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Sexualities Diversity Literacy Week 5 Prepared by Claire Kelly.

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1 Sexualities Diversity Literacy Week 5 Prepared by Claire Kelly

2 Gender & sexuality  Insert: same cover from Men’s Health Magazine from Gender lecture.  What is the sexuality of this “ideal” man?  “What does it mean to be a man?” To have sex with a woman. ” (12 year-old South African child, cited in Shefer & Ruiters, 1998) Prepared by Claire Kelly

3 Sexuality as site of contestation SociobiologicalPost-structuralist/ Queer theory PopularAcademic StableFluid EssentialistConstructivist Biological drivesSexual scripts No conceptualisation of powerSex as a site of regulation “Sex is what comes naturally”“Sex is a fictional unity” “ Our sex lives are never merely a private affair ” (Segal, p. 186) Prepared by Claire Kelly

4 Sexuality as site of power and regulation  Feminist – “cultural constructions of sexuality means of men’s power over women’s bodies and pleasures” (Segal, p.185)  Foucault – “sexuality key site of social regulation and control in modern times, primarily in service of the reproductive family unit” (Segal, p. 185)  Racial dimensions – “discursive investment in the definition of non-white bodies as lascivious, bestial, decadent” (Segal, p. 186) Prepared by Claire Kelly

5 Historical contestations 1 1.RELIGIOUS > BIOLOGICAL  Science of sexuality (1800s)  Sex acts > Type of person as defined by sexuality  Religion > Sex for procreation, within matrimony  ”natural”: for procreation ” & “unnatural”: homosexual, rape, sadism  masculine: aggressive, forceful vs. feminine: passive and responsive  Note : Same science that’s classifying racialised and disabled bodies  Sexology (1900s)  sexual expression of women  sexual sameness: disruption of active /passive binary  biological reductionism  heterosexist  “it is the biological which has had the longest and firmest grip on conceptions of sexuality in modern times” (Segal, p. 189) Prepared by Claire Kelly

6 Historical contestations 2 2.BIOLOGICAL > PSYCHOLOGICAL (Psychoanalysis) 3.PSYCHOLOGICAL > SOCIOLOGICAL  Social constructionism  Sexual scripts : “people learn rules that tell them how to have sex, whom they may have it with, what activities will be pleasurable” (Unger & Crawford, 1992 cited in Segal p. 208)  “…. are essentially gendered, and expressive of the idea of female passivity and responsiveness and male assertiveness and dominance” (Segal, p. 208.)  Sexual violence  Foucault  “multiplicity of historically specific discourses, ways of mapping the body’s surface, which dictate how we must describe and hence experience those bodies “ (Segal, p. 209)  “…the most powerful from of regulation in modern society” (Segal, p. 209)  Power is everywhere : “it does not exist in any one place, to be seized or overthrown, but runs through the social body as a whole” (Segal, p. 210) Prepared by Claire Kelly

7 Historical contestations 3 4.QUEER THEORY  Emerges out of gay and lesbian studies  “…gender only exists in the service of heterosexism” (Butler, 1993 cited in Segal, p. 215)  Performance “both gender and sexuality are only established through repeated performances ‘that congeal over time to produce the appearance of substance, a natural sort of being’” (Butler, 1989 cited in Segal, p. 215))  Gender trouble : “whenever dissident sexual acts appear to transcend or to undermine old binary restrictions (male/female; active/passive)” (Butler in Segal, p. 215) Prepared by Claire Kelly

8 Cultural contestations  “… the kinds of sexual acts it is thought possible to perform, and the social identities that come to be attached to those who perform them, vary from one society to another” (Greenberg, 1988 cited in Kendall, p. 163)  when are erotic intimacies defined as sex?  what are implications for same-sex erotic practices?  “homophobia, like Mugabe’s Christianity, is a Western import” (Kendall, p. 157)  increasing levels of homophobia function of increasing Westernisation? : Prepared by Claire Kelly


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