soci exam.docx

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18 Apr 2012
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Beer commercial: It shows us that sexuality is linked to women.
The social constructions of sexualities
Sexuality includes:
- Sexual orientation refers to an individual’s sexual and emotional attraction to a person of a particular sex.
- Sexual identity (butch, femme, heterosexual, straight ect…)
Includes our sense of self as either masculine or feminine, our knowledge of our bodies, sexual history,
sexual preferences
Covey through language and interaction
- Sex acts (kissing, oral sex, penetration, bondage, etc…)
Meanings have become embedded in our languages, laws, popular culture, social rituals, and medical
definitions.
Meanings of sexual desires, sexual acts, and sexual expressions have social approval and which are denied.
e.g. kissing
Social construction of gender:
o Gender is socially constructed characteristics of a male or a female
o Masculinity and femininity
o Binary opposition: in sex is male or female and gender is masculinity or femininity
o Gender is shaped in society, it changes, it tells us what is acceptable
Sexual identities
Homosexuality
- ―Closeted‖
- heterosexism is the practice of holding up heterosexuality as the ideal and as normal
- Homophobia is an irrational fear or hatred of homosexuals
Homosexual identities:
- Socially produces
- Industrial revolution
- Gay liberal movement
- Legalization of gay marriages
Heterosexuality:
- Attracted to and/or engage in sexual activities with members of the opposite sex
- Reinforced through surveillance (Foucault)
- social organization of heterosexuality vary across time and location
- In western society tends to be organized around marriage or long-term relationships and monogamy
- Enjoying social privilege
Bisexuality:
- Attracted to both men and women
- May shift between heterosexuality and homosexual relationships over their lives
- Challenges the notion that heterosexuality and homosexuality are mutually exclusive and oppositional
categories
Pan sexuality:
- Romantic and sexual desire for people regardless of their gender identity of biological sex
- Includes attraction to transsexual and transgendered individuals
Monogamy:
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- Coupling of 2 people, excluding the intimate involvement of any other
- Social means attached
- Assumption that it builds and respect between partners
Serial Monogamy:
- Succession of monogamous partnership
- Tends to have series of short- term relationships, one after the other
- Tend to not get married as often, move relationship to relationship
Polyamory:
- Mutually acknowledged emotional, sexual or romantic connections with multiple partners
- Emphasize long-term, emotionally intimate relationships that transcend sexual intimacy
- Some pursue group marriage
THEORIES OF GENDER:
Functionalism:
- interested in how sexuality is functional to the running of society
- there is a theory that prostitution keeps families together (a way for the man to get his sexual desires
maintained and happy)
- what function might prostitution provide?
Conflict Theory:
- Interested in how various aspects linked to our sexualities become commodified
- Narrowing of the range of sexual possibilities (i.e. Phone sex)
Symbolic Interactionism:
- Interested in the social meanings that a society attributes to sexuality, including sexual behaviour
- Gagnon and Simon (1986) sexual scripts
Queer Theory:
- Emerged in late 1980s
- Re-appropriation of term queer
- Foucault, Butler, and Sedwick
- Challenges heterosexism and seek to deconstruct and dissolve normalizing discourses used to control and
constrain people
THEORIES OF SEXUALITY:
Functionalist theory:
women and men perform separate, specialized and complementary roles to maintain cohesiveness
o Well defined roles reduce confusion and conflict regarding gender expectations
Conflict theory:
o Focus on examining gender difference in access to and control of scarce resources
Symbolic Interactionalist:
o Interested in the meanings of male and female of masculinity and femininity
o Social institutions teach gender related behaviours
Feminist theories:
o Gender is socially constructed
o Attempt to identify the ways in which institutionalized and internalized norms limit women’s behaviours and
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