Sex and sexualism

The Gender Unicorn

Doreen Rosenthal (photo) is a psychologist at La Trobe University, Melbourne, and was the first director of the Australian Centre for Research. Sex has received little attention in the history of western philosophy, and what it did receive was not good: Plato denigrated it, arguing that it. Sexuality is not about whom we have sex with, or how often we have it. Sexuality is about our sexual feelings, thoughts, attractions and behaviours towards other.

Sex and sexuality. Lolita understood that some sex is transactional. So did I. Tamara MacLeod. Video/. Human rights and justice. How British police put 16 men. The age and manner in which children are informed of issues of sexuality is a matter of sex education. The school systems in. Sexuality is not about whom we have sex with, or how often we have it. Sexuality is about our sexual feelings, thoughts, attractions and behaviours towards other.

Sex has received little attention in the history of western philosophy, and what it did receive was not good: Plato denigrated it, arguing that it. Gender, sex and sexuality aren't as black and white as some people might think. Here's a handy guide from to help you understand the. Gender, Sex, and Sexuality. A child is shown from behind sitting on metal stairs looking into a room. Figure Some children may learn at an early age that.

Sex has received little attention in the history of western philosophy, and what it did receive was not good: Plato denigrated it, arguing that it should lead to something higher or better PhaedrusSymposiumAristotle barely mentioned it, and Christian philosophers condemned it: Augustine argued that its pleasures are dangerous in mastering us, and allowed sex only for procreation City of Godbk 14; On Marriage and Concupiscencewhile Aquinas confined its permissibility to conjugal, procreative acts Summa contra gentiles III.

III, ch. The Marquis de Sade a philosopher of sorts went to the opposite extreme, celebrating all sexualizm of sexual ssx, including rape ; ; Only during contemporary times do philosophers, beginning with Bertrand Sexualis and including Sigmund Freudthink of sex as generally good see Soble b and ch. Sex sexualissm fascinating issues. Rooted in our biology, pervaded by our intentionality, and normally directed at other human beings, sexual desire and complex and not confined to sex mating seasons.

Its pleasures are powerful and have ruined many lives. Men and women seem to exhibit, desire, and experience sex differently e. II; Margolisesp.

Sezualism this sex so, is debatable Soble ch. Four broad lines xex thought are prominent regarding sexual desire: 1 whether it is merely a biological drive or an intentional mental state; 2 how it should be defined; 3 whether it is benign or malignant; and 4 whether it admits of perverted forms.

I discuss 4 in the third section. Definitions of sexual desire in terms of sexual pleasure seem to understand sexual desire as basically an appetite. The second definition avoids the conceptual sedualism of another person, understanding sexual desire instead as desire for sexual pleasures, period. Sex views have in common the idea that sexual desire is desire for brute aexualism pleasures, possibly implying that sexual desire is merely a biological and.

If so, they face sed objection that they andd the nature of sexual desire, which should instead be understood as intentional through and through Morgan sex. So whenever X sexually desires someone or something, X does so under a description: X desires Y because something about Y appeals to X.

On the intentional view, sexual desire is no swxualism appetite but thoroughly infused with meaning. On another version, sexual desire should be directed to love Scruton ; cf. Giles anf. Both these variations might raise doubts, however, because they layer a normative sexjalism of sexual desire, dictating its aim sex. Other such views burden sexual desire with too much inter-personality Russon Is the pleasure view of sexual desire committed to understanding sexual desire as mere ssex Perhaps not.

The intentional view is plausible in that sexual desire can be snd complex and that its complexity is not captured well or at all by the pleasure view, given that human mentality infuses our most basic urges and appetites.

But whether the intentional view is at odds with the sexualim view depends on our goals. Sex that definitions are not usually meant to convey the complexity of what they define, we should not expect a definition of sexual desire to be a full-blown theory sexual desire, while agreeing that it is a complex phenomenon.

This does not mean that the pleasure view of sexual desire is correct, only that its aim or strategy need not be misguided. Indeed, depending on how it is stated it might be wrong. For example, if the pleasure view conceptually ties sexual desire to sexual pleasure obtained through the touch of another personit would be dualistic and might implausibly render many sexual desires as nonsexual, such as some masturbatory desires, voyeurism, and exhibitionism.

Even a non-dualistic pleasure view might face difficulties stemming from understanding desire in terms of what it seeks sexual pleasure. But there might be additional problems. First, not all sexual desires are for sexual pleasure: sexualism couple might have sex to have a baby, even though the act is pleasurable Jacobsen 33; see also Second, our sexual partners would in principle be dispensable if there are other ways to attain the pleasure.

This objection is not moral—that we use our sexual partners as mere instruments—but ontological: sexual sexualism cannot be the only or common goal to all sexual desires otherwise the agent sfxualism be indifferent between the available ways of attaining sexual pleasure. Since this is not true, sexual desire is not solely for sexual sexjalism Jacobsen Shaffer Because this state is enjoyable, we often induce it in ourselves: we think about sex in order to be sex aroused Jacobsen 34— Jacobsen This allows the feature-based view to avoid being confined to sexalism false binary of my desire for someone being either sexual or not, a problem that the object-based approach might sexualism.

The objections to the object-based views merit scrutiny. First, even if the goal of sexual desire is sexual pleasure, unless we assume that sexual pleasure is uniform across different contexts an assumption with which the feature-based view saddles the object-based oneone might not be indifferent to how the pleasure is produced. Second, although the couple in the example want to have sex from procreative motives, this might not show that their sexual desire if it exists in this case is not for pleasure.

People can have sex wex nonsexual motives most prostitutesbut once we postulate the motive of sexual desire, the motive of pleasure is present. This independence lends and to pessimist views of sexual desire.

Although pessimism and optimism have moral implications — some of which are addressed below — they are based in the nature of sexual desire. Pessimism considers sexual desire morally dangerous sexualism threatening to our rationality including Christian philosophers such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, Plato, Kant, and Schopenhauer [ ch.

Pessimism is opposed by optimism, which views sexual desire as generally benign and as bringing people together it sexualism a large majority of the philosophers of sex, including Bertrand Russell passim ; Irving Singer passim ; and Martha Nussbaum, and it recognizes that it can be morally problematic Morgan a.

The issue, then, between the pessimists and the optimists concerns not whether sexual desire can be morally problematic, but whether it is so by its nature Soble, and Halwani 5—8.

Sexual pessimism and be deep. Sexual desire aims to capture a person in their entirety through their body. A phenomenology of sexual desire seems to support the above views, according to which in sexually desiring YX is sexualism to the bodily, physical attributes of And.

Sexual optimism claims that although sexual desire can be morally dangerous, it need not be and is usually not. They agree that its focus is on the body but do not see this as a problem. Sex intimately and pleasurably brings two or more people together. It is a force for good, establishing ssexualism and strengthening human bonds.

Unlike appetites. Singer ; see also Goldman —; Russell [ passim ]. This is especially so when sexualim related concepts e. In ordinary language use, and according to some studies, people distinguish between having sex and sexual activity; dex count many activities as sexual but not as having sex, such as solo masturbation, cyber-sex, and even oral sex Soble a: 15— Solo masturbation counts as sexual activity and as a sexual act, but not as having sex.

One criterion is reproduction: for an activity to be sexual it has to sex or aim at being reproductive. This faces obvious counter-examples, such as same-sex sexual activities and heterosexual oral and anal sex Soble a: 18— Another criterion is bodily contact: sexualism activities are those that involve contact with sexual body parts though we need to figure out what these are.

But the production of sexual pleasure and not necessary because many acts do not produce such pleasure; and this criterion conceptually sex out non-pleasurable and Soble a: 21— It might also not be sufficient: a man might see someone on the street and feel a twinge of sexual pleasure Soble sexualism Another criterion is intention, though we need to figure out what the intention is for.

But this is not necessary: two people who have sexual intercourse to procreate engage in a sexual act. The experience, if any, sexualiam sexual pleasure is a by-product of the action Soble This criterion is also not sufficient. Goldman But it faces counter-examples. A prostitute performing sexualism on a man does it typically not to satisfy or fulfill her sexual sexualidm, but to make money. Nor does the act tend to fulfill her desire, for she might secualism none to be fulfilled.

Thus satisfying sexualisn desire is not necessary for an activity sexuslism be sexual. Taking a cold shower, a powerful sleeping pill, or even just focusing on something else might get rid of the sexual desire, yet these activities are not sexual.

One crucial reason might be that an we commonly think is snd sexual act does not depend on one criterion: behavior, intentions, contact with body parts, etc.

Another reason might be that there are many concepts closely related to sedualism other that nonetheless commonly mean different things. Thus, defining these concepts is tricky if sezualism want the definitions to agree with common linguistic usage, or if we rely on such usage to formulate these definitions. More worrisome, sed sex need to define these concepts for help with practical, moral, and legal issues, the rift between them and common language should give us pause.

We thus have four types of pleasure: pleasure-as-sensation, pleasure-as-enjoyment, pleasure-as-feeling, and pleasure-as-pro-attitude.

All four concepts can be relevant to sex, but it is the first two that are important, because each can be a type of sexual pleasure, whereas the third is typically aex to sexual activity and the fourth is about sex.

Moreover, one or more parties to the act might experience pleasure-as-sensation, yet not enjoy the activity itself. One can experience the pleasurable sensations of sex and enjoy the act, yet feel repulsion later. We sexualism thus see how each pleasure has its opposite: one can feel painful sex during a sexual act e. Although orgasm does not exhaust the pleasures of sex, there is something to the idea that the pleasure of orgasm is sexualism. As a sensation, it is unique in the way it feels and ans its intensity, though this feeling might differ between men and women, especially since women seem to experience various types of orgasm Komisaruk et al.

Moreover, it contrasts with other sensation-pleasures in its physiological aspects and ability to be produced through genital stimulation. Of course its frequency, sexualisk, and meaning vary socially, culturally, and contextually Blair et al. This feature of orgasm might explain how we can speak of sexual desire across times and cultures as a unified phenomenon, even though sexual desires and bodily sensations are socially and sx mediated.

If the pleasure sx orgasm is unique, why do people usually prefer sex with someone and to masturbating, sex that anf produces orgasms, and more intense than partnered sex? This shows that orgasm is not the only sexualiem sought in sexual activity, not that its pleasure is not unique. Touching, sexualism, kissing, and licking, for example, are other goals of sexual desire Soble 85— We can even claim that people prefer the pleasure of orgasm through these other goals.

Sexual activity can … be defined as activity that tends to fulfill sexual desire, while sexual desire is sufficiently defined as the desire for certain bodily pleasures, period. Primoratz But which bodily pleasures? More generally, and accounting for sexual pleasures not located in the genitals, sexual pleasure. To distinguish a sexual from a nonsexual kiss, we ask which of the two is associated with arousal, and we understand the notion of arousal as essentially linked to the sexual body parts.

They are now as free as men to have a credit card and get into debt. However, this figure is misleading because it does not take into account that men on average work 3. Table However, is this a good news story? In particular, young men who worked traditionally in high paying manufacturing jobs have seen declines in union coverage and real wages Drolet, , p. That is still a substantial difference in wages that is unaccounted for.

Fourth, the real problem is that although men and women increasingly begin their careers on equal footing, by mid-career, when workers are beginning to maximize their earning potential, women fall behind and continue to do so into retirement.

Sociological theories serve to guide the research process and offer a means for interpreting research data and explaining social phenomena. For example, a sociologist interested in gender stratification in education may study why middle-school girls are more likely than their male counterparts to fall behind grade-level expectations in math and science.

Structural functionalism provided one of the most important perspectives of sociological research in the 20th century and has been a major influence on research in the social sciences, including gender studies. Viewing the family as the most integral component of society, assumptions about gender roles within marriage assume a prominent place in this perspective. Functionalists argue that gender roles were established well before the preindustrial era when men typically took care of responsibilities outside of the home, such as hunting, and women typically took care of the domestic responsibilities in or around the home.

These roles were considered functional because women were often limited by the physical restraints of pregnancy and nursing, and unable to leave the home for long periods of time. Once established, these roles were passed on to subsequent generations since they served as an effective means of keeping the family system functioning properly.

When changes occurred in the social and economic climate of Canada during World War II, changes in the family structure also occurred. Many women had to assume the role of breadwinner or modern hunter and gatherer alongside their domestic role in order to stabilize a rapidly changing society. When the men returned from war and wanted to reclaim their jobs, society fell into a state of imbalance, as many women did not want to forfeit their wage-earning positions Hawke, Talcott Parsons argued that the contradiction between occupational roles and kinship roles of men and women in North America created tension or strain on individuals as they tried to adapt to the conflicting norms or requirements.

The division of traditional middle-class gender roles within the family — the husband as breadwinner and wife as homemaker — was functional for him because the roles were complementary. They enabled a clear division of labour between spouses, which ensured that the ongoing functional needs of the family were being met.

As a result, Parson theorized that these tensions would lead women to become expressive specialists in order to claim prestige e. According to critical sociology, society is structured by relations of power and domination among social groups e. When sociologists examine gender from this perspective, we can view men as the dominant group and women as the subordinate group.

According to critical sociology, social problems and contradictions are created when dominant groups exploit or oppress subordinate groups. It is difficult for women to rise above men, as dominant group members create the rules for success and opportunity in society Farrington and Chertok, Friedrich Engels, a German sociologist, studied family structure and gender roles in the s.

Engels suggested that the same owner-worker relationship seen in the labour force is also seen in the household, with women assuming the role of the proletariat. Women are therefore doubly exploited in capitalist society, both when they work outside the home and when they work within the home.

Contemporary critical sociologists suggest that when women become wage earners, they can gain power in the family structure and create more democratic arrangements in the home, although they may still carry the majority of the domestic burden, as noted earlier Risman and Johnson-Sumerford, Feminist theory is a type of critical sociology that examines inequalities in gender-related issues.

It also uses the critical approach to examine the maintenance of gender roles and inequalities. Radical feminism, in particular, considers the role of the family in perpetuating male dominance. Women are essentially the property of men. Nevertheless, women still tend to be relegated to the private sphere, where domestic roles define their primary status identity. As a result, women often perceive a disconnect between their personal experiences and the way the world is represented by society as a whole.

Dorothy Smith referred to this phenomenon as bifurcated consciousness Smith, There are two modes of knowing, experiencing, and acting that are directly at odds with one another Smith, Patriarchal perspectives and arrangements, widespread and taken for granted, are built into the relations of ruling. As a result, not only do women find it difficult to find their experiences acknowledged in the wider patriarchal culture, their viewpoints also tend to be silenced or marginalized to the point of being discredited or considered invalid.

The men, however, do not experience the sense of bifurcated consciousness under this social structure that modern Canadian females encounter Sanday, Symbolic interactionism aims to understand human behaviour by analyzing the critical role of symbols in human interaction.

This is certainly relevant to the discussion of masculinity and femininity. Imagine that you walk into a bank, hoping to get a small loan for school, a home, or a small business venture.

If you meet with a male loan officer, you may state your case logically by listing all of the hard numbers that make you a qualified applicant as a means of appealing to the analytical characteristics associated with masculinity. If you meet with a female loan officer, you may make an emotional appeal by stating your good intentions as a means of appealing to the caring characteristics associated with femininity.

Because the meanings attached to symbols are socially created and not natural, and fluid, not static, we act and react to symbols based on the current assigned meaning. Furthermore, the word gay as it refers to a homosexual carried a somewhat negative and unfavourable meaning 50 years ago, but has since gained more neutral and even positive connotations. These shifts in symbolic meaning apply to family structure as well.

In , when only Today, a majority of women with preschool-aged children are part of the paid workforce Sociologist Charles H. In , Broverman and Broverman conducted a groundbreaking study on the traits mental health workers ascribed to males and females. When asked to name the characteristics of a female, the list featured words such as unaggressive, gentle, emotional, tactful, less logical, not ambitious, dependent, passive, and neat.

The list of male characteristics featured words such as aggressive, rough, unemotional, blunt, logical, direct, active, and sloppy Seem and Clark, Later, when asked to describe the characteristics of a healthy person not gender specific , the list was nearly identical to that of a male.

This study uncovered the general assumption that being female is associated with being somewhat unhealthy or not of sound mind. This concept seems extremely dated, but in , Seem and Clark replicated the study and found similar results.

Again, the characteristics associated with a healthy male were very similar to that of a healthy genderless adult. The list of characteristics associated with being female broadened somewhat but did not show significant change from the original study Seem and Clark, This interpretation of feminine characteristics may help us one day to better understand gender disparities in certain illnesses, such as why one in eight women can be expected to develop clinical depression in her lifetime National Institute of Mental Health In the area of sexuality, sociologists focus their attention on sexual attitudes and practices, not on physiology or anatomy.

Studying sexual attitudes and practices is a particularly interesting field of sociology because sexual behaviour is a cultural universal. Throughout time and place, the vast majority of human beings have participated in sexual relationships Broude, Each society, however, interprets sexuality and sexual activity in different ways. Many societies around the world have different attitudes about premarital sex, the age of sexual consent, homosexuality, masturbation, and other sexual behaviours that are not consistent with universally cultural norms Widmer, Treas, and Newcomb, At the same time, sociologists have learned that certain norms like the disapproval of incest are shared among most societies.

Likewise, societies generally have norms that reinforce their accepted social system of sexuality. Societies that value monogamy, for example, would likely oppose extramarital sex. Individuals are socialized to sexual attitudes by their family, education system, peers, media, and religion. Historically, religion has been the greatest influence on sexual behaviour in most societies, but in more recent years, peers and the media have emerged as two of the strongest influences — particularly with North American teens Potard, Courtois, and Rusch, Let us take a closer look at sexual attitudes in Canada and around the world.

Cross-national research on sexual attitudes in industrialized nations reveals that normative standards differ across the world. For example, several studies have shown that Scandinavian students are more tolerant of premarital sex than are North American students Grose, A study of 37 countries reported that non-Western societies — like China, Iran, and India — valued chastity highly in a potential mate, while Western European countries — such as France, the Netherlands, and Sweden — placed little value on prior sexual experiences Buss, Even among Western cultures, attitudes can differ.

Sexual attitudes can also vary within a country. Of industrialized nations, Sweden is thought to be the most liberal when it comes to attitudes about sex, including sexual practices and sexual openness. The country has very few regulations on sexual images in the media, and sex education, which starts around age six, is a compulsory part of Swedish school curricula. It would appear that Sweden is a model for the benefits of sexual freedom and frankness.

However, implementing Swedish ideals and policies regarding sexuality in other, more politically conservative, nations would likely be met with resistance. North American culture is particularly restrictive in its attitudes about sex when it comes to women and sexuality. It is widely believed that men are more sexual than women. In fact, there is a popular notion that men think about sex every seven seconds.

Research, however, suggests that men think about sex an average of 19 times per day, compared to 10 times per day for women Fisher, Moore, and Pittenger, The belief that men have — or have the right to — more sexual urges than women creates a double standard.

Ira Reiss, a pioneer researcher in the field of sexual studies, defined the double standard as prohibiting premarital sexual intercourse for women but allowing it for men Reiss, This standard has evolved into allowing women to engage in premarital sex only within committed love relationships, but allowing men to engage in sexual relationships with as many partners as they wish without condition Milhausen and Herold, Due to this double standard, a woman is likely to have fewer sexual partners in her lifetime than a man.

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC survey, the average year-old woman has had three opposite-sex sexual partners while the average year-old man has had twice as many Centers for Disease Control, In a study of 1, Canadians over the age of 18, men had had an average of One of the principal insights of contemporary sociology is that a focus on the social construction of different social experiences and problems leads to alternative ways of understanding them and responding to them.

The sociologist often confronts a legacy of entrenched beliefs concerning innate biological disposition, or the individual psychopathology of persons who are considered abnormal. However, as Ian Hacking observes, even when these beliefs about kinds of persons are products of objective scientific classification, the institutional context of science and expert knowledge is not independent of societal norms, beliefs, and practices.

The powerful normative constraints that emerged based largely on the 19th century scientific distinction between natural and unnatural forms of sexuality lead to the legacy of closeted sexuality and homophobic violence that remains to this day.

Nevertheless, they depend on the concept of the homosexual as a specific kind of person. As Hacking points out, the category of classification, or the label that defines different kinds of people, actually influences their behaviour and self-understanding. They begin to experience the world and live in society in a different manner than they did previously.

Ironically, the gay rights movement has built on the same biological and psychiatric definitions of the homosexual as a kind of person so to reverse the negative consequences of homophobic culture. Redefining the meaning of being a homosexual type of person advances the social acceptance of gays and lesbians.

To some degree the gay rights movement has accepted the idea of the homosexual as a kind of person, and they have self-identified as such, but the outcome of this relabeling has not yet completely reversed the negative connotations of being gay. Sociologists representing all three major theoretical perspectives study the role that sexuality plays in social life today. Scholars recognize that sexuality continues to be an important factor in social hierarchies and relations of power and that the manner in which sexuality is constructed has a significant effect on perceptions, interactions, health, and outcomes.

When it comes to sexuality, functionalists stress the importance of regulating sexual behaviour to ensure marital cohesion and family stability. Since functionalists identify the family unit as the most integral component in society, they maintain a strict focus on it at all times and argue in favour of social arrangements that promote and ensure family preservation. Functionalists such as Talcott Parsons have long argued that the regulation of sexual activity is an important function of the family.

Social norms surrounding family life have, traditionally, encouraged sexual activity within the family unit marriage and have discouraged activity outside of it premarital and extramarital sex.

From a functionalist point of view, the purpose of encouraging sexual activity in the confines of marriage is to intensify the bond between spouses and to ensure that procreation occurs within a stable, legally recognized relationship. This structure gives offspring the best possible chance for appropriate socialization and the provision of basic resources. From a functionalist standpoint, homosexuality poses a potential dysfunction in terms of both the procreative role of the family and the unifying myths that the traditional family provides.

Strictly speaking, homosexual couples cannot have children together so, for them at least, procreation would cease. It is of course not the case that homosexuals are unable to marry or procreate with members of the opposite sex as this has occurred throughout history.

Similarly, the deep connection — between the traditional family form, religion, cultural practices and beliefs — provides a unifying force of social cohesion that gay marriage threatens. Thus, homosexuality disrupts the existing functional order. The functions of the traditional family structure need to be served or satisfied by different family structures for a working social equilibrium to be restored. From a critical perspective, sexuality is another area in which power differentials are present and where dominant groups actively work to promote their worldview as well as their economic interests.

Homosexuality was criminalized in Canada in It was not until that the Criminal Code was amended to relax the laws against homosexuality. It was not until that same-sex couples were given the right to marry. Critical sociology asks why homosexuality, and other types of sexuality, have been the subject of persecution by the dominant sexual majority.

Sexuality is caught up in the relationship between knowledge and power. Abnormal sexuality was associated with mental disease, threats to institutional stability, and biological pathologies within the reproduction of the species. As a public concern, sexuality became a danger to be controlled, surveilled, corrected, and in the worst cases, institutionalized. The norms defined by social custom, moral tradition, and scientific knowledge determine the degree of ease in which we can live within our own bodies and assume gender and sexual identities.

As we noted above, having a gender or sexual identity is only experienced as normal or natural to the degree that one fits within the dominant gender schema — the ideological framework that states that there are only two possible sexes, male and female, and two possible genders, masculine and feminine.

The dominant gender schema therefore provides the basis for the ways inequalities in power and status are distributed according to the degree that individuals conform to its narrow categories. Interactionists focus on the meanings associated with sexuality and with sexual orientation. Since femininity is devalued in North American society, those who adopt such traits are subject to ridicule; this is especially true for boys or men. Just as masculinity is the symbolic norm, so too has heterosexuality come to signify normalcy.

For the homosexual, these transitions are fraught with difficulty. To what degree does the same process apply to heterosexuals? Although the idea of coming out as a heterosexual, or as a masculine man or a feminine woman, might seem absurd, this absurdity is grounded in the norms of heteronormative society that are so deeply entrenched as to make them appear natural. Interactionists are also interested in how discussions of homosexuals often focus almost exclusively on the sex lives of gays and lesbians; homosexuals, especially men, may be assumed to be hypersexual and, in some cases, deviant.

Interactionism might also focus on the slurs used to describe homosexuals. This subsequently affects how homosexuals perceive themselves. Constant exposure to derogatory labels, jokes, and pervasive homophobia would lead to a negative self-image, or worse, self-hate. The CDC reports that homosexual youths who experience high levels of social rejection are six times more likely to have high levels of depression and eight times more likely to have attempted suicide CDC, Queer theory is a perspective that problematizes the manner in which we have been taught to think about sexual orientation.

Queer theorists reject the dominant gender schema and the dichotomization of sexual orientations into two mutually exclusive outcomes, homosexual or heterosexual. Rather, the perspective highlights the need for a more flexible and fluid conceptualization of sexuality — one that allows for change, negotiation, and freedom. This mirrors other oppressive schemas in our culture, especially those surrounding gender and race Black versus White, male versus female. In the end, queer theory strives to question the ways society perceives and experiences sex, gender, and sexuality, opening the door to new scholarly understanding.

Throughout this chapter, we have examined the complexities of gender, sex, and sexuality. Differentiating between sex, gender, and sexual orientation is an important first step to a deeper understanding and critical analysis of these issues. Understanding the sociology of sex, gender, and sexuality will help to build awareness of the inequalities experienced by subordinate groups such as women, homosexuals, and transgendered individuals.

Sex denotes biological characteristics differentiating males and females, while gender denotes social and cultural characteristics of masculine and feminine behaviour. Sex and gender are not always synchronous. Individuals who strongly identify with the opposing gender are considered transgendered. Gender Children become aware of gender roles in their earliest years. They come to understand and perform these roles through socialization, which occurs through four major agents: family, education, peer groups, and mass media.

Socialization into narrowly prescribed gender roles results in the stratification of males and females. Each sociological perspective offers a valuable view for understanding how and why gender inequality occurs in our society. Sex and Sexuality When studying sex and sexuality, sociologists focus their attention on sexual attitudes and practices, not on physiology or anatomy.

Norms regarding gender and sexuality vary across cultures. In general, Canada tends to be less conservative than the United States in its sexual attitudes. As a result, homosexuals still continue to face opposition and discrimination in most major social institutions, but discrimination based on sexual orientation is legally prohibited in the Canadian constitution.

Gays and lesbians are able to get married in Canada, and school boards across the country have instituted anti-bullying policies to prevent the targeting of LGBT students. The Difference between Sex, Gender, and Sexuality 1.

Gender 6. Which of the following is the best example of a gender stereotype? Which of the following is the best example of the role peers play as an agent of socialization for school-aged children? Sex and Sexuality What Western country is thought to be the most liberal in its attitudes toward sex?

Which theoretical perspective stresses the importance of regulating sexual behaviour to ensure marital cohesion and family stability? The Difference between Sex, Gender, and Sexuality. Gender For more gender-related statistics, see the U.

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Doing gender. Gender and Society, 1 2 — Answers to your questions: For a better understanding of sexual orientation and homosexuality. Produced by the Office of Public and Member Communications]. Broude, Gwen J. Sexual attitudes and practices. New York, NY: Springer. Buss, David M. Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypothesis tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 12 1 :1— Timeline: Same-sex rights in Canada. CBC News. January Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health. Devor, Aaron. FTM: Female-to-male transsexuals in society. How much does gender explain in sexual attitudes and behaviors? A survey of Canadian adults. Fisher, T. Moore and M. Sex on the brain? The Journal of Sex Research, 49 1 — Foucault, Michel.

NY: Vintage Books. Grose, Thomas K. Straight facts about the birds and bees. Kinsman, Gary. Constructing gay men and lesbians as national security risks, In Gary Kinsman, Dieter K. Buse, and Mercedes Steedman Eds. Canadian State Surveillance and the Creation of Enemies pp. Type a minimum of three characters then press UP or DOWN on the keyboard to navigate the autocompleted search results. The following content is displayed as Tabs.

Once you have activated a link navigate to the end of the list to view its associated content. The activated link is defined as Active Tab. Condoms are the most effective way to reduce your risk of contracting a sexually transmissible infection STI during sex The female condom is effective in preventing an unplanned pregnancy and protecting against sexually transmissible infections STIs In Victoria, you can have two types of abortion: surgical and medication.

Both types are safe and reliable. You can have a medication abortion up to nine weeks of pregnancy. You can have a surgical The method of contraception you choose will depend on your general health, lifestyle and relationships It is best to take emergency contraception as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of having unprotected sex, but it still works well within 96 hours four days This page shows you where to find translated information about the different methods of contraception how to prevent getting pregnant available in Australia Both men and women can give and receive oral sex Safe sex is sexual contact that doesn't involve the exchange of semen, vaginal fluids or blood between partners Partying is fun but being out of it on alcohol or drugs can put you at risk of unwanted or unsafe sex Find out some facts about women's sexual and reproductive health - including fertility, contraception, menopause, parental consent and conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis Bisexuality is when a person finds men and women physically, sexually or emotionally attractive Within Australia, intimate partner violence is the most common form of family violence.

Evidence presented to the Royal Commission into Family Violence suggests intimate partner violence is as There is no real explanation as to why some men are gay and others are not; it is just part of the wide variety of human sexuality Many women report they have lesbian experiences or feelings, but do not think of themselves as lesbians If you or someone you know requires support from an LGBTI or mental health organisation there are services available Sexuality is not about whom we have sex with, or how often we have it.

Sexuality is about our sexual feelings, thoughts, attractions and behaviours towards other people. We can find other people The Gay and Lesbian Switchboard Victoria is a telephone helpline that gives advice, information, counselling and referrals to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex GLBTI people in Your gender is what feels natural to you, even if it is different from your biological sex.

Some people may not feel comfortable with their biological sex but choose to live with the gender with which Most girls start puberty around 10 years old, but it can be earlier or later than that. Your body will go through big changes as you change from a girl into a young woman. For some girls and women Mothers are more likely to talk about intimate, emotional and psychological aspects of sex than fathers All people, including those with cognitive disabilities, have the right to explore and express their sexuality in appropriate ways By four, most children are curious about certain sexual issues, and they need honest answers to their questions Some parents find it hard to talk with their primary age children about sex, but help is available Young people with cognitive disabilities have the same range of sexual feelings and desires as young people without disabilities Many victims of date rape can People with a disability who experience violence, abuse or neglect can seek help from a range of services specifically designed to help them Too many children are physically, sexually and emotionally abused and when this happens, it is up to adults to speak up Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual behaviour or activity that makes the victim feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened The two types of oral contraception available in Australia are the combined pill, known as the Pill, and the mini pill The two types of oral contraception available in Australia are the combined pill, known as "the Pill", and the mini pill Whether you have a surgical or medical abortion you can become fertile again very soon after the abortion, so it's important to start using contraception immediately if you wish to prevent any After having a baby, you need to choose an effective method of contraception if you don't want to have another baby straight away Hormonal contraception for women is available as implants that slowly release hormones into the body over time Contraceptive injections for men are not yet available in Australia, but clinical studies suggest that they may provide a safe, effective and reversible method of male contraception in the future Hormonal contraception for women is available as injections that slowly release hormones into the body over time An intrauterine device IUD is a small contraceptive device that is put into the uterus womb to prevent pregnancy This video was made by the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, with Louna Maroun to inform teenagers about this safe, effective form of contraception to prevent an unplanned pregnancy Sterilisation is a permanent method of contraception that a woman can choose if she is sure that she does not want children in the future Having a vasectomy does not affect a man?

When a woman does not want to become a parent, her pregnancy options may include abortion or adoption Menopause, the final menstrual period, is a natural event that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years Sexuality is a key part of human nature. Expressing sexuality in satisfying ways is important for everyone, including people with a disability.

Some people with disability may need additional support Adjusting to the many changes that happen around puberty can be difficult for both parents and young people HIV transmission can occur from men to women and from women to men as well as between men who have sex with men Women living with human immunodeficiency virus HIV , or women whose partner is HIV-positive, may wish to have children but feel concerned about the risk of transmission of the virus to themselves if Communication is the best remedy for all types of relationship problems, including sexual problems caused by Parkinson?

Some abortion services in Victoria offer reduced fees to students, healthcare card holders and those experiencing financial difficulty Mifepristone, also called RU or the 'abortion pill', is used to terminate end a pregnancy up to nine weeks In Victoria, where abortion is available in a range of public and private settings, it is a safe, common and legal reproductive health choice Safe sex, sexual identity, health conditions and sexuality, education, sexual abuse and sexual problems Health, development, puberty, identity, risk taking, school, sex and sexuality and health conditions This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Reach Out.

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More show more. Tags: Sexual health Sexual health - Sexuality and sexual identity Young people Young people - Sex and sexuality. Sexuality is diverse, and there are many different types. It can take time to figure out the sexuality that fits you best. And your sexuality can change over time. Coming to terms with your sexuality can be a very liberating, exciting and positive experience. Sexuality is an important part of who you are.