Ch 14 - Variations of Sexual Orientation
What is a sexual stereotype?
- Huge gender component, but what makes it a stereotype is that it is
generalized. Ie. ALL men are like this… ALL women do this…
Dominant discourse about male sexuality:
- Men always initiate sex
- Men do all of the work all of the time- they are active, have control
- Sex is always on their mind
- Hidden agenda – everything they do is to try and get laid
- More sexually aggressive, animalistic
HER 3 POINTS (Gary Brooks)
- 1) Ferocious and omnipresent sexual desire. We think of it has very extreme
and very strong, making it seem that they are not responsible or not
accountable. Their desire is stronger than them, they cannot control it. Men
will protect women from other men. This is why people don’t want to see
men as daycare workers, babysitters or nanny’s. They want to protect their
children from this.
- Another example: A guy makes a conversation with you at a Tim Horton’s, we
tend to think that they just want in our pants. Stereotypes are heterosexual.
- Its in our language (boys will be boys, raging hormones), we see it in movies
and TV shows and laugh
- 2) Sexuality that is non-relational. Person becomes a means to something
else, or becomes an object. Being a subject (bringing in the humanity) vs
being an object, which is what we tend to see here ( just a girl I want to sleep
with to add another one). Only thing that is important is that the person is
willing to have sex.
- All of the expressions (shes a good lay, good piece of ass) shows
objectification of a person, much easier to become violent (easier to beat up
an object than a subject)
- Most porn is non-relational
- Not a lot of good models for healthy relationships
- 3) Sexuality disconnected from emotions and feeling
- A man always needs to have the urge for sex, even if he is exhausted, sick,
sad, broke up with his sex, feels it is too soon, not attracted, in love with
someone else, not interested. Thus men can’t say NO. When they do see no,
they get laughed at, seen as less masculine, you are gay (often said), women
will say ( I’m not pleasing you??, am I not sex??y… well if its none of that then
you must be gay,) Social judgment if they say no. Men have to be
disconnected from their emotions so they can always say yes.
- Our society does not put emphasis on emotions of men.
- Passiveness and masculinity does not go hand and hand. Why? Vulnerability - What sucks about the guy always initiating? Rejection and refusal. Guys may
use date rape drug to prevent from rejection. Music videos and porn make
this fantasy where women want it all the time so rejection is not possible. We
do not learn anywhere how to deal with rejection in a healthy way. Unfair for
guys that are shy.
Dominant discourse about female sexuality
- Women use excuses to not have sex because they don’t feel like it
- Women who buy condoms, have many partners, they are judged as slutty,
- All women have PMS: moody, irritable
- Women's job to initiate safe sex, responsible for safe sex
- Women are supposed to look the part and look sexy
- Dumb is sexy (passive)
- Women who have multiple partners are judged
- Women’s job is to please sexually
Deborah Tolman (wrote a lot about teenage girl sexual desire)
- 1) Women are objects of desire and are not desirous subjects> nothing out
there on how to be comfortable in skin,how to be desirous, that things that
are out there feed on stereotypes: how to please men (cosmo), how to look
- 2) Sexuality disconnected from the body. Most of the messages out there are
about when you should atop then men from going further, how to avoid
negative consequences. “ girl thinking with her clit” is very foreign. Sexuality
is emotional, sensual, but we are not taught how to read our sexual desires or
sexual feelings in our body, the ideas are put there.
- 3) Double bind. You lose no matter what option you choose. If you have sex,
you are seen as a slut, easy etc. If you don’t have sex, then you are seen as
prude, frigid square. So which is the better option?? This starts in high school
and continues on in life…
- It’s their own fault if they dress like that, its her fault she slept with the whole
- Girls can’t really say YES because of stereotypes. So what do they do to get
out of the double bind.
- Its called token-resistance: engaging in kissing and making out, then girl
stops and says I’m not that person, I usually don’t do this, its too soon, then
they start to move closer and closer, then ask well are you sure we do this??
- What’s wrong with this strategy? You’re saying NO but it’s a real YES. We
have a better understanding of environments that lead to rape because of
- Study: 39 % have used it to not appear promiscuous, when they don’t know
partners feelings, or to avoid rejection Sexual Orientation
What causes homosexuality?
o There have been lots of studies on this but it is problematic because
we are saying there is something “wrong”. We could almost then
equivocate it to an illness.
o Biological, psychodynamic and familial causes have all been targeted.
o Biological looking for a “gay” gene, sizes of nucleuses in
hypothalamus, length of fingers, twin studies…
o Psychodynamic Freud and “dominant”. Father and absent mother
may make a girl relate with her father and a mother and absent father
may make a boy relate with his mother.
What do we know today ?? Not very much.
There may be a biological predisposition for exclusive homosexuality,
especially in men.
o A person who has always been and always will be attracted to same
sex and never attracted to the opposite sex.
o This is rare : NHSLS 2.8% of men and 1.8% of women ID as
o A lot of people still think you are born this way.
Disadvantages in trying to find “causes”
o Abort fetuses with this gene
o That biology determines your path
o Your have a disorder
o ** all gay people are the same (but clearly this is not true)
o Label people as “real” gay and “fake” gay.
Most likely an interaction between biological and environment (brain and
They show how we have evolved over time
1) Pre-Kinsey dichotomous model: You are either homosexual or heterosexual.
That’s that, there is no in-between.
2) Kinsey Sexual Orientation Scale (1948):
It is behavior based. Remember Kinsey loves counting things (quantitative =
So this allows counting the number of times you engaged in a particular
Scale form 0-6.
Men tended to cluster at exclusive ends
Women more incidence between in the “bisexual area”
Gave the idea what your sexual orientation is fixed
Set a label so people could say “ I am a 2 on the Kinsey scale”. Ranking behaviour and “psychological reactions”
0- Exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual
1- Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2- Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3- equally heterosexual and homosexual
4- Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5- Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6- Exclusively homosexual
3) Storms Two Dimensional Scheme (1980)
We have 2 types of continuums going on (homoeroticism and
Eroticism attraction, sexual feelings and less focus on behaviour.
Note it is self-reportable eroticism
Bisexual attracted to women 100% and men 100% (not 50/50)
Asexual this can be an identity or a way to be. Doesn’t mean there is
something wrong with you.
Most asexual people:
o Have no