UNI255 test 1 study guide.docx

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University College Courses
Scott Rayter

Freud - Believed sexuality was a force to be “discovered” – a drive that compels us to behave in certain ways - Saw sexuality as developmental - Phases of psychosexual development – oral, anal, phallic, oedipal complex, latent period, puberty - Oral involves mother’s breast, first object that brings pleasure to the baby - Child learns to pleasure itself through thumb sucking, etc. - Anal involves beginning of control, shame, etc., toilet training, learning about public/private, learning about ability to use one’s body to control others - Phallic phase is about awareness of different genitals – boy identifies with father and girl with mother - Boy realizes father is interfering with his access to mother while he wants access to mother, but also loves his father, so is ambivalent - Latency period where kids deny sexuality because it has moved to unconscious - Freud thought homosexuality was infantile because of failure to reconcile oedipal complex - Normal aim is to bring together male and female genitals for reproduction - All children are perverse because they deviate in aim - People aren’t born heterosexual but go through inversion, perversion, and eventually transition into heterosexuality - Repression is necessary in our society to create normality - People who don’t properly repress perversions become neurotic - Monogamy is cultural, not a drive Foucault - Idea of sexuality used to be something you do but now it’s something you are - Questioned the idea that the history of sexuality was one of repression - The rise of the bourgeoisie led to tighter controls being placed on the discourse about sex, but this also intensified the discourse on se - Sex became something to be scientifically examined instead of confined to religious confession - Confession also began to include fantasies and sexual orientation ideas instead of just physical acts - The way we talked about sex changed, ex. technical discourse emerging, laws prohibiting sex, etc. - Power is being used to bring sex into discourse instead of repressing it - The discourses on sex increased, but they spoke of normal pleasures so as to exclude abnormal ones - The notion of secrecy itself is part of the discourse, since the secret of sex makes us then want to explore it further - Perverts become a species having some particular nature instead of committing particular acts - Spirals of power and pleasure = the observer gains power from examining the subject, while the subject gains power from revealing it - Confessions reconstruct truth since the person who listens has the power - We see everything in terms of sex, ex. trying to understand a person through the lens of sexual orientation - The growing discourse on sex turned it into a problem of truth - Ars erotica vs. scientifica sexualis – secrets are valuable vs. secrets are shameful - We no longer see the power pushing us to confess as a constraint; we see it as therapeutic, although this is a cultural construct - Other cultures might see it as coercive - Seeing sex as the cause for certain behaviors (ex. neurosis) created the need to figure out how to draw it out - There is nothing about our desires or behaviors that should make us think they express profound truths about us; it’s the discourse we’ve built around it that suggests this truth - Sexual categories are human constructions Freud vs. Foucault - For Freud, power represses sexuality by introducing shame, while for Foucault, power operates to create sexualities - Freud thinks sexuality is a drive, while Foucault thinks it’s a construct - Freud thinks perversion is repressed by power, but Foucault says perversion is produced as a category by power - Freud says sexuality just naturally exists while Foucault thinks it’s something you have to search for and draw out - Freud’s idea of a latent period assumes that we need to be more aggressive to find that hidden sexuality and bring it out Halperin - Sexuality can only be understood in its historical context, ex. in ancient Athens, subordinate and superordinate, something done BY one TO another instead of a mutual thing - Sex used to be in the public, not private sphere since it reflected economy - We have this idea that “sexuality” is a feature of the human personality rather than simply a description of sexual practices - We see sexuality as something completely separate from our social and cultural context, but it isn’t - In Athens, sex was a tool of power (see also: Foucault) rather than an inclination - Sex was a manifestation of separate social identities - In Athens, public life was way more important than private life - In Athens, sex didn’t depend on gender but on who had power and who didn’t - People simply weren’t sorted by sexual orientation any more than they were sorted by whether or not they ate meat - Scholars sometimes see Greek refusal to distinguish between male and female sexual objects as a heterosexuality indifferent to its object or simply a sociological construct structured around the phallus - Caelius said men or women could be mentally ill when they seek out the same sex with the opposite sex’s passion - But the pathology here is sexual inversion (ex. a man wanting to be penetrated, not the gender) - The problem is that people are going against social and political roles instead of that they want to have sex with another woman - Men who exhibit gender-deviance aren’t actually homosexual; they are just feminine men - Before the construction of sexuality, certain
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