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Chapter 1

FRHD 2100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Psychoanalysis, Natural Selection, Havelock Ellis

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 2100
Tuuli Kukkonen

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Chapter 1: What is Human Sexuality?
The word “sex” has various meanings
– Refers to whether we are male or female
– Refers to anatomical structures (sex organs)
– Refers to physical activities involving our sex organs
– Relates to erotic feelings, experiences or desires
Erotic - Arousing sexual feeling or desires is also related to sex
• Gender
- One's personal, social, and legal status as M or F
– Refers to social or cultural categories
*Gender Roles- Complex clusters of the ways males and females are
expected to behave within a given culture
• Human Sexuality
– Refers to the ways we experience and express ourselves as sexual beings
• Sex as Leisure
- When it is voluntary and not seen as work
- When it serves a personal need
– Provides physical pleasure
– Component of personality development
– Part of one’s identity
- Can reach sexual self-actualization where one is comfortable with their sexuality
The Study of Human Sexuality
– Interdisciplinary
– e.g., anthropology, biology, medicine, sociology, psychology
– Promoted by leading organizations
• The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN)
• The Canadian Sex Research Forum (CSRF)
• Canadian Society and Sexuality
– Compared to the US, Canada:
• Is more ethnically diverse (immigrants practicing genital mutilation, arranged
marriages, more conservative views on sexual intercourse)
-> demographic has a large effect on sexual attitudes
• Has a lower birth rate and teen pregnancy rate
• Promotes multiculturalism
-> Compared to the US, Canadians:
Are more likely to have some post-secondary education
• Consider religion to be less central

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• Have more liberal sexual attitudes
- Politics and sex in Canada and the US
• Christian fundamentalists have greater presence in the US (“the religious right”)
• Canadian governments have had more balanced approach to sex education
• Canada has maintained separation between religion and state
• Canada was 4th country to legalize same sex marriage
– Politics and sex in Canada and the US (continued)
• Harper Conservatives raised age of consent
• Harper Conservatives prevented money from maternal health programs from funding
abortion services
• Canada is generally more liberal than the US
• Recent Harper government initiatives may reflect a governmental shift toward more
conservative sexual values
• Sexuality and Values
– Our society is pluralistic with respect to sexuality
– Defining characteristic of Canada is acceptance of diversity
– Sexual attitudes, experiences, and behaviours are shaped by culture
Sexuality and Ethics
All societies have restrictions on certain behaviours
Ethics of divinity: based on belief in a natural right or wrong eg. Sex
outside of marriage
Ethics of community: based on what is perceived as good for community
eg. Laws against sexual assault
Ethics of autonomy: based on rights and freedoms of individuals eg. Belief
that same sex relationships are acceptable bc they do not impede upon the
rights of others (promoting sexual rights)
• Ethics and Sexual Rights
– The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) has promoted sexual rights
– Concept of sexual rights is contentious
– Sexual health-related related goals for the global goals for the global
• Gender equality must be advanced
• Sexual violence and abuse should be eliminated
• Universal access to sexuality education must be provided
• Recognize promote ensure and protect sexual, promote, ensure and protect
sexual rights for all
Advance toward gender equality and equity
• Condemn, combat, reduce sexuality-related violence
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