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Psychology 3533 Understanding Human Sexuality Elena Hannah.

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1 Psychology 3533 Understanding Human Sexuality Elena Hannah

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9 Questions??? The content of this course is meant to give a general basis for understanding human sexuality in a scientific framework. Some of the questions you may have will be answered during the term as you attend lectures and read the textbook. However, some people might have questions that are not addressed in this way. If you have questions about sexuality that you would like an answer to, you could me or pass me a note under my office door with your question. I will endeavour to answer your questions as soon as possible.

10 3533 INTRODUCTION LECTURE  Sex: male/female  Sexual behaviour: includes thoughts thoughts feelings feelings actions (sex) actions (sex)  Sensual: pleasure through sensory input  Gender: socio-cultural

11  Taboo topic for centuries  Influence of religion  Enlightment: 17 th century  Science  Medicine  Sex: strong drive species survival: pleasure species survival: pleasure INTRODUCTION (CONT’D)

12  Western view (not universal): bad, naughty  This view leads to pain, shame, guilt, tragedy  Some other cultures even worse  Enormous psychic cost  Heaviest burden: women INTRODUCTION (CONT’D)

13 ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT SEX  Beautiful bodies: slim, young, “airbrushed look” due to media influence.  Handicapped, overweight, etc.: sexless  Men more interested than women  Instinctive behaviour, cannot be controlled

14 ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT SEX (CONT’D)  Unrealistic expectations (media, books)  Ageism: older people don’t  Sex is heterosexual intercourse leading to orgasm  Men can’t control sex urges  Sex is isolated from other events  AIDS is a gay disease

15 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES  Intertwined with politics  Before Judeo-Christian religions, evidence of  Goddess worship  “Venus” of Willendorf: 25,000 years old  Recently: 53,000 year old statuettes found

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17 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES (CONT’D)  Goddess societies: matrilineal  Women: revered as life givers (birth)  Sex: few taboos – one was rape: death to rapist  Women often had two husbands, lovers  “Adultery” not penalized

18 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES (CONT’D)  Sacred rituals involving sex: NOT ritual prostitution – in ancient temples  Knowledge of birth control  High degree of civilization  Law, commerce, math advanced  Agriculture, written language  Art, architecture

19 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES (CONT’D)  4,000 to 2,300 BCE  Northern invasions: by nomadic hunters, aggressive conquerors, brought male deities: aggressive aggressive mountain dwellers mountain dwellers spewed fire, lightning spewed fire, lightning

20 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES (CONT’D)  Later, Hebrews: mix – male God, vengeful but also loving. Ordered repudiation and destruction of other religions – Monotheism.  Hebrew view of sex: increase and multiply increase and multiply sex within marriage very positive sex within marriage very positive Old Testament: men should marry at 18-20, if not they will be governed by lust Old Testament: men should marry at 18-20, if not they will be governed by lust restrictions: women “unclean” two weeks (period) – mikvah: ritual cleansing bath restrictions: women “unclean” two weeks (period) – mikvah: ritual cleansing bath

21 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES (CONT’D)  Rape: single woman forced to marry rapist single woman forced to marry rapist married or engaged: killed married or engaged: killed premarital loss of virginity: death premarital loss of virginity: death still current in Middle East still current in Middle East

22 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES (CONT’D)  Patriarchal societies, patrilineal  female virginity  Greek religion: gods and goddesses gods more powerful  Greek philosophy: Plato, Aristotle  Best sex: man with man (young men favoured)

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24 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES (CONT’D)  Women inferior: “aberration of Nature”  Christian view of sex: positive at first (400 years) positive at first (400 years) Jesus probably was married (Jew) Jesus probably was married (Jew) apostles all married apostles all married all priests married all priests married 5 th century: drive for celibacy for heads of the church 5 th century: drive for celibacy for heads of the church St. Augustine: declared sexual pleasure evil, women temptresses St. Augustine: declared sexual pleasure evil, women temptresses

25 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES (CONT’D) 13 th century. St. Thomas & Albert the Great: sexual pleasure is 13 th century. St. Thomas & Albert the Great: sexual pleasure is evil punishment filthy defiling debasing shameful sick a degradation of the mind a humiliation of reason by the flesh debasing shared with beasts brutal corrupted depraved infected

26 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES (CONT’D)  Christian view of sex (Cont’d) Gradual attempt to have all priests celibate even if married: unsuccessful Gradual attempt to have all priests celibate even if married: unsuccessful Common people: sex OK only for procreation but mustn’t feel pleasure! (sin) Common people: sex OK only for procreation but mustn’t feel pleasure! (sin) Role model for women: Virgin Mary, immaculate conception Role model for women: Virgin Mary, immaculate conception

27 RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES (CONT’D)  Christian view of sex (Cont’d) Many restrictions in married sex: Many restrictions in married sex: Pentecost Pentecost Lent Lent Communion Communion Advent Advent Sundays Sundays Mass Mass Instilled shame, guilt Instilled shame, guilt Penitence, fines Penitence, fines Attracted misogynists to the church Attracted misogynists to the church Theologians argued well into 20 th century Theologians argued well into 20 th century

28  Today Religion Subdued Role for Most Canadians  New strong influences: INTERNET media media pop culture pop culture  Messages: what with whom with whom why why SECULAR INFLUENCES

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30  Pop music  Pop lit: magazines magazines tabloids tabloids books: many best-sellers are romance novels, self-help (how to have superorgasms), pop psychology books: many best-sellers are romance novels, self-help (how to have superorgasms), pop psychology SECULAR INFLUENCES (CONT’D)

31  Advertising: sex sells  Pornography  TV: sit coms sit coms soaps soaps crime/action/adventure crime/action/adventure music videos music videos talk shows talk shows SECULAR INFLUENCES (CONT’D)

32  New Strong Influences (Cont’d ) Movies Movies Video Games Video Games Advice gurus (e.g. Dr. Ruth, Sue Johanssen) Advice gurus (e.g. Dr. Ruth, Sue Johanssen) Current affairs magazines Current affairs magazines SECULAR INFLUENCES

33  Medicalization of Sex Pharmaceuticals (drugs): pills, suppositories, lotions, creams, etc. Pharmaceuticals (drugs): pills, suppositories, lotions, creams, etc. Identification of “medical” problems. Millions affected. Identification of “medical” problems. Millions affected. Expectation of supersex anytime, at any age. Expectation of supersex anytime, at any age. SECULAR INFLUENCES

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36  Medicalization of Sex (Cont’d) Reducing sex to a “hydraulic response in a few inches of men’s anatomy”. Reducing sex to a “hydraulic response in a few inches of men’s anatomy”. No equivalent drug found for women, but expectations raised. No equivalent drug found for women, but expectations raised. SECULAR INFLUENCES

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38  Inis Beag vs. Polynesia  Koro syndrome (some Far East countries): young men convinced that genitals shrinking and retracting into abdomen. Fatal. Epidemics going back thousands of years till the present. Cultural Diversity

39 CULTURAL DIVERSITY (Cont’d)  Dhat syndrome: affects young Indian males. Fear of loss of seminal fluid in nocturnal emissions. Or that semen mixes with urine and is eliminated. Loss of semen: depletes mental and physical energy. Cultural beliefs about the importance of semen, guarantee health and longevity.

40 CULTURAL DIVERSITY (CONT’D)  Hindu belief: 40 meals to make one drop of blood. 40 drops of blood to make on drop of bone marrow. 40 drops of bone marrow to produce one drop of semen.

41 CULTURAL DIVERSITY (CONT’D)  Virginity Testing in Sri Lanka  Virginity testing is a very important marriage custom in Sri Lanka. A bride who cannot prove her virginity to her husband and her in-laws will have to bear up quite a lot of consequences throughout her life time if the marriage lasts, or the marriage might end on the next day of her marriage.

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