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Lecture

Religion and Sexuality - Lecture 1

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Department
Religion & Culture
Course
RE374
Professor
Brent Hagerman
Semester
Fall

Description
RE374 - Lecture 1 Sept 10, 2013  academia treats sexuality with austerity o very prudish, very repressed  in university, treat sexuality very medically, very academically  Definitions/Terms and Debates  Sex  sexual intercourse/ copulation  male/female, biological division  division of a species into either male or female, especially in relation to reproductive functions  bodily experiences that humans conceive of as erotic, sensual, carnal, genitally related or orgasmically significant (manning and Zukerman 2004)  sexuality  how people experience and express themselves as sexual beings  desires, relationships, acts and identities concerned with sexual behaviour (Clarke 2008)  universe of meaning that people place on sex acts  identity/orientation  is a fictional unity that once did not exist, and sometime in the future may not exist again  words change, meanings change  sex before sexuality (Phillips and Reay) o both our word sexuality and our sense of it date from 1879 o coined by sexologists o there was always "sex" just not "sexuality"  sexuality - connection to one's identities and preferences o when looking at ancient texts, cannot use modern interpretations, must look at it with a premodern mindset o Aristotle's masterpiece talked about sex, but did not mention anything about sexual orientation, did not connect sex to orientation/identity o how sex was thought of before 1879 o "modern preoccupations with the centrality of sexual habits, tastes or preferences to one's true or inner self were yet to emerge"  Gender  our gender (feminine/masculine) is culturally constructed  learned patterns of behaviours and action, opposed to what is biologically determined or given  what may be masculine/feminine in one culture may not be universally the same RE374 - Lecture 1 Sept 10, 2013  differs across time and cultures  normative  what the majority of a culture defines as normal  what is normal is considered right  behaviours or values that given society deems are normal and therefore ideal  heteronormative  belief that society should be heterosexual  term derived from queer theory that refers to belief that heterosexuality is the normal orientation in society  any sexual or gender orientation that falls outside of heteronormal is considered abnormal or deviant  queer theory  focuses on centrality of sexuality in modern conceptions of the self  asks how has sexuality been constructed in society?  resists mainstream attempts to create normative categories of gender and sexuality  theorizes that identity is thoroughly socially constructed and unstable o it can change, identity heavily influenced by society  insists that sexuality is not a natural attribute of a person, but rather as one of many aspects of culture that we use to construct identity/the sel
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