SOC 503 Lecture Notes - Cross-Dressing, Missionary Position, Street Prostitution

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26 Nov 2012
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Course
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Lecture 5:
Sex for Money
It’s treating people as a “means to an end” in this case “my sexual gratification”
Instead of this:
We should always treat people as “ends in themselves” this is “dignity”
The above comes from the great German philosopher Emmanuelle Kant (1724-1804)
C.O.Y.O.T.E. = “Call off your old tired ethics”
Notes:
Hermaphrodites or Intersex:
-biological sexuality is not always clear cut
-in rare cases we have hermaphroditism
-South African woman ran in women’s race and won
-had been tested and found to have intersex qualities
-elevated levels of testosterone
-had male testes that are internal
-the word hermaphrodite comes from Greek mythology
- Greek god Hermes and goddess Aphrodite
=hermaphrodite
-the Greeks stood in awe of this condition and though its origin was super natural
-sometimes these characteristics are internal
-sometimes people have both male and female genitalia
-the cultural side has generally been uneasy w/ sexual ambiguity
-this is not the case w/ all cultures
-in Thailand, it’s generally accepted w/ relatively little stigma (negative label)
-NavajoAboriginal group in South West part of the USA
-also look on it w/ awe and as something supernatural
-people who were intersex became influential people in the tribe
Transexuals:
-may have transplants to function as normal males and females
-some deliberately change their sex
-someone who is prepared to undergo therapy and surgery to change their sex
-gender identity is out of synch w/ the body
-sometimes a person’s identity doesn’t line up w/ their biology
-some people are convinced that they are a “woman in a man’s body” or vice versa
-this kind of surgery is covered by OHIP in Canada
-gender rolesexpectations about how males and females are supposed to act
Meterosexuality:
-men who are absolute “fuss pots”/extremely concerned about their appearance
-these men are heterosexuals
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-ex. David Beckham
Homosexuality:
-caused by nature or nurture?
Nurture: homosexuality is found among our closest evolutionary relative
-chimps, baboons, gorillas
-you also find it in other mammals therefore it suggest a biological root
-found in all cultures and apparent in all times in history
-Greek phalanx (formation in army)
-when that formation breaks than you’re in big trouble
-in order to maintain the solidarity of the Phalanx, soldiers were encouraged to participate in homosexual
behaviour
Nurture:
-it may well be that sexual preference is flexible and can be learned
-in prisons, both male and female prisons, homosexual behaviour is widespread
-these people go into prison as heterosexuals, while in prison they engage in homosexuality, and when
they leave they return to their heterosexual behaviour
-this may be the reason why people can be bisexual
Gender roles:
-in our society it has recently legalized homosexual marriage
-54% of Canadians approve these changes
-still problems w/ this in the states
-tolerance for homosexuality has increased over time
-sociologists have less interest in the origins of homosexuality b/c there is substantial evidence that homosexuality
is biologically determined
-homosexuality is less stigmatized
-there has been political agitation by the gays and lesbian community
-psychiatric associationslooked at homosexuality as a mental disorder
-after political agitation, they dropped that view
Transgender:
-don’t like to follow gender role expectations
-sometimes cross-dressers
-very often they will engage in traditional female activities
-in traditional cultures (tribal)they make room for men who don’t want to be warriors but instead want to live
w/ women and engage in women activities
-ex. Aboriginal in the Americas
The culture of sex:
-when sociologists speak of sex they talk about biology
-gender is the social construction of sex
-culture shapes that biological drive
-our sexual practices are shaped by culture
-by contrast, grasshoppers have sex in a genetically programmed way
-have mating rituals that take specific form
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