Canadians now are more tolerant with premarital sex and unmarried couple living
together, as well with homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
Acceptance of homosexuality is strongly correlated with age, gender, and region.
Estimates of the prevalence of homosexuality depend on how homosexuality is
measured. An estimate based on sexual identity results in a lower percentage than does
an estimate focusing on sexual orientation (the way a person derives sexual pleasure,
including whether desirable partners are of the same or a different sex).
It is more appropriate to conceptualize sexuality as comprising 4 continua: sexual
attraction, sexual desire, sexual behavior, and sexual identity than in terms of a strict
dichotomy btw heterosexuality and homosexuality.
Changing attitudes toward extramarital affairs are part of a more general tendency for
people to have fewer sexual partners. Although there are undoubtedly several reasons for
this tendency, one of the most important is the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Does sex determine destiny?
Essentialism: perspective that gender is a reflection of naturally evolved dispositions.
Social constructionism: perspective that gender is a reflection of the different social
positions occupied by women and men.
Essentialists first observe male-female differences in sexual scripts, the division of labor
at home and in the workplace, mate selection, sexual aggression, jealousy, promiscuity,
fidelity, and so forth.
Essentialism has many variants, most of which originate in biology and psychology.
Here we briefly consider 3 of the most popular variants: brain studies, sociobiology, and
Male-female differences in brain structure are sometimes said to account for male-
female differences in behavior and achievement.
Use of the right hemisphere of brain becomes dominant in men, which supposedly
allows men to excel in mathematical, artistic, musical, and visual-spatial abilities.
Women use the hemispheres more symmetrically, giving them an edge in feelings,
intuition, language skills, and quick judgments.
Men presumably best at jobs requiring logic and visual-spatial manipulation.
Women presumably best at jobs requiring empathy, intuition, and language skills.
E.O. Wilson argues that the different reproductive status of men and women means they
have had to overcome different adaptive problems and develop different adaptive
strategies. This gave rise to patterns of behavior we now call “masculine” and
“feminine”. Individuals who possessed the characteristics that best resolved these
problems had a better chance of surviving and passing their genes to their offspring.
David Buss, a well-known evolutionary psychologist, argues that 4 adaptive strategies or
“universal features of our evolved selves” govern the relations btw the sexes and
contribute to the preservation of the human species. Men want casual sex, men treat
women as property, men beat or kill women who incite male sexual jealousy, and women
are greedy for money.
Reason for Buss’ theory: women can produce less eggs so less sex, men produce more
sperm so more sex.