A classic example of a military force built upon this belief is the Sacred Band of Thebes.
However, other ancient and medieval cultures such as the Saxons and Vikings did not engage in this practice openly; therefore, these examples should not be regarded as a general rule for ancient cultures.
It is through these and other modern songwriters and poets that female homoerotic work by women, rather than erotic art by men with lesbian themes, has had its greatest cultural impact in the West since the ancient Greek poet Sappho.
A few ancient and medieval societies, such as Greece and Japan, fostered erotic love bonds between experienced warriors and their apprentices.
It was believed that a man and youth who were in love with each other would fight harder and with greater morale.
Today, the Japanese anime subgenre yaoi centers on gay youths.
Japan is unusual in that the culture's male homoerotic art has typically been the work of female artists addressing a female audience, mirroring the case of lesbian eroticism in western art.
This type of same-sex relationship is prevalent in post-modern Western societies.