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Chapter 1

Sexuality In Perspective - Chapter 1.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2075
William Fisher

Sexuality In Perspective - Chapter 1 Sex & Gender  “Sex” is used ambiguously and sometimes clouds peoples thinking about issues Ex. Question Sex on a job application  Gender – state of being male or female  Correlation b/w gender & sex  Sexual Behavior – behavior that produces arousal and increases the chance of orgasm. Defining this is very difficult Influences on Sexuality A. Religion  Religion – values and ethics regarding sexuality, & a powerful influence on sexual attitudes of individuals. Ex. Greeks (heterosexuality & homosexuality), Christians (wet dreams), Muslims (Primarily pleasure & secondarily reproduction), Canadians (Using bible to discourage homosexuality) B. Science  Scientific Study of sex started in 19 Century b/c of religion  Anton Van Leeuwenhoek – discovered sperm in semen  Oskar Hertwig – observed fertilization of the egg by the sperm in 1875  Sigmund Freud – founder of psychiatry & psychoanalysis  Victorian Era characterized as extreme sexual repression  Dr Mosher survey of 47 women provided another description of female sexuality during this period. 80% felt desire for intercourse & 72% had orgasms  Apparatus was used to prevent masturbation  Henry Havelock Ellis – believed sexual deviations from the norm are harmless & urged society to accept them. Published Studies in the Psychology of Sex  Richard Von Kraft Ebing – “heterosexuality & homosexuality” entered English language b/c of his book (oostestuis 2000)  German Mangus Hirschfeld – founded 1 sex research institute & sex survey obtatining data from 10,000 ppl on a 130-item questionnaire  Alfred Kinsey – led a massive survey in the US (1940) which changed how people thought about sex & open discussion  Sex isn’t a subject like biology but it’s a joint effort by scientists to give humans a better view on it C. Media  Three types of influences 1. Cultivation – ppl think what they see on TV/Media represents what happens in our culture. Ex Uni kids watching soaps overestimate divorce 2. Agenda Setting – Reporters select what to report/ignore and within reported stories select what to emphasize Ex. US media on Bill Clinton – high, Can. Media – low 3. Social Learning – Characters in movies/books/TV may serve as models that we imitate. Ex. Teens who watch sexy TV = sex earlier than others  Internet spreading faster than other technologies previous Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Sexuality  Culture – Traditional ideas & values (past from gen to gen) that serve as the basis for patterns of group behavior  Ethnocentrism – regard ones own ethnic group/culture as superior to others & believe their standards & way of life should be used in all cultures. Ex. Can. Have more accepting attitudes towards sex than US  Incest Taboo – prohibits sex b/w close blood relatives like brother & sister Variations in Sexual Techniques  Kissing is one of the most common sexual techniques in our culture  Few societies encourage people to have sex at particular times A. Masturbation  African Azande women use phallus but if her husband catches her she may be beaten  Lesu of the South bend their right leg so their heel is against their genetailia because they would never use their hands B. Premarital & Extramarital Sex  Marquesan boys and girls participate in various activities before puberty and their first experience is usually with a 30-40 year old. Marriage is later on.  Egyptians in Siwa remove the girls clitoris to reduce her potential for sexual excitement. Marriage happens at 12-13 years old  Extramarital is the most strictly prohibited type of sex  When permitted, usually its allowed for the man to perf
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