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Chapter 1


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Western University
Psychology 2075
William Fisher

CHAPTER 1-SEXUALITY IN PERSPECTIVE Sex & Gender “any behavior that increases the union of an egg and a sperm” –biological definition of sexual behavior o emphasizes reproductive function of sex o birth control, other contraceptives separated reproduction from sex “sex is a behavior that leads to orgasm”-Alfred Kinsey, sex researcher sexual behavior: behavior that produces arousal and increases chance of orgasm History of Understanding Sexuality: Religion and Science · Greek’s acknowledged both homos and heteros and trani’s in society, presented in mythology · 15 century Christians believed wet dreams resulted from intercourse with tiny spiritual creatures called incubi and succubi o wet dreams, sexual dysfunction and lust were said to be causes of witchcraft · Muslims regarded sex as a primary source of pleasure, secondary source of repro- duction · Anton Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) sperm swimming in human swimming · Oscar Hertwig (1849-1922) first observed the actual fertilization of the egg by the sperm in sea urchins (19 century) th o Ovum in humans wasn’t observed until 20 century · Dr Clelia Mosher (physician that conducted sex survey in Victorian era) o results provide alternative description of female sexuality during this period, it was said woman felt no sexual desire although 80% did, 72% experienced orgasm · Henry Havlock Ellis: underrated physician who compiled vast amount of info on sexuality- like medical and anthropological findings o Theories published in Studies in the Psychology of Sex, 1896. o Believed women like men are sexual creatures o A sexual reformer, he believed that sexual deviations from the norm are of- ten harmless and urged society to accept them · German Magnus Hirschfield: founded the first sex research institute and adminis- tered the first large-scale sex survey o most info destroyed by Nazi’s o established first journal devoted to study of sexuality The Media · in a week, 35% of all programs showed sexual behaviors · communication theorists believe media has 3 types of influence: o cultivation: view that exposure to the mass media makes people think what they see there represents the mainstream of what really occurs o agenda setting: the idea that the media define what is important and what is not by which stories they cover o social learning: the idea that the media provide role models whom we imitate Cross- Cultural Perspectives on Sexuali
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