Notes Beginning of term to midterm 1

28 Pages

Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies
Course Code
SMF 204
Hilary B Bergsieker

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Human Sexuality Tuesday Jan 8 • Sex – biologically male or female XX & XY • Gender – maleness or femaleness, feminine or masculine; psychological and sociocultural vs. Biological o Gender identity – self concept of being female or male o Gender role – complex clusters of behaviours/mannerisms to which we are expected to conform on the basis of our sex. Culturally defined. • Sexuality involves: physical activities, behaviour, for reproduction and/or pleasure • Erotic feelings – desires, fantasies, thoughts, urges, attractions • Sex organs • Human sexuality – how we experience and express ourselves as sexual beings (gender, gender identity, gender roles, sexual orientation) MULTIDISCIPLINARY NATURE OF THE STUDY OF HUMAN SEXUALITY 1. Historical perspective a) How various behaviours are viewed at different times b) Method: examining historical documentation c) conclusions: different societies have tolerated different behaviours and different attitudes 2. Religious/moral perspectives a) What is “right” and what is “wrong” b) Closely tied to historical (documents versus practice; eg. birth control) c) E.g. sex for reproduction d) Method: examining religious writings e) Conclusion: great differences across religions and sometimes within a religion 3. Psychological perspective a) Understand why different people behave differently and how it affects them; interested in the behaviour, thoughts and emotional responses of the individual.Also, studying the individual in sexual relationships b) method: case study, experiments, correlation research (e.g. surveys) c) Different schools of thought of theoretical approaches (e.g. psychodynamic – oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital stages versus social learning – modelling). These approaches would draw different conclusions about the same phenomenon d) Defines right and wrong in terms of effects on individuals and others 4. Sociological perspective a) Understands behaviour within a culture e.g. cultural effects via socialization of the group b) Norms, roles, expectations – groups and subgroups (closely related to social psychology). Kinsey-like (research in human sexuality was sociological in nature). Behaviour of groups in the population of society as a whole c) Effects of demographics on behaviours (e.g. age, sex, SES – socioeconomic status) d) Method: survey, interviews, observations (i.e. field research) 5. Anthropological perspective a) Cross cultural range of behaviours. They take a comparative perspective. Often study non-industrial societies. b) Method: participant observation (main method) with possibility of bias and accuracy issues c) Examples: Inis Beag (erotaphobic) & Mangaia (a sexually restrictive society versus a sexually open society) d) Conclusion: there are great variations between cultures and we are one of the most restrictive societies 6. Biological perspective a) Examines role of sexual behaviour in reproduction and the role of biological factors in sexual behaviour – anatomy, physiology, hormones b) Method: animal experimentation (problem: difficult to generalize across species), anomalies, and correlation studies c) Conclusion: there is more evidence for social and psychological factors than there are for biological determinants Thursday, Jan 10 th Theories and Methods THEORY – tentative and testable explanation RESEARCH – objective test of theory 1. Psychoanalytic – Freud • Personality: id, ego, superego (subconscious) • Id: driven by instinct “give me food, water, sex” (party/pleasure) • Ego: part of personality to partially satisfy desires of id within constraints of real world (computer/reality) • Superego: vales of society are incorporated into your personality, parents convey to you what is morally right and wrong (minister,priest/idealisitc) o pride and guilt • latent – meaning • manifest – actual • psychic determinism: everything has meaning (e.g. dreams) • unconscious motivation: processing no awareness • defence mechanisms – internal conflict: o repression: banishing o projection: attributing elsewhere (dealing with a desire/feeling of anger, telling someone else they’re angry at you) o reaction formation: expressing the opposite (e.g. me having same sex feelings for someone, unacceptable to me, beats the person I have feelings for) o displacement: deflect to
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