Rec 100: Chapter 14 Textbook Notes

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University of Waterloo
Recreation and Leisure Studies
REC 100
Diana Parry

Chapter 14: Sex, Sexuality, and Leisure  Leisure can be defined as activities performed by choice during discretionary time o Leisure activities are engaged to fulfill personal needs  Sex may be a leisure activity (pleasurable and there is a choice), but sex may also not be considered a leisure activity (mandatory, to fulfill obligations) Defining Sex and Sexuality  Definition: Sex classifies a group of activities, engaged in alone or with one or more others, which involve stimulation of the genitals and other sensitive parts of the body (ex. breasts)  Interpersonal level – sexuality can define relationships between people o ex. sex is considered a component of marriage and similar intimate relationships  Social level – sexuality encompasses a set of roles, obligations, and duties that are prescribed by society o ex. in Canada, it is expected that people do not have sex outside of their primary relationships (otherwise we characterize the person as having an affair or cheating) Allport’s Classification of Personality Traits 1. Cardinal traits are personality traits that dominate a person’s life and pursuits 2. Central traits are the few characteristics that can be used to describe yourself to someone new  ex. warm, loyal, trustworthy, ambitious, honest, etc. 3. Secondary traits are characteristics that may be less obvious, less important, or less noticeable  May be transitory o ex. you see yourself as a uni student, but that will change when you graduate  may be permanent but difficult to notice o ex. you express sexuality by engaging in sexual fantasy, which other’s don’t see  generally evident in behaviour Why is Sex Not Leisure  sex may not be leisure when it is not a voluntary activity, when it is part of an obligatory duty, or when it is work o ex. sex workers (prostitutes), are unlikely to see sex as a leisure activity, but rather a job o ex. sex may be seen as a wife’s or husband’s duty, something that must be present for the sake of the relationship (in this case, sex is more of an obligation than leisure) o ex. sex is not a form of leisure (for the victim) when there is no choice (sexual assault)  the meaning of sex may be contextual – sex is work in some cases and leisure in others  sexuality can be used as a form of social control o certain kinds of sexual activity may be forbidden, or restricted only to certain contexts o ex. in Canadian society, people are only allowed to have 1 spouse at a time (monogamy); however, other societies may be polygamous/polyandrous o ex. marital rape is illegal in Canada, but allowed in some other countries  sex can become a source of anxiety o ex. in some countries, sex is restricted to specific relationships (like marriage); therefore, in order to have sex, one must get married or have sex illicitly When Sex is Leisure  sex is considered leisure when it is voluntary, not work, and serves some personal, rather than social or moral, need for the individual(s) involved  sexual activity may be play (the activity may be joyful in itself), or engaging in sexual activity may be a re-affirmation of one’s identity  sex can be seen as a source of simple physical pleasure and release of tension o in this sense, sex is fun and playful  sexual activity may take the form of fantasy (thinking about sex), or may expand into complex scenarios (sexual fantasy is often accompanied by self-stimulation to orgasm) o sexual pleasure can be accompanied by feelings of guilt or anxiety o ex. while many people masturbate, it is rarely discussed openly and such discussion is considered in poor taste (frowned upon) Sex as a Leisure Activity Sexuality as Personal Development  sexuality can be a defining factor of personality (thus, a cardinal or central trait) or it can be direct expressions of personality traits (ex. a generally dominant person may seek out positions of dominance in sexual activity)  when sexuality is a cardinal trait, people may go through a great deal of trouble to engage in their chosen sexual activities  even when sexuality is not a cardinal (or dominant) trait, it may still be a central trait (one of the few characteristics used by the self and others to define personality)  since sexuality can be a crucial component of personality, it can be a tool for self-actualization o expressing important personal traits reinforces and redefines a sense of identity o ex. homosexuals: being labelled and judged strictly by their sexual preference may lead
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