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Chapter 8

Textbook Notes - Chapter 8 (Sexuality and Society)

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SOC 1100
Linda Gerber

Sociology – Chapter 8: Sexuality and Society Sex: the biological distinction between females and males Primary sex characteristics: the genitals, organs used for reproduction Secondary sex characteristics: bodily development, apart from the genitals, that distinguishes biologically mature females and males Intersexual couple: people whose bodies, including genitals, have both female and male characteristics Transsexuals: people who feel they are one sex even though biologically they are the other Gender identity: traits that females and males, guided by their culture, incorporate into their personalities Incest taboo: a norm forbidding sexual relations or marriage between relatives (In Canada, first-cousin marriage is permitted) Heterosexuality: sexual attraction to someone of the opposite sex Homosexuality: sexual attraction to someone of the same sex Bisexuality: sexual attraction to people of both sexes. Asexuality: a 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: the selling of sexual services Queer Theory: a growing body of research findings that challenges the heterosexual bias in Western society Heterosexism: a view that labels anyone who is not heterosexual as ‘queer’ Sexual attitudes - not until 1969 were homosexual acts and birth control removed from Criminal Code of Canada, Trudeau - Sexual Revolution: revealing Americans were far less conventional; included birth control sex part of life with or without marriage; increased sexual activity overall, but changed the behaviour of women much more than that of men - Sexual Counter-Revolution: conservative call for family values, changes from sexual freedom back to sexual responsibility - Premarital Sex Sexual Orientation - sexual orientation: o a product of society o a product of biology Structural-Functional Analysis: highlights contribution of any social pattern to overall operation of society; because sexuality can have important consequences, it is regulated by society The need to regulate sexuality – allows reproduction, regulate with whom and when people reproduce (adultery, incest). Birth control offered freedom – sex now a form of intimacy and recreation Latent Functions: prostitution Functional analysis often forgets gender Symbolic-Interaction Analysis: highlights construction o
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