SOSC 1185 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Biological Determinism, Media Play, Social Constructionism

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Winter Handout Lecture 6 Gendered bodies: Sexualities
For SOSC 1185 from L. Wiggins
Gendered bodies: Sexualities
1. Social construction of sexuality(s)
Definition of sexuality:
Broader range of attitudes and behaviours that demonstrate culturally and
historically specific norms and values, as well as out indiviudl desires and
sense of sexual identity, which is part of out overall sense of identity and
personality related to bodily pleasure, desire, and awareness of ourselves as
embodied beings
Sexualisation: media play role in social process where a person is sexually
objectified designed to be objectified for the benefit of others
Be sure to make distinctions between biological sex categories (e.g. female, male,
intersex), the act of engaging in sexual relationships (having ‘sex’), sexualization
(objectification and dehumanization), and sexuality.
a. Critique of “essentialism” or biologically determinist explanations;
importance of problematizing assumed ‘natural’ connection between
sexuality & procreation
To consider:
Why is it important to critique and challenge biological determinist explanations of
sexuality?
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Document Summary

Sexualisation: media play role in social process where a person is sexually objectified designed to be objectified for the benefit of others. 2: ideas & practices around sexuality are historically & culturally specific; part of current dominant ideology and structural organization of society. Impact of post- industrial revolution dominant ideology based on binary sex/gender model; differences between men & women seen as natural" & normal". Sexuality is best understoon as a fluid, changing phenonmenon, defined by social contexts that establish not only the meaning bbut the very tecture of what we call experience, including bodily experience. Thus, there is no underlying quality or cluster of qualities that characterizes sexuality in all times and places the most helpful thing about a social constructionist: compulsory heterosexuality is normative expectation. Issue of women having control over their own bodies. Importance of cultures of resistance & challenging the dominance of heterosexuality, recognizing the relevance of gender, class,

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