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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Sexuality in Perspective.doc

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Psychology 2075
Corey Isaacs

Chapter 1: Sexuality in Perspective Sex & Gender - Sex – refer to sexual anatomy + sexual behaviour - Gender – reder to the state of being male + female - Textbook focuses on sexual behaviour + the biological, psychological + social forces that influence it - Gender Roles – the ways in which males + females are expected to behave o Powerful influence on the way people behave sexually - Biologist Definition of Sex: any behaviour that increases the likelihood of gametic union (union of sperm and egg) - BC pills separate reproduction from sex - Most Cds have sex for pleasure + intimacy rather for procreation Alfred Kinsey – def. “sex” as behaviour that leads to orgasm o Some problems/merits  does not imply that sex must be associated w/ reproduction o If a couple has sex but no orgasm  was that not sex? o Oral-genital stimulation leads to orgasm  is this considered sex? - Sexual behaviour – behaviour that produces arousal + increases the chance of orgasm Influences on Sexuality Religion - Source of values and ethics re: sexuality  powerful influence on sexual attitudes + behaviours of many individuals - Historical examples of how diff religions understood sexuality o Ancient Greeks – openly acknowledged both heterosexuality + homosexuality in their society o Myth – original humans were double creatures with twice the # of limbs and organs  The gods feared them so much that they split these double creatures in half  Heterosexuals believed to be the result of splitting ½ male and ½ female  Homosexuals believed to be the result of splitting double male and double female  Through this belief, greeks understood sexual orientation and sexual desire o Fifteenth-Century Christians – believed that “wet dreams” (nocturnal emissions) resulted from intercourse with tiny spiritual creatures called incubi + succubi a notion (belief) put forth by the papul document (an official document) and the companion book Malleus Maleficarem (“witch’s hammer”)  The Malleus became the official manual for the Inquisition  women were tried as witches  Wet dreams, sexual dysfunction, sexual lust were seen to be caused by witchcraft o Muslims – believed that sexual intercourse is one of the finest pleasures of life, reflecting the teachings of the great prophet Muhammad  Sexuality is re: primarily as a source of pleasure + only secondarily as a means of reproduction  Laws of the Koran are carried out differently from country to country - The influence of religion on Cdns is apparent in the discussion of homosexuality + abortion - Conservative Christians often use their interpretation of the Bible - to justify their opposition to homosexuals, same-sex sexual behaviour, same-sex marriage - Other Cdns feel that these arguments have more to do with anti-gay prejudice + homophobia than religion Science - Scientific study of sex began in the 19 century  Dutch microscopist Anton van Leeuwenhoek – had discovered sperm swimming in human semen  Oskar Hertwig – first observed the actual fertilization of the egg by the sperm in sea urchins th o Ovum in humans was not observed until the 20 century  Sigmund Freud – founder of psychiatry and psychoanalysis - Began their research in the Victorian era (late 1800s) both in NA + Europe - Norms about sexuality  extremely rigid and oppressive  Historian Peter Gay characterized this repressive aspect of Victorian culture norms as - Devious and insincere - Actual sexual behaviour of Victorians violated societal norms and expectations  Dr. Clelia Mosher – conducted a sex survey of Victorian women in the US - Results provide an alternative description of female sexuality during this period - Despite the Vicotiran stereotype that women felt no sexual desire o 80% of women said that they felt a desire for sexual intercourse o 72% indicated that they experienced orgasm - Another discrepancy between social norms and behaviour occurred in an earlier era o Many fur traders married Aboriginal women – at least until white women began to arrive – knowing that this would not be acceptable in Europe  Henry Havelock Ellis – compiled a vast collection of information on sexuality (medical, anthropological findings, as well as case histories) - Published in a series of volumes titled Studies in the Psychology of Sex - Believed that women are sexual creatures - Believed that sexual deviations from the norm are often harmless and argued society to accept them Richard von Kraft-Ebing – special interest was “pathological” sexuality - Studied 200 pathological individuals - Appeared in his book Psychopathia Sexualis - Coined the concepts of sadism, masochism, + pedophilia - Terms “heterosexuality” + “homosexuality” Magnus Hirschfeld – founded the first sex research institute + administered the first-large scale sex survey - Obtaining data from 10000 people on a 130-item questionnaire - Most of the information gathered was destroyed by Nazi hoodlums - Established the first journal devoted to the study of sexuality - Established a marriage counseling service - Worked for legal reforms - Gave advice on contraception + sex problems - Special interest was of homosexuality  Margaret Mead + Bronislaw Malinowski – were beginning to collect data on sexual behaviour in other cultures The Media – in terms of potency in influence, mass media in NA play the same role that religion did in previous centuries - Cdns are influenced both by Cdn programs + more so, by American prime-time tv - Typical week in ’05, 35% of programs showed some sexual behaviour – ranging from kissing to sexual intercourse - Up to 23% in ’98 - References to safer sex – for prevention of both STIs and pregnancy – are rare - Only 2% of sexual scenes portray any sexual precautions - Nonetheless, references to safer sex are increasing - Most Cdns (47%) think there is too much sexually explicit programming on prime-time TV Communications theorists – believe the media have 3 types of influences 1) Cultivation – the view that exposure to the mass media makes people think that what they see is reality 2) Agenda-setting – media defy what is important by covering certain stories 3) Social learning – media provide role models whom we imitate i. Contention here is that characters on TV, in the movies, or in romance novels may serve as models whom we imitate – without even realizing it ii. Research have found that teens who watch more sex on TV tend to engage in sexual activity earlier than other teens - ’09 – 80% of Cdn adults were online, for personal non-business reasons; on Facebook & Youtube (common among youth) - Many individuals engage in sexual activity online - Research in New Brunswick – 86% of male students + 39% of female students had view erotic pics or vids on Internet – 25% of the men + 13% of the women engaged in sexual activity with a partner online - Internet has the potential for positive and negative effects on sexual health o Websites such as Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada (sexualityandu.ca) provide information on sexuality and promote sexual health o However, teens have had the experience of sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet – initiator asked to meet with the recipient somewhere or sent him or her money or gifts Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Sexuality Culture – refers to traditional (passed down from generation to generation) ideas and values transmitted to members of the group by symbols (such as language) - These ideas and values then serve as the basis for patterns of behaviour observed in the group Ethnocentrism – tends to influence people’s understanding of human sexual behaviour – tend to view our sexual behaviour as the only pattern in existence and the only “natural” pattern - Anthropologists have discovered that there are wide variations in sexual behaviour + attitudes from one culture to the next - Significant diffs between Canada and the US - Major generalization that emerges from cross-cultural studies is that all societies regulate sexual behaviour in some way - Incest taboos – nearly universal: sex is regulatied in that intercourse between blood relatives is prohibited o Most societies also condemn forced sexual relations such as rape o Both incest and sexual assault are illegal in CAN Variations in Sexual Techniques - Kissing is one of the most common sexual techniques in our culture - View societies – kissing is unknown  Thonga of Africa – made fun of Americans for kissing and remarked, “Look at them, they eat each other’s saliva and dirt”  Kwakiutl of BC + the Troriand Islanders – kissing consisted the sucking of the lips + tongue of the partner – for saliva to flow from one mouth to the other Cunnilingus – mouth stimulation of the female genitals – common in our society - Island of Ponape – the man places a fish in the women’s vulva + then gradually licks it out prior to coitus (sexual intercourse) Sexuality in 2 Societies Inis Beag - Small island off the coast of Ireland - Most naive and sexually repressive socities in the world - No knowledge of a number of sexual activities (French kissing, mouth stimulation of the breast, or hand stimulation of the partner’s penis, much less oral sex or homosexuality) - Parents trust that after marriage, nature will take its course – they do not discuss sexual activity with their children, as they find it embarrassing - Menstruation and menopause – feared by women because they are unknown of its physiological significance - Men do not approach women sexually during menstruation or for months after childbirth; a woman is considered dangerous to the male during these times - Islanders abhor (re: with disgust & hatred) nudity  only babies are allowed to bathe while nude - The husband initiates the activity - Male-on-top is the only position used and both partners keep their underwear on during the activity  male has an orgasm quickly and falls asleep immediately o Female orgasm may not exist or is considered deviant Mangaia - Island in the South Pacific - Sex for pleasure and procreation is principle interest - Mangaian boy first hears about masturbation at age 7  may begin at age 8 or 9 o At around age 13 undergoes the superincision ritual (in which a slit is made on the top of the penis, along its entire length) o Initiates him into Manhood  person who performs the procedure teaches him various sexual activities (how to kiss and suck breats, how to bring the partner to orgasm several times before he has his own) o 2 wks after operation, boy has sexual intercourse with an experienced women  then which the scab of the superincision is removed o Woman provides him with practice in various acts + positions and trains him to hold back until he can have simultaneous orgasms with his partner o What is valued is the ability of the male to continue vigorously the in-and-out mction of coitus over long periods of time while the female moves her hips “like a washing machine” o Nothing is more despised more than a “dead” partner who does not move o A good man is expected to continue his actions for 15-30 mins or more o Ages 13-20, avg “nice” girl will have 3 or 4 successive boyfriends  Avg boy may have 10 or more gfs  Parents encourage daughter to have several bfs – they want the girls to seek marriage partners who are congenial (good personality, interests that are alike) Sadism – inflicting pain on the partner for sexual gratification  Apinaye woman of the Brazilian highlands may bite off bits of her partner’s eyebrows, noisily spitting them aside  Ponapean men usually tug at the woman’s eyebrows – yanking tufs of hair  People of various societies bite their partners to the point of drawing blood and leaving scars; most commonly men and woman mutually inflict pain on each other Inneas Beag (does not engage in sexual activity as often as Mangaia) - Almost every society has a postpartum sex taboo – a prohibition of no sexual intercourse for a period of time after a woman has given birth, taboo lasting from a few days to more than a year Masturbation – self-stimulation of the genitals to produce sexual arousal - Some societies tolerate + some encourage masturbation during childhood and adolescence - Other societies condemn the practice at any age - Almost all human societies express some disappointment of adult masturbation, ranging from mild ridicule to severe punishment - At least some adults in all societies practice it  African Azande woman uses a phallus made of a wooden root; if husband catches her masturbating – he may beat her severely  Lesu of the South Pacific (one of the few societies that express no disapproval of adult female stimulation) - Women may sit down and bend her right leg so that her heel presses against her genitalia - Even young girls of about 6 yrs may do this quite casually as they sit on the ground - No shame in the activity – men and women talk about it freely – and it is a customary position for women to take – learn it in childhood - Never use their hands for manipulation Premarital & Extramarial Sex  Marquesans of eastern Polynesia - Both boys and girls in that culture have participated in a wide range of sexual experiences before puberty - First experience with intercourse occurs with a heterosexual partner who is 30-40 y/o - Mothers are proud if their daughters have many lovers - Only later does marriage occur  Contrasts are the Egyptians of Siwa o In this culture, a girl’s clitoris is removed at age 7 or 8 to decrease her potential for sexual scvitement and intervourse o Premarital intercourse = shame on the family o Marriage usually occurs around age 12 or 13  shortening the premarital period + any temptations it might contain o 90% of Pacific island societies permit premarital sex o 88% of African + 82% of Eurasian socitiesi o 73% of Mediterranean societies prohibit premarital sex - Extramarital sex (cheating) o Ranks 2 only to incest as the most strictly prohibited type of sexual contact o One study found that it was forbidden for one or both partners in 74% of the cultures surveyed o Most common pattern of restriction is to allow extramarital sex for husbands but not wives Sex with Same-Sex Partners - One extreme are societies that strongly disapprove of same-sex sexual behaviour for people of any age - In contrast, some societies tolerate the behaviour among children but disapprove of it in adults - Other societies actively encourage in some same-sex sexual behaviour, usually in conjunction with puberty rites - While there is a wide variation in attitudes toward h
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