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Sexuality ª Understanding Sexuality ª Sexual Attitudes in the USA ª Sexual Controversies.

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Presentation on theme: "Sexuality ª Understanding Sexuality ª Sexual Attitudes in the USA ª Sexual Controversies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sexuality ª Understanding Sexuality ª Sexual Attitudes in the USA ª Sexual Controversies

2 Sex A Biological Issue ªthe biological distinction between females and males. ªIn the U.S about 105 boys are born for every 100 girls, but higher death rate among males reverses this trend and makes a female a slight minority by the time people reach their mid thirties.

3 Sex and the Body ªDifferences in the body the males and females apart. ªPrimary sex characteristics: the genitals, organs used for reproduction. ªSecondary sex characteristics-body development apart from the genitals, that distinguishes biologically mature females from males. ªHermaphrodites: a human being with some combination of female and male genitalia. ªTranssexuals- people who feel they are one sex even though biologically they are the other.

4 Sex: A Cultural Issue ªSexuality is very much a cultural issue. ªCultural Variation ªThe simple practice of showing affection has extensive cultural variation. Most people in the U.S. kiss in public, the Chinese kiss only in private. The French kiss publicly often two times (once on each cheek) Belgians kiss three times starting with one cheek. The Maoris of New Zealand, rub noses, and most people in Nigeria don’t kiss at all.

5 ªIncest Taboo ªOne cultural universal—an element found in every society the world over—is the incest taboo, a norm forbidding sexual relations or marriages between certain relatives. In the U.S. law and cultural mores prohibit close relatives (including brothers and sisters, parents and children) from having sex or marrying. But exactly which family members are prohibited are different in every culture.

6 Sexual Attitudes in the United States ªOur cultural orientation toward sexuality has always been inconsistent. Europeans immigrants arrived with rigid notions about “correct” sexuality, which meant that sex was only for the purpose of reproduction within marriage. ªAs late as the 1960’s some states legally banned the sale of condoms. Even today some states have laws on books banning homosexuality as “unnatural” acts.

7 ªBut our culture is also very individualistic, and many believe in giving people freedom to do pretty much as they please, as long as they cause no direct harm to others. This thinking makes sex a matter of individual freedom and personal choice.

8 The Sexual Revolution ªProfound changes occurred during the twentieth century. In the 1920’s millions of people migrated from farms and small towns to the large cities. ª“Roaring Twenties.” ªAlfred Kinsey set the stage for the “Sexual Revolution” ªHe published the first report on sexuality in the U.S. It was not so much what he said about sex but that it was the simple fact that scientists were studying sex.

9 Sexual Revolution ªTechnology also played a part in the sexual revolution. “The Pill,” was introduced in 1960 not only making preventing pregnancy but making sex more convenient. ªDouble Standard-society allows men to be sexually active while expecting women to remain chaste before marriage and faithful to their husbands afterward. ª**The sexual revolution increased sexual activity overall, but it changed behavior among women more than men.

10 ªThe sexual counter revolution— was a political call from the conservatives to return to “family values.” ªCohabitation brings children into the world where their parents are not married. This simply did not change the minds of the general public, what happened was the increased number of sexually transmitted diseases (STD). ªHerpes is incurable and AIDS is a deadly disease. ªSexual Orientation— a person’s romantic and emotional attraction to another person. ªHeterosexuality— sexual attraction to someone of the opposite sex. The norm in all human societies is heterosexuality.

11 ªHomosexuality— sexual attraction to someone of the same sex. A significant number of people share this attraction to the same sex. ªbisexuality— refers to sexual attraction to of both sexes. Bisexuals are equally attracted to men and women. ªasexuality— means no sexual attraction to people of either sex.

12 ªA Product of Society— People in a society construct a set of meanings that lets them make sense of sexuality. ªA Product of Biology— a growing body of evidence suggests that sexual orientation is innate, that it is rooted in human biology, much the same way people are born right-handed or left-handed.

13 Sexual Controversies ªTeen Pregnancy— Being sexually active— especially having intercourse— demands a high level of responsibility because pregnancy can result. ªPornography— is sexually explicit material that causes sexual arousal. But what exactly is or is not pornographic has long been a matter of debate. ªProstitution— is the selling of sexual services. Often called the “world’s oldest profession.”

14 ªCall girls— are elite prostitutes, typically women who are young, attractive and well educated and arrange their own appointments with clients by telephone. These women offer companionship and sex for a fee. ªSex workers in the middle category are employed in “massage parlors” or brothels under the control of managers. These people have less choice about their clients and receive less money for their services, getting to keep more than half of what they make. ªStreet walkers— are women and men who work the streets of large cities. Females workers are often under the control of pimps who take most of their earnings.

15 Sexual Violence and Abuse ªRape— an expression of power, a violent act that uses sex to hurt, humiliate, or control another person. ªThe official definition of rape is “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly against her will.” ªDate Rape— involves people who know one another, and the incident usually occurs in familiar surroundings especially in the home.

16 Theoretical Analysis of Sexuality ªStructural-Functional Analysis— ªThe structural-functional approach highlights the contributions of any social pattern to the overall operation of society. Because sexuality is an important dimension of social life, society regulates sexual behavior.

17 ªSymbolic-Interaction Analysis ªSymbolic interaction paradigm highlights how, as people interact, they construct everyday reality. The process for constructing reality is highly variable. One groups view of sexuality is very different from another group. In the same way how people understand sexuality can and does change over time. ªThe social construction of Sexuality ªA century ago, our society’s norm—for women— was virginity before marriage. This norm was strong because, without effective birth control, virginity was the only assurance a man had that his bride to be was not carrying another man’s child.

18 ªSocial-Conflict Analysis ªThe social Conflict Paradigm highlights dimensions of inequality. This paradigm shows how sexuality both reflects patterns of social inequality and helps create them.

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