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Chapter 8

SOC 1100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Zoophilia, Heterosexism, Kingsley Davis

Course Code
SOC 1100
Linda Gerber

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Chapter 8
Page 1
Sexuality and Society
Understanding Sexuality
Sex: Biological Issue:
- (def) Sex biological distinction between males and female
- mother contributes the X
- father contributes X or Y
- XX = girl
- XY = boy
- Testicular tissue produces testosterone triggers male genitalia
- (def) primary sex characteristics the genitals, organs used for
- (def) secondary sex characteristics bodily development, apart
from genitals, that distinguishes males from females
Females wider hips, breasts etc..
Males muscular
- Sex is NOT Gender
- Gender is an element of culture that refers to personal traits etc..
- (def) Intersexual People people whose bodies, have both female &
male characteristics
i.e hermaphrodites has an ovary and testis
- culture demands sex to be clear cut it ISN’T
- (def) Transsexuals people who feel they are one sex even though
biologically they are another
i.e David Reimer who lost his penis during circumcision and
was raised as a girl
- (def) gender reassignment surgical alterations of their genitals
- the social construct of gender identity is malleable
Sex: A Cultural Issue
- Sexuality is a cultural issue
- Cultural variation:
Sex positions vary around the world
Affection varies:
Chinese kiss in private
French kiss publicly 1 on each cheek
Belgians kiss publicly 3 times
Modesty varies:
Islamic women covers face
Laotian women covers breast
Samoan woman covers navel
Sumatran women covers knees
European women covers breasts & genitals

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Chapter 8
Page 2
Norms regulate sexuality
i.e no sex before marriage
- Incest Taboo
Example of cultural universal
(def) cultural universal an element found in every society
around the world
(def) Incest Taboo a norm forbidding sexual relations or
marriage between certain relatives
REASONS for Incest Taboo:
Biology produces birth defects
Controlling sex between relatives element of social
Limits sexual competition in families
Can confuse kinship
It can integrate families with larger societies as they
look for mates beyond close kin
Sexual Attitudes
European immigrants limit sex to marriage
Early Puritan Settlers imposed severe penalties for sexual misconduct
1969 in Canada birth control & homosexuality removed from criminal code
Canadians are both restrictive and permissive when it comes to sex
- Premarital sex permissive
- Homosexuality permissive
- Extramarital affair restrictive
Sexual Revolution:
- Experience sexual freedom during the “roaring twenties”
- 1960 if it feels good do it
- 1960 ‘sex, drugs, and rock n roll’
- baby boom generation first to grow up with ‘sex being a part of life’
- 1960 birth control pill made sex more convenient
- double standard men can, women can’t
- sexual revolution:
increased sexuality overall
changed behavior of women more than men
Sexual COUNTER-Revolution:
- Some criticized the moral decline counter-revolution began
- Critics object to:
Premarital sex
Children out of wedlock
- Counter-revolution did not change societies sexual ideas
- More people limiting sex due to:
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