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What is Human Sexuality 1/24/2012 12:59:00 PM
Sex: derives from the latin roots meaning to cut or divide signifies
the division of organisms into males and females
o Gender: one’s personal, social and legal status as male or
female
o Refers to our gender
o Refers to our sexual organs
o Refers to physical activities such as sexual
intercourse(coitus), masturbation, hugging
o Can relate to erotic (arousing sexual feelings or desires)
feelings
o Sexual behaviour includes but is not limited to behaviour
involving reproduction
o Foreplay: mutual sexual stimulation that may or may not lead
to intercourse
Human Sexuality: the ways in which we experience and express
ourselves as sexual beings
Sex as Leisure
Sex is leisure when it is voluntary, not work and serves some
personal need
At its most basic level sex provides physical pleasure
Self-actualization: a state in which a person is comfortable with his
or her sexuality
Meany and Rye argue that learning one’s sexual likes and dislikes
can lead to self actualization
The Study of Human Sexuality
Some organizations promoting sex research and sex education
o Sex Information and council of Canada
o The Society for the Scientific study of sexuality
o
Canadian Society and Sexuality
2 thirds of population growth is from immigration
immigrants are 20% of the population and 50 % of Toronto’s
population
values: qualities of life that are deemed important or unimportant,
right or wrong, desirable or undesirable
¾ of young people born in Canada have sex before the age of 20
o young people not born in Canada the number is less than
half
children of immigrant parents often get caught in a culture clash
Comparing Canada with Other Countries
western countries with higher gender equality had higher rates of
sexual satisfaction
lowest levels of sexual satisfaction were found in Indonesia and
japan
in general men reported higher rates than women
birth rate in Canada is lower than the states and Canadian women
marry later than American women
more Americans attend university shortly after high school
our society is pluralistic it accepts a wide range of beliefs and
values
Sexuality and Ethics
Some sexual choices can have negative consequences for
individuals
o So all societies have restrictions on certain sexual behaviours
The World Association for Sexual Health has been at the forefront in
promoting sexual rights
Many developing countries are offended by many of washes
principles
Sexuality and Spirituality
Many researchers believe that sexual relations can be more fulfilling
when extended beyond the purely physical aspects
Researchers argue that many people want to transform their sex
routine into a spiritual experience
“tantric sex” based on tantric yoga stemming from religious
practices in India, emphasizes prolonged sexual union as a way to
achieve heightened consciousness and enlightenment
Thinking Critically About Human Sexuality
Principles of critical thinking
o Be skeptical
o Examine definitions of terms
o Examine the assumptions or premises of an argument
o Be cautious in drawing conclusions from evidence
o Consider alternative interpretations of research evidence
o Consider the kinds of evidence upon which conclusions are
based
o Do not oversimplify
o Do not over generalize
Perspectives on Human Sexuality
Historical
History shows little evidence of universal sexual trends
Art from the stone age suggests the worship of women’s ability to
bear children
Phallic worship: worship of the penis as a symbol of generative
power
o Came into being as people gained awareness of the male role
in reproduction
o Same time as shift between hunter gatherers -> farmers and
sheperds
Phallic symbols: images of the penis
o Figured in religious ceremonies in ancient Egypt
Incest taboo: the prohibition against intercourse and reproduction
among close blood relatives
o May be the first human taboo
Ancient Hebrews viewed sex in marriage as a fulfilling experience
intended to satisfy the divine injunction to “be fruitful and multiply”
o Sex could be fun not just about making babies
o Wife considered property of husband
Ancient Greeks
o Valued family life
o Viewed men and women as bisexual (sexually responsive to
either gender)
o Pedastry: sexual love of boys
o Prostitution: at every level of society
Courtesan: a prostitute name of mistress of noble or
wealthy man