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Chapter 1

SOCIOL 3U03 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Heteroflexibility, Sexual Script Theory, Sexual Orientation

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Tina Fetner

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Chapter 1
- Negative societal reactions to a popular athlete showing affection to his partner
o Although he was opening gay, the things that pushed people over the edge was
the actual action (viewing it)
- All state prohibitions on same sex marriages were overturned in june 2015 w Obergefell
v. Hodges
o Daily ongoing cultural changes that are becoming more apparent but there is still
a ton of sexual regulation
o The conservative party is officially opposed to gay marriage, however young inds
of both parties now believe that gay rights are a given
However still face a ton of inequality
The sociology of sexuality
- Ward (2015) analyzing patterns behind sexual contact of straight men who are not gay
Incarceration, closeted, scared
o Heteroflexibility broad range of same sex sexual encounters experienced seen
as meaningless and unlikely to change how they identify
Girl on girl kissing in certain situations (frat parties)
Identities, desires, and behaviours are not always consistent
- Sexuality is cultural rather than personal
o Product and reflection of society both personal and social
o We have learned what is normal/not normal through pre-existing cultural scripts
- Sociologists emphasize the role social forces play in understanding sexuality
o Sexuality as a status marker
o Intersectionality of gender and sexuality
o How does the commodification of sexuality and other social issues contribute to
sexual identification
- Sexual orientation: an inds ID based on their enduring or continuing sexual attractions
o Based on enduring or continuing sexual attractions, including membership to
certain groups:
Heterosexuality: diff sex
Homosexuality: same sex
Bisexuality: both diff and same sex
Asexuality: no sexual attraction at all
- Pansexuality: sexual attraction to all sexes/genders
o Differs from bi as it does not assume a gender binary, actually rejects it
- Sexuality: refers to ones sexual desires, attractions, and behaviours
o Acts and emotions that are intended to be pleasurable, embedded within society
o For some their identity, behaviours, and ID all align but for others it doesn’t
May say theyre straight but are interested in the same sex
- Essentialism: implies a permanence to sexual orientation
o We treat sexual categories as real, fixed traits
o Static and unchanging

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o Naturalizes differences btwn groups which is a weakness
But still it is the foundation of W understanding
- Transgender: gender is inconsistent w their assigned sex at birth
- Queer: falls outside the norm surrounding gender and sexuality
o Political origins 1990s
social construction of reality
- Social construction: defined w/in social and cultural contexts
o Definitions change over time and place
- Gagnon and Simon (73)
o Biological determinism idea that sexuality is determined by out genetics
emphasize its social nature
o Challenge Freud who says that there is an innate sexual drive that should be
understood as an overwhelming force requiring social control
They promote the everydays of sexuality rather than treating it as
something separate from everyday life
- Certain behaviours are socially constructed
o Virginity loss (penis/vagina) heterocentric: biased towards heterosexuality
Gay/lesbian define it as first anal/oral intercourse
Don’t include coerced experiences
Secondary virginity/born again lost their true virginity but then are
abstinent from sex until marriage
Young, while, conservative, Christian women, born after 1972
Gendered only for women, not for men
o Orgasms learn what is sexual and pleasurable
Female orgasms vary more than male orgasms
In places were women are seen as less interested than men, the female
orgasm is unknown
Nature vs nurture
- We don’t know if its innate or not (sexuality)
- This argument extends to many things, not just sexual behaviour crime, illness, etc
o Above are better understood as a result of complex interactions btwn genes and
the environment
o Gay gene offensive, wanting to find a cure
However some LGBTQ gay men embrace the search for a gay gene form
of strategic essentialism
If it is innate, it is inherited the same way as eye colour
It still would not explain the varied historical behaviour
Sexual binaries
- Sexual binary: the idea that inds are either homo/hetero
o This is what searching for homosexuality supports
o Existences of bi challenges this
o Originated from 17th C Descartes
o Gay/straight, male/female, right/wrong
- Kinsey (1953)
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