Lecture 4- soc244 sept 27 2011
- power relations are very important in this discussion of sexuality
*the scientific method
- there are certain characteristics that emerge from the 20th century literature on sexuality
- sexuality also appeared to be as an energy system - looking at sexuality as potent
energy force connected to spirituality, relationships, etc.
- according to Mary - argues there are certain assumptions that emerge from the discourse
of the mid 20th century - 1 is: implicitly understanding that men are dominate and that
women are more submissive sexually and achieving sexuality - involves some sort of
submission of the female - body, sex, the self to men and that part of this is about men -
teaching women the nurture sexual responsiveness - and further reject their roles that are
somehow seen as psychologically flawed.
- other then the scientific method - sexuality is : orgasms, behaviour, relationships, but in
the process what has been ignored is the historical dimension - the scientific method
tends to view sex as the biological process rather then the history, culture and the
Margaret need - challenge the scientific understanding of sexuality - wanted the
importance of cultural arrangements - to change and alter sexual prerequisites, across the
sex is not a natural act, it is socially constructed and repeated throughout our lives *****
- the importance of social influence of framing sexuality.
-When we use the word sex, it is very distinct meanings - her sex is a female -
chromosomal effects, her sex role is that of a women - is looking on gender role,
historical concept, etc, and She had sex with him - refers the universal meanings around
sexuality - images of arousal and so on.
defining sexuality : Reiss - based on society that your part of - social life is major
influence on sexual responses so one can define sexuality as the arousal, responses
resulting from shared sexual scripts.
-other special scripts that were not part of: we don't know much about because we are not
part of that group.
reproduction does not place a significant reason for the importance that we place on
sexuality - so even to reproductive outcomes become controllable , such as birth control
our interest in sexuality has risen.
because of the development of birth control - means a disconnect between sex and
sexuality : cannot be reduced to mere reproduction - if you want to have a child -
intercourse is the best method - but sex, is female pleasure is a poor choice - since
masturbation, and lesbian sex is more satisfying for women. 99% of women can acheive orgams through masterbation.
it can reduce pleasure -
Two key characteristics:
1) physical pleasure : the pleasures experienced in various parts of the body - societies
differ - in what parts of the body are deemed erotic or not- for eg. feet, the length of the
hair, the neck, so experience of sexuality may be biological - the group one lives
determines what parts of your body turn you on. (biology is filtered through the
selectivity of the group.)
2)self disclosure - tends to be a little more abstract - it does not mean affection - it makes
someone else aware of a certain part of yourself - part of yourself that is not generally
exposed to the public. It can lead to intimacy - but it does not have to lead to a
relationship, it relieves stress, emotional support, but it does not have to flow. (may lead
to affection in relationships. )
Mangaia in Polynesia - marshal 1971- both sexes in early adolescent experience very
high levels of sexual desire. around 13 - 14 following circumsion - boys are given
instructions - how to please a girl. after about two weeks, an older sexually experienced
women has intercourse with the adolescent boy - girls at this age are also instructed to
become orgasmic. if a women's partner fails to satisfy her - she is likely to leave him. the
belief that the sexuality is strongest in the earl adolescent phase - so when individual has
a certain youth - the sexual impulses decline or diminish. (age is very important in
Dani of new Guinea - show very little interest in sexuality y- very little to no concern
about sexual relations because their concern is reproduction. So sexual intercourse is
performed very quickly - ending with the male orgasm and that's it. So mothers and
fathers do 5 years of sexual abstinence,
Victorian Era in Europe and America - believed that women had very little sexual desire -
so if they experienced any sexual desire it tended to be around reproduction - wanting to
have a baby - it was because reproduction - had to engage in sexuality. They viewed
sexuality in a very negative fashion. Women tended to be viewed a Asexual, while men
were seen as very sexual. the hundreds ears after plus, really influenced women and their
own understanding of sexuality. for eg.. societal to remain a virgin until you are married.
in colonial times - the purpose for sex was for reproductive - it was in possession of a
man rather then a women - so that the children have a legitimate father - very patriarchal
Sigmund Freud 1856 - 1939
- you tend to think of sexuality as a dichotomy - humans are sexual - physiological
structures responding sexually to either sex. symbolic interactionist perspective - the labels that we place - homosexual, bisexual -
they are also socially constructive -
Freud showed th