SOCIOL 3U03 Midterm: Midterm notes

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14 Oct 2015
SOC 3U03 Midterm Notes
Drive Theory
Capture the "essence" of the powerful force of sex- through extensive categorization
Sexuality is an overpowering and instinctual drive: what one did sexually and with
whom reflected one's essential self and personality
It pre-existed in the individual and wasn't subject to social influence- innate
Sexual desire dangerous and harmful- affected body and mind
Sex is basic need like hunger that needed to be satisfied- but also extremely plastic
(needed release but sex drive didn't dictate where it should be released)
DT (Drive theorists) only focused on uniformity rather than diversity- so it didn't
explain the great variation in sexual behaviour within and across societies
Early sexologists generally concerned with 3 things:
1) The presence and dangers of childhood sexuality
- Hindered normal development- particularly masturbation caused all sorts of problems
2) The sexual etiology of hysteria
- Nervous disorders and faulty reproductive tracts in women- it's what made women "crazy",
neurotic, and hysterical
3) The sexual aberrations
- Homosexuality, transvestitism, frogatting- anything other than heterosexual genital
relations- "the homosexual" emerges as particular kind of individual
Karl Heinrich Ulrichs:
Was homosexual himself and embraced homosexuality- published books about it
Homosexuality is natural- argued unjust to incarcerate and punish homosexuals
His work was influential in new thinking on same-sex love
Early works explained same-sex love in terms of animal magnetism
Homosexual individuals called "Urnings"- had physical features of one sex, sexual
instinct of the opposite sex- regarded as 3rd sex
Richard von Krafft-Ebing:
Was a medical doctor- major medical writer on sex during last part of 19th cent.
Stressed importance of sex drive: most important factor in men's social existence
Also believed in dangers of masturbation- mental illness and sexual pathology- over
degeneracy (moral and physical)
Essential purpose of sex was reproduction
Distinguished between innate and acquired perversions
Claimed strong association between intense sexual instinct and epilepsy- led to sexual
2 Important moments during 18-19 th
(1) Scientific and social impact of Darwin's research:
Findings led to an interest in the sexual "origins" of the individual's behaviour,
dynamics of sexual selection and impulse, innate differences between the sexes
(2) Publishing of Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis:
Marked debut of the "speaking pervert" in print- one of the 1st texts about sexual
practices that also studied homo and bisexuality
Popularized terms sadism and masochism
Regarded women as sexually passive by nature
Central to the Theories of Early Sexology:
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SOC 3U03 Midterm Notes
Major effort to uncover, classify, define sexual pathologies
Gave rise to a rich exotic array of descriptions and taxonomies
This concentration on the perverse and abnormal cast new light on the "normal"
Concept of heterosexuality emerges to describe and typify sexual normality- the
reproductive hetero couple
Normality based on- sexes more dissimilar than similar, belief that gender id and sexual
id are linked through naturalness of hetero object choice- all others are perversions
Sigmund Freud:
Founding father of psychoanalysis- the "talking cure"- patients speak freely
Theory of Sexuality: Drive Theory- universal theory of sexual development- sexual
instinct for procreation, however sexual pleasure and gratification also natural
Sexual energies have to be directed not repressed- all humans are innately bisexual
Sexuality and pathology- variant sexual behaviour result of misdirected sexual drives-
every neurosis (mental illness) had specific sexual cause
Later work viewed masturbation as natural part of childhood development
Freud's psychodynamic approach more complex and sophisticated than most
sexologists- he also acknowledged psychic origins of adult sexuality
From birth instinctual libido develops in 5 stages: (1) oral, (2) anal, (3) phallic, (4)
latent, (5) genital
Libido: psychic energy associated with the sexual drive- impels individual toward erotic
activity-it is already present in infant at birth- influences behaviour
Oedipal drama: child struggles with incestuous desires for mom and dad- child
becomes a heterosexual man or woman
Repression can lead to perversions and neuroses- arise when normal development is
disrupted- e.g. inappropriate sexual desire emerges (desire mom instead of dad)
Any deviation from gendered heterosexual genital sexuality is pathology
He neglects importance of later sexual development- sexuality is ongoing process
Also underestimates role of social in shaping sexual experiences
Freud and Female Sexuality:
Referred to women as "A Dark Continent"- women are like mysteries of Africa
His views of women were reflective of era in which he lived- physically and mentally
inferior to men, ruled by their biology (reproductive functions)
Constructed theory of female heterosexuality based on assumptions about nature of
female orgasm (vagina vs. clitoris) and characteristics of female genitalia (passive,
receives), and treatment of sexual dysfunctions like frigidity
3 Essays on the Theory of Sexuality- clitoral emphasis is immature, woman focuses on
vagina as she develops and matures- she realizes clitoris is inadequate
Because they go through this transfer, it makes room for more risks of psychological
problems- e.g. if you don't make the transfer you're neurotic- also experiences an in
between phase where she is tied between masculinity and femininity
Vaginal orgasm and vaginal frigidity become 2 central component's of Freud's theory
1930s pathology of female frigidity increasingly popular- if they were unable to reach
vaginal orgasm through intercourse or were too sexual/aggressive
Many women suffered unnecessarily because of Freud's theories- felt inadequate like
something was wrong with them because he set a standard for "normality"
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