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PSYC 1000 (729)
Chapter 8


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University of Guelph
PSYC 1000
Linda Gerber

Chapter 8: Sexuality Common Knowledge Attitudes towards sex are very different depending on the area Controversial topics include: debate of gay rights, abortion, teen pregnancy, prostitution, sexual abuse Sexuality is found everywhere: sports, campus, work, media, religion, sex industries Sex is taboo, not discussed very openly. Not only can it produce pleasure but it can produce anxiety, stress, confusion & fear. Definitions: Sex: Biological distinction between male and females Primary Sex Characteristics: the genital, organs used for reproduction Secondary Sex Characteristics: bodily development apart from the genitals that distinguishes biologically mature females and males. Eg. Females: wider hips for giving birth, milk producing breasts Males: More body muscle, hairier & deeper voices Gender: element of culture that refers to the personal traits and patterns of behaviour, including responsibilities, opportunities, and privileges, that culture attaches to being male or female. Gender Identity: Incorporation of cultural definitions and expectations into personality/ traits that males and females, guided by their culture, incorporate in their behaviours Intersexual: people whose bodies including genitals, have male and female characteristics Transsexual and transgender people: individuals who feel they are one sex even though biologically they are another Incest Taboo: a norm forbidding sexual relations or marriage between certain relatives Cultural Universal: element found in every society across the world Sexual Orientation: refers to a person’s romantic and emotional attraction to another person Heterosexuality: sexual attraction to someone of the other sex Homosexuality: sexual attraction to someone of the same sex BIsexuality: sexual attraction to people of both sexes Asexuality: lack of sexual attraction to people of either sex Homophobia: the dread of close personal interaction with people thought to be gay, lesbian or bisexual Abortion: the deliberate termination of a pregnancy Pornography: sexually explicit material that causes sexual arousal Prostitution: is the selling of sexual services Queer Theory: growing body of research findings that challenge the heterosexual bias in Western Society Heterosexism: a view that labels anyone not heterosexual as queer Case Studies #1 Sergeant Sylvia Durand - first transsexual soldier who transitioned (M to F) while serving in the Canadian Army. Durand’s partner is Cynthia Cousen, a police officer for 28 years, and made the change to female during retirement. They met in counseling. Shows Canadian open-mindedness. Not discriminated against in Durands transition. Now both work in Gender Identity Disorder. #2 The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl Doctor performed circumcision on two twins. On accidentally cut off one of the boys penis Decided to change the boy to a girl called ‘Joan’ Cultural definition of femininity: Dressed Joan like a girl, long hair The two twins had different gender identities Biology came through & ‘Joan’ started to show masculine traits - resist feminine gender Told the truth & switches back to a boy by surgery, and hormone treatments Proves that cultural condition is limited by biology #3 Same-Sex Marriage in Canada January 2001 - First same sex marriage Metropolitan Community Church gave a publications of banns to Joe Varnell & Kevin Bourassa and Anne & Elaine Vantour June 2003 the province’s court of appeal said “exclusion of gays from the institution of marriage is illogical, offensive & unjustifiable” - Ontario immediately started handing out marriage license 18-24 year old people most supportive of same-sex marriage - in favor of extending rights to same-sex marriage couples Justice Canada drafted legislations that marriage is a union of two people - Passed july 2005 Netherlands & Belgians first countries to support gay marriage #4 The Abortion Controversy Doctors have been targeted and killed for performing abortions In Canada & USA 3 abortions/1000 people Performed at hospitals, clinics & private practices Dr. Morgentaler - tried and convicted of illegal actives Until Mid-1900s abortion was illegal - all was done in secret with some fatal results 1969 Pierre Trudeau legalized abortion is three physicians agreed that the baby would cause damage to the mother 1973 Supreme Court got rid of all laws that said abortion was illegal Pro-Choice vs. Prolife 40% of people are fully pro-choice under any circumstance 5% is prolife under any circumstance Pro-choice - provides more equality to women, provides a more safe environment for abortion _ Pro-life Killing unborn children Other issues 1). Aborting fetuses based on sex 2). Using abortion as a form of birth control 3). Canadians able to abort at any point during pregnancy #5 Rape and Date Rape: Exposing Dangerous Myths - issue of date rape widely discussed on campus - 12% of Canadian women have experienced sexual assault - being a student increases chances of being sexually assaulted - victims reluctant to come forward - Prostitutes, drug addicts, alcoholics, welfare or unemployed women usually have cases dismissed - Myth 1: Rape involves stranger - 1/5 sexual assaults involves a stranger - Myth 2: Women provoke attacker - actions is no more a woman’s statement of consent than it is an invitation to have him beat her with a club - Myth 3: Rape is simple sex - under law forcing a women to have sex without consent is a violent crime - Myth 4: Only Women are raped - 40% of young men tell researchers that they have experienced a time where they were pressured or forced sexual contact with a woman View Points: Biological Issue Background: Sex is a biological distinction between female and male Egg plus sperm creates embryo (23 chromosome from each person is the genetic coding that guides physical development) XX or XY - determines sex Sex and the Body Differences in body set male & females apart by primary & secondary sex characteristics. Puberty is being reached earlier Sex is different than gender Intersexual People Hermaphrodites - confusion & fear are common feelings about the subject Pokot people don’t focus on the genitalia mix up Dinee people look at hermaphrodites in awe Transsexual and Transgendered People Sex is different than gender Many disregard traditional looks and beliefs of being a certain gender Operations and hormone treatments can be used to change this to how individual truly feels A Cultural Issue: Biology does not dictate any specific ways of being sexual Cultural Variation Depending on area depends on sexual restrictions ex 1. America - Missionary position most common in heterosexual couples Across the globe most people never have sex like that ex 2. Kissing: Chinese kiss only in private, French publicly, & Belgian 3 times on the cheek ex 3. If shower curtain pulled on a woman: Islamic covers face; Laotian covers breast; Samoan covers navel; Sumatran covers knees; European covers breast and genitalia ex 4. Sexual restriction: China few have sex before marriage; America normal to have sex before marriage Incest Taboo Cultural universally agree against incest Law & cultural mores prohibit incest Increase risks of genetic disease in offspring Necessary for social organization - limits sexual competition in families by restricting sex to spouses - confuse kinship _ family ties define people’s rights and obligations Eg.1 Canada can marry first cousin; Peru & Egypt have okayed brother-sister marriage among nobility to keep power in certain family; Dinee not allowed incest on moms side Sexual Attitudes Early times limited sex to reproduction within marriage. There was strict conformity in attitudes and behaviours and harsh penalties were stipulated for misconduct 1960’s legal banned of condoms 2003 several states banned gay marriage 1969 Canada allowed birth control & same-sex relationships in private. Pill provided by doctor to married women initially 1980’s prescribed to teenage girls In comparison individual freedom & personal choice makes it that persons choice Bibbys survey in relation to attitudes about Non-marital sex, Extra-marital sex and Homosexuality and different times periods. One major finding was that there was a decline in the mentality to pre-marital sex being okay in teenagers versus older people became more okay with it. Sexual Revolution Industrial revolution meant that many young people moved from the country to city for jobs. This resulted in great sexual freedom. (‘Roaring 20’s’ slowed in depression than picked back up post war) Major change in sex especially for women Alfred Kinsey - Did first study of sexuality in America. Caused great controversy that he was studying sex. Findings: Americans were far
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