Share
Explore BrainMass

Sexuality

Sexuality is related to but distinct from sex (the physical distinction between men and women; also sexual intercourse) and gender (the social distinctions between men and women).¹  Sexuality is used to refer to erotic desires, practices, and identities and is also defined as aspects of personal and social life that have erotic significance.¹

The debate over the morals of sexuality is one based on two sides: an increased awareness and acceptance of diversity and a defense of the established norms. The debate is shaped by the argument of whether sexual identity is biologically given, determined by genes, or is constructed in its entirety in society and culture.¹

The biological point of view is called an essentialist view and the social view is called a social-constructionist view.¹ The essentialist view of sexuality implies that all individuals are born heterosexual, and that heterosexuality is natural and normal. This reinforces heterosexual norms and suggests that heterosexuality should be accepted as the way things should be.

The demographics of sexual orientation are difficult to establish due to a lack of reliable data. Additionally, since sexuality is a social construction, it is possible to hide or misinform others of sexuality since it is not visible (as opposed to the social construction of race or the physical attributes of sex).

Definitions

There are four most well known sexual categories that people commonly identify: heterosexual, homosexual, transsexual, and bisexual.

  • Heterosexuality: sexual and erotic attraction to the opposite biological sex;
  • Homosexuality: sexual and erotic attraction to the same biological sex;
  • Transsexual: a person born with the physical characteristics of one biological sex, who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite biological sex.
  • Bisexuality: sexual and erotic attraction to the same and other biological sexes.

Queer Theory

Queer theory, a field of critical theory, came to be in the early 1990s and are related to the fields of LGBT studies and feminist studies. The theory builds upon feminist challenges to the idea that gender is part of the essential self. It also builds on gay/lesbian studies' close examination of the socially constructed nature of sexual acts and identities.²

This theory is grounded in gender and sexuality. Queer theory has two predominant strains²:

  • Radical deconstructionism: interrogates categories of sexual orientations;
  • Radical subversion: disrupts the normalizing tendencies of the sexual order.

One of the most important queer theorists is Michel Foucault. He wrote on the historical understanding of constructions of sexuality. Additionally, he developed an anti-essentialist view of sexuality.¹ He believed that “Sexuality … is a name that can be given to a historical construct."¹ Foucault's idea is that the modern bodies of knowledge and sexuality (like psychoanalysis) have an intimate association with power structures of modern society. Individuals, Foucault argues, internalize the norms outlined by the sciences of sexuality and thus work to conform to these norms.³

Some theorists explore whether bisexuality is a third sexual identity that may unsettle the previous binary sexual theory.¹

Photo source 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference:
1. Sexuality. Retrieved from http://faculty.washington.edu/mlg/courses/definitions/sexuality.htm

2. Queer Theory. Retrieved on May 1, 2014, from http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Queer_theory.html

3. Michel Foucault. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved on May 1, 2014, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/foucault

Exploration of Sexual Response and Arousal

Many factors influence male and female sexual response and arousal. Describe how the three dimensions of sexuality (biological, psychological, and sociocultural) influence sexual response and arousal.

Reasons for Homophobia

Please identify a couple sources on social change and the social issue on why gays and lesbians are treated differently than straight people.

Key Events in Human Sexuality

Various historical-cultural influences have affected human sexuality. These historical-cultural influences include such events as the sexual revolution, the control of conception, the emergence of contraception, as well as the redefining of gender roles throughout history. Many of these events changed the way sexuality is viewed

Issues in 'Coming Out' (LGBT)

I need help explaining two challenges LGBTIQ clients may face as they come out in their sexual orientation to others. Then describe the resource you identified that serves this population and provide a link to its' website. Finally, describe the services this resource provides and explain how they would be helpful to clients and

Research on Childhood and Adolescent Sexuality

Choose one topic related to childhood/adolescent sexuality through a relevant empirical research article. A brief description of the article Possible implications of the findings for the practice of sexuality counseling Possible implications of the findings for parents and caregivers

Women in combat research

For women in combat, please address some of the issues that they experience through locating some research articles.

Protecting Employee Rights

How can employers protect the rights of employees who are sexual minorities and who strongly believe homosexuality is immoral? When do attempts at inclusion go too far? When does religious freedom go too far?

Identify some sexual stereotypes

1. With reference to both of the articles by Bannerji and Kelly, show how the sexual stereotypes and the hypersexualization of women and women of colour mark the harassment of women in the workplace and on university campuses? Read the article Kelly, Liz. 1988. "It's happened to so many women': Sexual Violence as a Continum

Sexual Health Education: Pros and Cons

What are the benefits of sexual health education? Conversely, what are the potential costs of restricting young people's access to sexual health education?

General Systems versus Cybernetic Views of Sexuality

-what are some of the strengths and limitations of a general systems perspective of sexuality and gender issues. -Identify some strengths and limitations of a cybernetic view of sexuality and gender issues. at least 2 strengths and limitations of both views, support with apa resources..

Jason Collins Comes Out as Gay

Please provide a 2-3 page synopsis and analysis of the reaction of NBA's Jason Collins coming out as gay. The article is by Joe Sterling, CNN.

Human sexuality, the sexual response cycle, and psychosexual development

Please assist me with creating a draft PowerPoint presentation in which these human sexuality concepts are discussed: - Incorporate information about the biology of human sexuality and the sexual response cycle into the presentation - Analyze the biological, cultural, and psychological issues related to sexuality (Gende

Summary of "Queers Read This"

QUEERS READ THIS A leaflet distributed at pride march in NY Published anonymously by Queers June, 1990 How can I tell you. How can I convince you, brother, sister that your life is in danger: That everyday you wake up alive, relatively happy, and a functioning human being, you are committing a rebellious act. You as an ali

Positive Sexuality and Healthy Sexual Functioning

Provide an explanation of what positive sexuality and healthy sexual functioning means, both individually and relationally, and how these attitudes reflect or differ from broader social attitudes toward sexuality. Then explain what controversies may arise because of society's different views on positive sexuality and healthy sex

Gay marriage and the surrounding controversy

I'm writing an article on gay marriage and the controversy behind it. I need some help answering a few questions. I'm for gay marriage. What do others say about your topic? Refute or consider what others say about the topic Use statistics, facts, or other evidence to support my position Conclude by reminding readers of

Philosophy : Concept of Normative Sexuality.

Hi, I need some help with explaining the concept of normative sexuality (normative being the way sexuality should be realized). Are there acceptable alternative forms of sexual expression? What are they? Are there unacceptable forms? What are they? Is there such a thing as sexual perversion? What would you mean by that?

Gay Parenting

Please help me with this. a. What core social values are most challenged by legalized gay adoption? b. How have these "values" been defined and reinforced? c. Assuming these values are changing, at least for some individuals or societies, how have experts explained or described the change? d. How has your personal

Stereotypes of Older Adults & Sexuality

Make a list of as many stereotypes of older adults and sexuality as you can think of, with examples from film, television, or other media. What attitudes do these stereotypes convey? Why is the relative invisibility of older adults' sexuality a cause for concern? How might a better understanding of sexuality in older adult

LGBT Issues in Therapy

Describe the issues unique to lesbians, gay men, or bisexuals. Identify and explain the implications of these unique issues for counseling/therapy.

Social Behavior: Examples of Modern Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination

Briefly describe an example of modern prejudice that has the potential to cause widespread harm. Explain why this form of prejudice is pervasive in society and describe the theories pertaining to the origins of stereotyping and prejudice that best explain this example. Offer two or more strategies for prejudice reduction that mi

Business Ethics and Issue Identification: Homosexuality in the Military

Identify a potential ethical dilemma from a real company. The company could be a current company for which you work, a company in which you used to work, a friend's company, or so on. The ethical issue or problem selected must affect the company, potentially affect the company, or involve the company. Explain the issues invol

Summarize scientific perspectives on homosexuality

How do you think historical and scientific perspectives on homosexuality may have shaped the way gay individuals perceive themselves? Address at least three perspectives discussed in the text. Include in your analysis the experiences of coming out and adjusting as a gay individual. Finally, how have historical and scientif

the pros and cons of gay marriage

The views and information in the choice of being for or aganst gay marriage, life partners, and the support or non support of the choices. The advantages and or disadvantages of both are needed.

Should Sexuality be Taught in Schools?

Should sexuality education be taught in schools? What sexuality education program would you recommend and why? Please provide information that is short and to the point.

Sexuality and Middle Adulthood

1. Identify and describe two issues that are associated with human sexuality in middle adulthood. 2. Describe how these issues affect couples and family functioning. 3. How would one or both of these issues affect other areas of a person's life? 4. How might it affect work life or community involvement?

Survey about 1960's Gay Rights Movement

Please discuss the gay rights movement in the aspect of a social scientist using the perspective or viewpoint of the disciplines listed below. First, you should review the social science disciplines in Chapter 1 of Harrison & Dye and choose two of them. Then, imagine you are a social scientist in each of these disciplines, an