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Transcript
Sexuality
Why study sexuality
sociologically?
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Important and controversial
People do not understand sexuality
very well
Part of many areas of social life
The more global our view of sexuality,
the more variety we see in the
meanings people attach to sexuality.
Research
Comparative (Global) Research


Comparative research shows sex varies
from culture to culture & place to place positions, frequency, taboos, etc..
The more global our view of sexuality, the
more variety we see.
Kinsey’s Research 1940’s 1950’s
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
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Sexual Behavior in the Human Male
Sexual Behavior in the Human Female
Set the stage for the sexual revolution
Defined sexuality as a proper focus of
scientific study
Showed people were less conventional than
assumed
Created a new openness toward sexuality
Homosexuality


Kinsey’s continuum
Most evidence indicates sexual orientation
is rooted in human biology

Biological explanations

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Simon LeVay
Hormones
Chromosomes (Twins studies)
Social Explanations (Society plays some
role)
Sexual variations

Hermaphrodites

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Transsexuals (Transgender)

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Combination of female and male genitalia
“Trapped in the wrong body”
Transvestites
Prostitution

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Often seen as a victimless crime
Often not simply a personal choice between
adults

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Women subjected to violence
Increases spread of STD’s
Many poor women become trapped into selling
sex
Prostitution

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Common in low-income countries where women
have fewer economic opportunities
Hierarchy of prostitution

Elite (top) = call girls (or escorts)

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Young, attractive, well educated
Bottom = Streetwalkers
Against the law everywhere in US except for some
parts of Nevada
Legalizing prostitution
Rape



Often not reported to police
Official statistics include only women
victims
Most men who rape men are not
homosexual
False beliefs about rape


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Committed between strangers
Victim encouraged their attackers
Motive is simply a desire for sex
Birth control and social norms

As society gains birth control, social norms
regarding sexuality become more
permissive.
Teen pregnancy

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Increasing
1,000,000 teenagers become pregnant each
year.
Teenage women with low incomes and
weak families have the highest probability
of pregnancy.