukupuoli ja heteronormatiivisuus. Sukupuolten pyhä järjestys lesbo- ja homoliittokeskustelussa. [The sacred, gender and normative heterosexuality. Gender system as a sacred order in the discussion of legalising homosexual relationships.] Naistutkimus – Kvinnoforskning14(1): 4–15.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Cruz, Angela Gracia B., Seo, Yuri & Rex, Mathew
    2018 Trolling in online communities: A practice-based theoretical perspective. The Information Society34(1): 15–26. 10.1080/01972243.2017.1391909
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01972243.2017.1391909 [Google Scholar]
  11. Daniels, Jessie
    1997White Lies: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in White Supremacist Discourse. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Eidhamar, Levi Geir
    2014 Is gayness a test from Allah? Typologies in Muslim stances on homosexuality. Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations25(2): 245–266. 10.1080/09596410.2013.869882
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09596410.2013.869882 [Google Scholar]
  13. Ellis, Sonja J. & Kitzinger, Celia
    2002 Denying equality: An analysis of arguments against lowering the age of consent for sex between men. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology12(3): 167–180. 10.1002/casp.670
    https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.670 [Google Scholar]
  14. Fanon, Frantz
    2008 [1952]Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. FIAM
    FIAM 2018: Finnish Internet Audience Measurement. https://fiam.fi/tulokset/ (April12 2020)
    [Google Scholar]
  16. García, Dalia I., Gray-Stanley, Jennifer & Ramirez-Valles, Jesus
    2008 “The priest obviously doesn’t know that I’m gay”: The religious and spiritual journeys of Latino gay men. Journal of Homosexuality55(3): 411–436. 10.1080/00918360802345149
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00918360802345149 [Google Scholar]
  17. Giffney, Noreen
    2009 Introduction: the ‘q’ word. InAshgate Research Companion to Queer Theory, Noreen Giffney & Michael O’Rourke (eds), 1–13. Farnham: Ashgate.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Hooghe, Marc, Claes, Ellen, Harell, Allison, Quintelier, Ellen & Dejaeghere, Yves
    2010 Anti-gay sentiment among adolescents in Belgium and Canada: A comparative investigation into the role of gender and religion. Journal of Homosexuality57(3): 384–400. 10.1080/00918360903543071
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00918360903543071 [Google Scholar]
  19. Hughey, Matthew W. & Daniels, Jessie
    2013 Racist comments at online news sites: A methodological dilemma for discourse analysis. Media, Culture & Society35(3): 332–347. 10.1177/0163443712472089
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443712472089 [Google Scholar]
  20. Ioannides, George
    2014 Queer travels: Intersections for the study of Islam, sexuality, and Queer Theory. InQueering Religion, Religious Queers, Yvette Taylor & Ria Snowdon (eds), 117–136. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Islamia queeristi
    Islamia queeristi. n.d. https://www.islamiaqueeristi.fi/meista/ (May10 2020)
  22. Jäckle, Sebastian & Wenzelburger, Georg
    2015 Religion, religiosity, and the attitudes toward homosexuality – A multilevel analysis of 79 countries. Journal of Homosexuality62(2): 207–241. 10.1080/00918369.2014.969071
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2014.969071 [Google Scholar]
  23. Jantunen, Jarmo H.
    2018a Homot ja heterot Suomi24:ssä: analyysi digitaalisista diskursseista [The gay and the straight in Suomi24: Analysis of digital discourses]. Puhe ja kieli38(1): 3–22. 10.23997/pk.65488
    https://doi.org/10.23997/pk.65488 [Google Scholar]
  24. 2018b Korpusavusteinen diskurssintutkimus (CADS): analyysiesimerkki homouden ja heterouden digitaalisista diskursseista. [Corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS): Example analysis of digital discourses of homosexuality and heterosexuality.] AFinLA-e11: 20–44. 10.30660/afinla.69259
    https://doi.org/10.30660/afinla.69259 [Google Scholar]
  25. Jantunen, Jarmo H. & Juvonen, Tuula
    2021 Lesbonormatiivisuuksien ristipaineessa: Määrällistä ja laadullista analyysiä Suomi24-verkkokeskusteluista. [In the pressure conflict of lesbian normativities: Quantitative and qualitative analysis on online discussions in Suomi24.] SQS – Suomen Queer-Tutkimuksen Seuran Lehti15(1–2), 17–36. 10.23980/sqs.112512
    https://doi.org/10.23980/sqs.112512 [Google Scholar]
  26. Jaspal, Rusi
    2014 Sexuality, migration and identity among gay Iranian migrants to the UK. InQueering Religion, Religious Queers, Yvette Taylor & Ria Snowdon (eds), 44–60. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. King, Brian W.
    2015 Investigating digital sex talk practices: A reflection on corpus-assisted discourse analysis. InDiscourse and Digital Practices: Doing Discourse Analysis in the Digital Age, Rodney H. Jones, Alice Chik & Christoph A. Hafner (eds), 130–143. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Kligerman, Nicole
    2007 Homosexuality in Islam: A difficult paradox. Macalester Islam Journal2(3): Article 8. digitalcommons.macalester.edu/islam/vol2/iss3/8 (June22 2020)
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Körkkö, Hilla
    2020 Muslimi-seksuaalivähemmistöt organisoituvat Suomessakin – Lontoossa järjestetään jo muslimipride. [London already hosts a Muslim Pride – now Muslim sexual minorities in Finland are getting themselves organized]. Helsingin Sanomat, March6 2020 <https://www.hs.fi/nyt/art-2000006429715.html (June16 2020)
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Kytölä, Samu
    2017 Researching sexual minorities in men’s football (discourse): Methodological challenges of multi-sited and multisemiotic ethnographies. (Paper presented atLanguage in the Media Conference 2017, University of the Western Cape, October 19, 2017)
    [Google Scholar]
  31. 2018 Sexual diversities in male football cultures from the perspectives of visibility: Insights from football events and digital media. (Paper presented at theInternational Conference on Sociolinguistics (ICS2), in the panel “Regimenting the public sphere: the politics of visibility”, ELTE, Budapest, September 8, 2018)
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Kytölä, Samu & Androutsopoulos, Jannis
    2012 Ethnographic perspectives on multilingual computer-mediated discourse: Insights from Finnish football forums on the Web. InMultilingualism, Discourse and Ethnography, Sheena Gardner & Marilyn Martin-Jones (eds), 179–196. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Lähdesmäki, Tuuli & Saresma, Tuija
    2014 The intersections of sexuality and religion in the anti-interculturalist rhetoric in Finnish internet discussion on Muslim homosexuals in Amsterdam. InBuilding Barriers and Bridges: Interculturalism in the 21st Century, Jonathan Gourlay & Gabriele Strohschen (eds), 35–48. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press. 10.1163/9781848883253_005
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9781848883253_005 [Google Scholar]
  34. Leap, William
    2012 Queer linguistics, sexuality and discourse analysis. InHandbook of Discourse Analysis, James Paul Gee & Michael Handford (eds), 558–571. Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Lehman, Peter
    2006 A “strange quirk in his lineage”: Walter Mosely, Donald Goines, and the racial representation of the penis. Men and Masculinities9(2): 226–235. 10.1177/1097184X06287757
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1097184X06287757 [Google Scholar]
  36. Lehtonen, Heini
    2016 Troping on prejudice: Stylised “bad Finnish” performances among adolescents in Eastern Helsinki. InReflexivity in Late Modernity: Accounts from Linguistic Ethnographies of Youth, Miguel Pérez-Milans (ed), 15–47. 10.1075/aila.29.02leh
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.29.02leh [Google Scholar]
  37. Leppänen, Sirpa, Kytölä, Samu, Westinen, Elina & Peuronen, Saija
    2017 Introduction: Social media discourse, (dis)identifications and diversities. InSocial Media Discourse, (Dis)identifications and Diversities, Sirpa Leppänen, Elina Westinen & Samu Kytölä (eds), 1–35. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Levon, Erez
    2015 Conflicted selves: language, religion, and same-sex desire in Israel. InLanguage, Sexuality, and Power: Studies in Intersectional Sociolinguistics, Erez Levon & Ronald Beline Mendes (eds), 215–240. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210366.003.0011
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210366.003.0011 [Google Scholar]
  39. Mapril, José, Martikainen, Tuomas & Khan, Adil Hussain
    2019 Introduction. InMuslims at the Margins of Europe: Finland, Greece, Ireland and Portugal, Tuomas Martikainen, José Mapril & Adil Hussain Khan (eds), 1–24. Leiden: Brill. 10.1163/9789004404564_002
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004404564_002 [Google Scholar]
  40. Mautner, Gerlinde
    2009 Corpora and critical discourse analysis. InContemporary Corpus Linguistics, Paul Baker (ed), 32–46. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Meta-Share
    Meta-Share 2016The Suomi24 Corpus. urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:lb-2017021506 (June17 2020)
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Milani, Tommaso M. & Levon, Erez
    2016 Sexing diversity: Linguistic landscapes of homonationalism. Language & Communication51: 69–86. 10.1016/j.langcom.2016.07.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2016.07.002 [Google Scholar]
  43. Motschenbacher, Heiko
    2018 Corpus linguistics in language and sexuality studies: Taking stock and looking ahead. Journal of Language and Sexuality7(2): 145–174. 10.1075/jls.17019.mot
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jls.17019.mot [Google Scholar]
  44. 2021 Language and sexuality studies today: Why “homosexual” is a bad word and why “queer linguist” is not an identity. Journal of Language and Sexuality10(1): 25–36. 10.1075/jls.00011.mot
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jls.00011.mot [Google Scholar]
  45. Ogland, Curtis P. & Verona, Ana Paula
    2014 Religion and the rainbow struggle: Does religion factor into attitudes toward homosexuality and same-sex civil unions in Brazil?Journal of Homosexuality61(9): 1334–1349. 10.1080/00918369.2014.926767
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2014.926767 [Google Scholar]
  46. OSF (Official Statistics of Finland)
    OSF (Official Statistics of Finland) 2015Population structure [e-publication]. ISSN=1797–5395. Annual review 2015, Appendix table 6. Population by religious community in 2000 to 2015. Helsinki: Statistics Finland. www.stat.fi/til/vaerak/2015/01/vaerak_2015_01_2016-09-23_tau_006_en.html (April21 2020).
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Partington, Alan, Duguid, Alison & Taylor, Charlotte
    2013Patterns and Meanings in Discourse: Theory and Practice in Corpus-assisted Discourse Studies (CADS). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/scl.55
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.55 [Google Scholar]
  48. Paterson, Laura L. & Coffey-Glover, Laura
    2018 Discourses of marriage in same-sex marriage debates in the UK press 2011–2014. Journal of Language and Sexuality7(2): 175–204. 10.1075/jls.17022.pat
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jls.17022.pat [Google Scholar]
  49. Perry, Barbara & Sutton, Michael
    2006 Seeing red over black and white: Popular and media representations of inter-racial relationships as precursors to racial violence. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice48(6): 887–904. 10.3138/cjccj.48.6.887
    https://doi.org/10.3138/cjccj.48.6.887 [Google Scholar]
  50. Peumans, Wim
    2017Queer Muslims in Europe: Sexuality, Religion and Migration in Belgium. London: IB Tauris.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Pew Research Center
    Pew Research Center 2017 Europe’s growing Muslim population. PublishedNov 29, 2017. https://www.pewforum.org/2017/11/29/europes-growing-muslim-population/ (April21 2020).
  52. Provencher, Denis M.
    2011 Coming out à l’Oriental: Maghrebi-French performances of gender, sexuality, and religion. Journal of Homosexuality58(6–7): 812–833. 10.1080/00918369.2011.581924
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2011.581924 [Google Scholar]
  53. Puar, Jasbir
    2007Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 10.1215/9780822390442
    https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822390442 [Google Scholar]
  54. Rich, Timothy S.
    2017 Religion and public perceptions of gays and lesbians in South Korea. Journal of Homosexuality64(5): 606–621. 10.1080/00918369.2016.1194122
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2016.1194122 [Google Scholar]
  55. Rohleder, Poul
    2014 Othering. InEncyclopedia of Critical Psychology, Thomas Teo (ed), n.p.New York: Springer. 10.1007/978‑1‑4614‑5583‑7_414
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_414 [Google Scholar]
  56. Ruckenstein, Minna
    2017 Suomi24-käyttäjäkyselyn tuloksia [Results of the Suomi24 user survey]. https://blogs.helsinki.fi/citizenmindscapes/2017/08/21/suomi24-kayttajakyselyn-tuloksia/ (June29 2020)
  57. Said, Edward
    1978Orientalism. New York: Pantheon.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Sakki, Inari & Pettersson, Katarina
    2016 Discursive constructions of Otherness in populist radical right political blogs. European Journal of Social Psychology46(2): 156–170. 10.1002/ejsp.2142
    https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2142 [Google Scholar]
  59. Saresma, Tuija
    2020 Vihan sfäärit: Valkoisten heteromiesten affektiivinen mobilisaatio sosiaalisessa mediassa. [The spheres of hate: The affective mobilization of white heterosexual men in social media]. InAffektit ja tunteet kulttuurien tutkimuksessa. Ethnos-toimite 22, Jenni Rinne, Anna Kajander & Riina Haanpää (eds), 196–243. Helsinki: Ethnos ry.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Schulte, Lisa J. & Battle, Juan
    2004 The relative importance of ethnicity and religion in predicting attitudes towards gays and lesbians. Journal of Homosexuality47(2): 127–142. 10.1300/J082v47n02_08
    https://doi.org/10.1300/J082v47n02_08 [Google Scholar]
  61. Silva, Derek M. D.
    2017 The othering of Muslims: Discourses of radicalization in the New York Times, 1969–2014. Sociological Forum32(1): 138–161. 10.1111/socf.12321
    https://doi.org/10.1111/socf.12321 [Google Scholar]
  62. Siraj, Asifa
    2014 Islam, homosexuality and gay Muslims: Bridging the gap between faith and sexuality. InQueering Religion, Religious Queers, Yvette Taylor & Ria Snowdon (eds), 194–210. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Stubbs, Michael
    2001Words and Phrases: Corpus Studies of Lexical Semantics. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Thompson, Katrina D.
    2019 Becoming Muslims with a “Queer voice”: Indexical disjuncture in the talk of LGBT members of the progressive Muslim community. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology30(1): 123–144. 10.1111/jola.12256
    https://doi.org/10.1111/jola.12256 [Google Scholar]
  65. van den Berg, Marianne, Bos, David J., Derks, Marco, Ganzevoort, R. Ruard, Jovanovič, Miloš, Korte, Anne-Marie & Sremac, Srdjan
    2014 Religion, homosexuality, and contested social orders in the Netherlands, the Western Balkans, and Sweden. InReligion in Times of Crisis, Gladys Ganiel, Heidemarie Winkel & Christophe Monnot (eds), 116–134. Leiden: Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Vitikainen, Sami
    2019 Gay Muslim refugees in Finland: Intersections of experience. Unpublished MA dissertation, University of Helsinki. urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201906112590 (June22 2020).
  67. Whitehead, Andrew L.
    2018 Homosexuality, religion, and the family: The effects of religion on Americans’ appraisals of the parenting abilities of same-sex couples. Journal of Homosexuality65(1): 42–65. 10.1080/00918369.2017.1310550
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2017.1310550 [Google Scholar]
  68. Wilcox, Melissa M.
    2006 Outlaws or in-laws?Journal of Homosexuality52(1–2): 73–100. 10.1300/J082v52n01_04
    https://doi.org/10.1300/J082v52n01_04 [Google Scholar]
  69. Xie, Ying & Peng, Minggang
    2018 Attitudes toward homosexuality in China: Exploring the effects of religion, modernizing factors, and traditional culture. Journal of Homosexuality65(13): 1758–1787. 10.1080/00918369.2017.1386025
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2017.1386025 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error