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POLS 3710 (15)
Jordi Diez (15)

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Political Science
POLS 3710
Jordi Diez

History of sexual regulation - why study it - history and sexuality - traditionally 2 main approaches - naturalist view - meta-theoretical - constructivist view - main narratives of sexual change - the evolution of sexual regulation - ancient Greece - Christendom - the renaissance and the enlightenment - the Victorian model - the first half of the 20 century - in order to see sexuality’s influence by society – must be able to compare - other societies - history/time - contextualize unit of analysis - shows what’s ethical/political and the changes over time - ethics of sexuality - what a society decides collectively - alignment of social and political actors has changed over time - acceptance changes over time - regulation of sexuality changes - obsession with sexuality – why? Later part of 19 century - study sexuality - naturalist approach: - Kinsey - description - texture - categorize to try to understand - traditionally lacked explanation for variation - influence society has – traditionally not touched upon - natural mandate - essentialist - meta-theoretical approach: - try to study society and social constructs, - social forces take precedence over nature - neo-Freudian - attempt to try to explain sexuality - observation of society’s influence - natural impulse and how society effects these - essentialist - 2 approaches dominated field until 1970’s - arrival of constructivism - both adopted essentialism approach – born a certain way - sexuality instinctual – drives a lot of what we do - natural instinct - 1970’s = social construct - sexuality the result of social and cultural motives - how we feel, how we define self = result of culture and social influences - social forces shape the way we view and engage in sexual activity - Foucault: - not a kind of natural - society doesn’t restrain - historical constructivist - social construction - why is sexuality so important? - requires active state intervention to regulate - why obsession? - states actively involved - the study of sexuality through histroiy is a relatively new field - since the first works (late 19 century) 2 main approaches: 1) naturalist 2) meta-theoretical - the field has been revolutionized by constructivism - 3 main narratives: (politics of sexual change) 1) progressive - sexual change over last 30 years is a result of accumulation of knowledge and sexual freedom achieved through legislative change 2) declinist - conservative forces, moral panic, things changing too fast, state of oppressent (divorce rates high), broken families high, sexual freedom = sexual promiscuity 3) continuity - broader approach, not too much has changed, continuing underlining power of how sexuality is thought of Ancient Greece - understandings of sexuality were intrinsically related to power relations - “in classical Athens sex did not express inward dispositions or inclinations so much as it served to position social actors in places assigned to them, by virtue of their political standings in the hierarchical structure of Athenian polity” – David Helperin - only certain people could have citizenship – right to belong - those where were citizens could participate in politics - citizens had all the power - sex was an act performed by a social superior an a social inferior - male citizens – all power – elete of social and political - outside –everyone else - women, slaves, underage men - became citizen when you were rational enough to participate in politics - males past puberty (Not citizens) - women - slaves of either sex - foreigners - monogamy starts in ancient Greece - wife not citizen but married to a citizen (male) - after procreative – wife would become guarantor - wife linked to private property - those who aren’t citizens – no right to marry - idea of rationality (male) and emotion (female) - Greeks believed that males could only be rational because they were citizens - women didn’t transition from matter to form - didn’t have opportunity to become rational - not citizens Christendom - Romans - Christianity gripped the regulation of sexuality in a way, which is felt today - the understandings of gender take on a moral inflection which places a hierarchy - relied on scripter’s how sexuality was controlled and understood - men and women biologically different - key to the new regulation is the idea of “natural law” as espoused by Saint Thomas Aquinas - men are superior to women as reason is superior to emotion - men were in control of their emotions - women naturally emotional - men rational - core of Christianity - Adam and Eve - sex ever present danger, must not succumb - Eve caved to the apple – weak, not strong enough - only purpose of sex was procreation - Europe – pope has divine right to control – ideas forced on entire continent - natural law a foundation for heteronormativity - beginning - 2 sexes - purpose to procreate - only in marriage - man and woman - againsthnatural law = sin - late 19 century – some ideas start to be challenged the renaissance and the enlightenment - the end of the middle ages ushers in a new period during which we see a relaxation of sexual regulation - a move away from the divine and into the human - enlightenment philosophers challenge natural law - John Stuart Mill - first contemporary feminist - liberal - challenge gender and family - family is not basic unit of society, not basic social organization - individuals constitutive parts of every society - before enter into social contract in society, we all have rights (natural) - core of contemporary liberalism - human born with inherent rights before you enter into a social organization/construct - born with basic rights - John Locke - no natural difference between men and women (biological) - differences between genders = education - nurture not nature - shift from divine to individual - unveiling of hum
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