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Chapter 6: Sexuality and Society
Terms in this set (32)
the biological distinction between females and males.
primary sex characteristics
the genitles, organs used for reproduction
secondary sex characteristics
bodily development, apart from the genitles, that distinguishes biologically mature females and males.
people whose bodies have both female and male characteristics
people who feel they are one sex even though biologically they are the other.
a norm forbidding sexual relations or marriage between certain relatives. (Every culture forbids it)
Describe how sexuality is both a biological and cultural issue.
SEX is biological, reffering to bodily differences between females and males.
GENDER is cultural reffering to behavior power and privileges a society attaches to being female or male.
SEXUALITY is a biological issue
*sex is determined at conception as a male sperm joins a female sperm
*males and females have dfferent genitals and bodily development
*intersexual people have both genitles
*transexual people feel they are one sex although biologically they are another
SEXUALITY is a cultural issue
*for humans sex is a matter of cultural meaning and personal choice rather than biological programming.
*sexual practices vary considerably from one society to another EX. kissing, ideas about modesty, and standards of beauty.
*the incest taboo exists in all societies because regulating sexuality especially reproduction is a necessary element of social organization. specific taboos vary from one society to another.
Explain changes in sexual attitudes in the united states.
The SEXUAL REVOLUTION, which peaked in the 1960s and 1970s, drew sexuality out into the open. Baby boomers were the first generation to grow up with the ideas that sex was a normal part of social life.
The SEXUAL COUNTEREVOLUTION, which began around 1980, aimed criticism at "permissiveness" and urged a return to more traditional "family values"
Beginning with the work of Alfred Kinsey, researchers have studied sexual behavior in the US and reached many interesting conclusions:
*premarital sexual intercourse became more common during the twentieth century.
*about 47% of high school students in the united states have had sexual intercourse; only 15% report having had four or more sexual partners.
*Among all U.S. adults, sexual activity varies: One third having sex with a partner a few times a year or not at all; another one third have sex once to several times a month; the remaining one third have sex two or more times a week.
*extramarital sex is widely viewed as wrong, and just 17% of married people report being sexually unfaithful to their spouses at some time.
*By their mid twenties about 90% of men and women report becoming sexually active with at least one partner; by age seventy 43% of men and 22% of women report having had sexual intercourse during the previous year.
A person's romantic and emotional attraction to another person.
Sexual attraction to someone of the other sex
Sexual attraction to someone of the same sex.
Sexual attraction to people of both sexes.
A lack of sexual attraction to people of either sex.
Discomfort over close personal interaction with people thought to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
Appearing or behaving in ways that challenge conventional cultural norms concerning how females and males should look and act.
Analyze factors that shape sexual orientation
Sexual orientation is a person's romantic and emotional attraction to another person. Four sexual orientations are:
Most research supports the claim that sexual orientation is rooted in much the same way as being right handed or left handed.
Sexual orientation is not a matter of neat categories because many people who think of themselves as heterosexual have homosexual experiences. The reverse is also true.
*the share of the U.S. population that is homosexual depends on how you define "homosexuality"
*About 6% of adult men and 13% of adult women report engaging in homosexual activity at some point in their lives; 1.7% of men and 1.1% of women define themselves as homosexual; 1.1% of men and 3.5% of women claim a bisexual identity
The gay rights movement helped change public attitudes toward greater acceptance of homosexuality. Still, a substantial share (46%) of US adults say homosexuality is wrong.
Transgender refers not to a sexual orientation, but to appearing or behaving in ways that challenge conventional cultural norms about how females and males should look act.
sexually explicit material intended to cause sexual arousal.
The industry of selling of sexual services (95% of sex trade workers are cisgendered individuals. )
Discuss several current controversies involving sexuality.
Teen Pregnancy- About 768,000 U.S. Teenagers become pregnant each year. The rate of teenage pregnancy has dropped since 1950, when many teens married and had children. Today, most pregnant teens are not married and are at high risk of dropping out of school and being poor.
Pornography- The law allows local communities to set standards of decency. Conservatives condemn pornography on moral grounds; liberals view pornography as a power issue, condemning it as demeaning to women.
Prostitution- The selling of sexual services is illegal almost everywhere in the United States. Many people view prostitution as a victimless crime, but victimizes women and spreads sexually transmitted diseases.
Sexual Violence- More than 80,000 rapes are reported each year in the United States, but the actual number is probably several times higher. About 15% of rape cases involve men as victims. Rape is a violent crime in which victim and offender typically know one another
Abortion- Laws banned abortion in all states by 1900. Opposition to these laws rose during the 1960's, and in1973, the U.S. Supreme Court declared these laws unconstitutional. Today, some 1.2 million abortions are performed each year. People who describe themselves as "pro choice" support a woman's right to abortion; people who call themselves "pro life" oppose abortion on moral grounds.
A body of research findings that challenges the heterosexual bias in the U.S. society.
A view that labels anyone who is not heterosexual as "queer"
The deliberate termination of a pregnancy.
Apply sociology's major theories to the topic of sexuality
Structural Functional Theory-
Highlights society's need to regulate sexual activity and especially reproduction. One universal norm is the incest taboo, which keeps family relations clear.
Symbolic Interaction Theory-
Emphasizes the various meanings people attach to sexuality. The social construction of sexuality can be seen in sexual differences between societies and in changing sexual patterns over time
Social conflict theory-
Links sexuality to social inequality.
*FEMINIST theory claims that men dominate women by devaluing them to the level of sexual objects,
*QUEER theory claims out society has a heterosexual bias, defining anything different as "queer"
Sociology of Sex key distinctions:
1. Separation of biology from what is "socially constructed"
2. Examinations of the "politics" surrounding sex.
*that is, the power associated with it.
puritan sex ethic
*No revealing clothing, no sexual deviations (no oral or anal sex, even between spouses)
*Laws depicting that the only proper way to have sex was via the "missionary position"
*basis for sodomy laws in many parts of the U.S.
*1960 oral contraceptive was approved (the pill)- women have more control.
1960's : contends a belief in sexual freedom and separation of sex from marriage
(1980's): proposed a return to traditional values and to discuss sex as something to do when married.
Sexual orientation continuum
An idea that contends that there is not always "one or the other" in sexual orientation, but that many people mixed sexual preferences.
Are we socialized into sexual orientation or...
Is sexual orientation a result of biology?
Kinsey Studies (1948)
Estimate that roughly 4% of males and 2% females have exclusive same sex relations, but he also argued that a third of men and one eight of women had had at least one same sex experience.
*despite this, many other researchers conclude that roughly 10% of the population are homosexual.
Hierarchy of prostitution
call girls (35%) massage parlors (50%) street walking (15%)
*down this hierarchy we see increasing levels of exploitation and danger (eg street walking prostitutes are exploited by a pimp and many be more inclined to abuse drugs.
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
Chapter 8: Social Stratification
Chapter 10: Gender Stratification
Sociology Chapter 4
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