Weeks & Frye Essay.docx

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PHIL 334
Catherine Ortner

PHIL 334First Essay AssignmentJayde JessomeIn Weeks The Invention of Sexuality he argues against essentialist understandings of what sex and sexuality are and in favor of a social constructivist understandingExplain carefully but briefly how Weeks understands each of these two approaches and how they differThis should take about 1 full page of your paperThen using the views expressed in Marilyn Fryes Lesbian Sex make a case that her discussion of contemporary lesbian practices in North America supports one or the other of these approaches to sexsexuality or show that Fryes account creates difficulties for distinguishing the two approaches in the way that Weeks does that is that Fryes account of lesbian practices fits about equally well or equally poorly with both of Weeks approacheshttplibmyilibrarycomezproxylibraryubccaOpenaspxid7403Natureendowed correctness of heterosexual genital intercourse p 5it has been difficult to escape the naturalistic fallacy that the key to our sex lies somewhere in the recesses of Nature and that sexual science provides the best means of access to it p 6Against the certainties of this tradition I intend in this essay to offer an alternative way of understanding sexuality indeed sexualities This involves seeing sexuality not as a primordially natural phenomenon but rather as a product of social and historical forces Sexuality I shall argue is a fictional unity that once did not exist and at some time in the future may not exist again It is an invention of the human mind p 6All the constituent elements of sexuality have their source either in the body or the mind and I am not attempting to deny the limits posed by biology or mental processes But the capacities of the body and the psyche are given meaning only in social relations p7These chapters amount to a critique of what is now generally called the essentialist approach to sex that is a method which attempts to explain the properties of a complex whole by reference to a supposed inner truth or essence the assumption that in all sexological matters there must be a single basic uniform pattern ordained by nature itself Singer 197315 This is in the language of modern critical science a reductionist method in that it reduces the complexity of the world to the imagined simplicities of its constituent units and it is deterministic in that it seeks to explain
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