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Lecture

SOC 101: Sexuality Lecture Notes

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 101
Professor
Sara Cumming
Semester
Fall

Description
Sexuality: The social Construction of Sexualities  Sexuality includes o Sexual orientation (whom you are attracted to sexually) o Sexual identity (butch, femme, heterosexual, straight, etc.) o Sex acts (kissing, oral sex, penetration, bondage, etc.) o Sex lives (polyamory, monogamy, infidelity, age of consent) o Commodification of sex (prostitution, pornography)  Meanings are embedded in our language, laws, popular culture, social rituals, and medical definitions  Learn what is deemed socially appropriate and inappropriate through interactions  Meanings of sexual desires, sexual acts, sexual expressions have social approval and which are disavowed  Ex. kissing (in some cultures, its revolting that 2 people would put their germ-filled mouths together) Sexual Identities  Includes our sense of self as masculine or feminine, our knowledge of our bodies, sexual histories, sexual preference  Convey through language and interaction  Sexual orientation refers to an individual’s sexual and emotional attraction to a person of a particular sex  Homosexuality o Historically, “closeted” and subjected to systemic oppression o Heterosexism is the practice of holding up heterosexuality as the ideal and as “normal” o Homophobia is an irrational fear or hatred of homosexuals o We live in a heterosexist society  Homosexual identities o Socially produced (we label it) o Industrial Revolution o Gay liberation movement = gays congregated in places o Legalization of gay marriages o Now legal in Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, and spain  Heterosexuality o Attracted to and/or engage in sexual activities with members of the opposite sex o Reinforced through surveillance (Foucault) o Social organization of heterosexuality vary across time and location o In Western societies tends to be organized around marriage or long-term relationships and monogamy o Enjoy social privilege o http://www.pinkpractice.co.uk/quaire.htm o Monogamy is usually driven toward marriage o Heterosexuality = privileged (the assumption that everyone is straight; you don’t need to “come out of the closet” if you’re straight)  Bisexuality o Attracted to both men and women (usually not at the same time) o May shift between heterosexual and homosexual relationships over their lives o Challenges the notion that heterosexuality and homosexuality are mutually exclusive and oppositional categories o You fit in with neither hetero or homosexual (b/c you haven’t really chosen a side) o Challenge binary constructions/opposition of sexuality o Bisexuality usually shows itself in females; and because it turns men on o Bisexuality has become about men in a way (again)  Pansexuality o Attracted to anything (men, women, transgendered, transvestite, etc.) o Romantic and sexual desire for people regardless of their gender identity of biological sex o Includes attraction to transsexuals and transgendered individuals  Monogamy o Coupling of 2 people, excluding the intimate involvement of others (for life) o Social meanings attached o Assumption that it
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