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Sociology, Eleventh Edition Sexuality and Society.

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Presentation on theme: "Sociology, Eleventh Edition Sexuality and Society."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Sexuality and Society

2 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Sex: a Biological Issue The biological distinctions between females and males Primary sexual traits –Genitals and –Organs used for reproduction Secondary sexual traits –Bodily development that distinguishes mature males and females

3 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Sex and the Body Hermaphrodites –Possessing some combination of female and male genitalia Transsexuals –People who feel emotionally linked to one sex, but are biologically the other –Often expressed feeling is “trapped in the body of the wrong sex” –Disregard conventional ideas about how males and females look and behave

4 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Sex: a Cultural Issue Cultural variation –Showing affection and sexual position –Notions of modesty –Restrictions placed upon openness The incest taboo –Found in every society –The norm forbidding sexual relations between certain relatives

5 Sociology, Eleventh Edition The Sexual Revolution 1960’s: fostered a new openness toward sexuality –The pill –Attitude of sex was part of everyone’s life, married or not –Double standard challenged Premarital sex –Men and women are almost equal in the percent reporting engaging in premarital sex –Premarital sex is broadly accepted among America's young Sex between adults –1/3 have sex a few times a year or not at all –1/3 have sex once to a few times a month –1/3 have sex with a partner two or more times a week Extramarital sex –75% of men and 90% of women remain faithful during the marriages

6 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Figure 8-1 (p. 201) The Sexual Revolution: Closing the Double Standard A larger share of men than women report having had two or more sexual partners by age twenty. But the sexual revolution greatly reduced this gender difference. Source: Laumann et al. (1994: 19B).

7 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Sexual Attitudes in the U.S. The sexual counterrevolution –The return to sexual responsibility –Limited partners –STD’s –Premarital sex

8 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Sexual Orientation A person’s romantic and emotional attraction to another person Heterosexuality –“Hetero:” the other of two Homosexuality –“Homo:” the same Bisexuality –Strong attraction to both sexes Asexuality –No sexual attraction Roots of sexual orientation –Sexual orientation may not be a “choice” –Mounting biological evidence for genetics –Cannot discount social influences

9 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Figure 8-2 (p. 203) Four Sexual Orientations A person’s level of same-sex attraction and opposite-sex attraction are two distinct dimensions that combine in various ways to produce four major sexual orientations. Source: Adapted from Storms (1980).

10 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Figure 8-3a (p. 204) Sexual Orientation in the United States: Survey Data A: How Many Gay People The percentage of people who are classified as having a homosexual orientation depends on how this concept is operationalized. Research suggests that 2.8 percent of adult men and 1.4 percent of adult women claim a homosexual identity. Source: Adapted from Laumann et al. (1994).

11 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Figure 8-3b (p. 204) Sexual Orientation in the United States: Survey Data B: Attitudes toward Homosexual Relations, 1973-2002 Since 1990, the percentage of U.S. adults who disapprove of homosexual relations has been going down and now stands at about 57 percent. Source: NORC (2003).

12 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Figure 8-4 (p. 206) Opposition to Homosexual Relationships: Attitudes of First-Year College Students, 1980-2004 Despite a recent increase in opposition to homosexual relationships, the historical trend among college students is toward greater tolerance, a view held by a large majority. Sources: Astin et al. (2002) and Sax et al. (2004).

13 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Sexual Controversies Teen pregnancy –Highest rates of other high-income countries –Sex education in schools: solution or problem? Pornography –Sexually explicit material that causes sexual arousal –Supreme court gives local communities the power to decide what violates “community standards” –Conservatives criticize it on “moral” ground –Progressives criticize it for political reasons

14 Sociology, Eleventh Edition National Map 8-2 (p. 207) Teenage Pregnancy Rates across the United States The map shows pregnancy rates for 2000 for women aged fifteen to nineteen. In what regions of the country are rates high? Where are they low? What explanation can you offer for these patterns? Source: Alan Guttmacher Institute (2004).

15 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Prostitution The selling of sexual services, often tabbed as the “world’s oldest profession” Social and cultural ties –Strongest in low-income countries where Patriarchy is strong Opportunities to earn a living are restricted Types of prostitution –“Call girls” –Workers in controlled parlors –“Street walkers” A “victimless crime?”

16 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Sexual Violence and Abuse A culture of rape –Sexual violence ranges from verbal abuse to rape to assault Rape –A violent act that uses sex to hurt, humiliate, or control another person Date rape (or acquaintance rape) –Forcible sexual violence against women by men they know Myths about rape –Rape involves strangers –Women provoke their attackers –Rape is simply sex

17 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Theoretical Analysis Structural-functionalism –Need to regulate sexual behavior –Latent function Symbolic-interactionism –The social construction of sexuality –Global comparison Social-conflict –Creating social inequality Feminist theory –Sexuality may ultimately lead to the degradation of women in society Queer theory –Challenging the heterosexual bias against homosexuals

18 Sociology, Eleventh Edition The Abortion Controversy The deliberate termination of a pregnancy 1973 Roe v.Wade U.S. Supreme court –Established a woman’s legal access to abortion Pro-choice –Support a woman’s right to choose abortion Pro-life –Abortion is morally wrong Circumstances of the pregnancy makes a big difference in how people see this issue

19 Sociology, Eleventh Edition Page 217 When Should the Law Allow a Woman to Choose Abortion? The extent of public support for legal abortion depends on exactly how the issue is presented. Source: NORC (2003).

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