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Title: Chapter%201:%20Perspectives%20on%20Sexuality

Chapter 1Perspectives on Sexuality
Controversy and Diversity in Human Sexuality
  • Sexuality and the study of sexuality evokes
    strong emotions and often much controversy
  • This course will look at all aspects of human
  • We will be dealing with difficult and
    controversial topics at times from a variety of

What is Sexuality?
  • A uniquely human trait
  • More than just mating rituals
  • Laws, customs, fantasies, art, music, etc.

What is Sex?
  • Gender
  • state of being male or female
  • Sexual activities
  • such as kissing, intercourse, or masturbation
  • Anatomy
  • structures that play a role in reproduction or
    sexual pleasure
  • Erotic
  • feelings, experiences, or desires

Contradictory and Confusing
  • Sexually repressed society surrounded by sexual
  • Believe everyone is sexually active, yet an
    uncomfortable discussion topic
  • Explore our sexuality vs. moral restrictions
  • Diversity in sexual expression

Class Exercise
  • Make a list of all the places/sources where you
    got information about sex when you were growing
    up and as an adult.
  • Identify
  • If the information was accurate
  • Where you would have liked to gotten the
    information from

Sexual Intelligence
  • Four components of sexual intelligence
  • Understanding self
  • Having interpersonal sexual skills and integrity
  • Obtaining accurate scientific sexual knowledge
  • Having consideration of the cultural context of
  • Increasing sexual intelligence will allow for
    responsible decisions in sexual behavior

Course GoalsImproving Sexual Intelligence
  • Broad, accurate knowledge of sexuality
  • Know societys influences on our sexuality
  • Identify trends, changes, and many other
    influences affecting attitudes and behaviors
  • Understand biological roots and social issues
    related to sexuality
  • Become more comfortable discussing sex
  • Your personal goals

Studying Sexuality From a Biopsychosocial
  • A Psychosocial / Biopsychosocial Orientation
  • takes into account
  • Psychological factors
  • - Emotions, attitudes, motivations
  • Social factors
  • - Process which we learn our social norms
  • Biological factors
  • - Hormones, nervous system, genetics, etc.

Studying Sexuality Many Perspectives
  • The study of human sexuality draws upon the
    scientific expertise of many different fields
  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Medical Research
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Public Health

Studying Sexuality
  • The study of sexuality
  • Sexologist a person who engages in the
    scientific study of sexual behavior
  • Havelock Ellis (1859-1939)
  • Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902)
  • Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
  • Alfred Kinsey (1894-1956)

  • Studying human sexuality requires you to explore
    your own values in order to fully understand your
    decisions and attitudes.
  • Expression of sexuality is a matter of choices.
    Choices are dictated by value systems. Value
    systems provide a framework for judging the moral
    acceptability of sexual options

Class Exercise
  • What are your sexual values?
  • Where did they come from?

Perspectives onHuman Sexuality
Perspectives on Human Sexuality
  • Historical
  • Biological
  • Evolutionary
  • Cross-Species
  • Cross-Cultural
  • Sociocultural
  • Psychological

History of Sexuality Hebrews
  • Ancient Hebrews
  • Gender roles highly specialized
  • Sex within marriage a necessity
  • Hebrew Bible had explicit rules
  • Forbade adultery
  • Forbade male homosexual intercourse
  • Forbade incestuous relations
  • Discussed sexual misconduct
  • Stories of marital love

History of Sexuality Ancient China
  • Tao the basic unity and interdependence of the
    universe comprised of two principles
  • Yin feminine, passive, inexhaustible
  • Yang masculine, assertive, limited
  • Man should feed yang with prolonged contact with
    yin, without ejaculation
  • Female orgasm gave energy to yin
  • Sexual instruction and manuals common
  • Utilized drugs and sexual devices

History of Sexuality India
  • Karma cycle of birth and rebirth
  • Goal live a just life, marry, procreate
  • Marriage religious and economic obligation
  • Kamasutra 3rd-4th century B.C.
  • Nature of love
  • Good family practices
  • Moral guidance in love and sex
  • Sexual techniques

History of Sexuality Greece (1000 200 B.C.)
  • More sexually permissive than the Hebrews
  • Stories of sexual exploits, incest, rape,
  • Distinguished between love and sex
  • Aphrodite goddess of sexual intercourse
  • Eros god of love
  • Idealized men and the male form, as well as the
    female form
  • Sex was a symbol of power

History of Sexuality Rome (5th to 7th Century
  • Marriage and sex were ways to improve economic
    and social standing
  • Passionate love almost nonexistent
  • Few restrictions for early Romans

History of Sexuality Early Christianity
  • Jesus liberal in thinking about sexuality, and
    its punishment for transgressions
  • Later followers established the dominant western
    view of condemnation
  • Spirituality through celibacy
  • Sex outside of marriage as sinful Sex for
    procreation only
  • Highest love is that for God

History of Sexuality The Middle Ages
  • From 1050-1150, sexuality was liberalized
  • In 1215, church began confession and penance
  • Women changed from a temptress (Eve) to a model
    of virtue (Mary)
  • Thomas Aquinas (1200s) argued sex organs were for
    procreation condemned homosexuality
  • Late 15th century campaign against witchcraft,
    womens insatiable carnal lust

History of Sexuality The Reformation
  • Protestantism early 16th century
  • Bible showed obligation to reproduce and have
    marital love, instead of valuing celibacy
  • Women were mens partners in all things, not just
    to have children
  • Allowed divorce
  • Companionship was focal in marriage
  • Women were weaker than men
  • Sex permissible only in marital union

History of Sexuality The Enlightenment
  • 18th century
  • Prized rational thought over traditional
  • Human nature best understood through study
  • Sexual reproduction was shown to be a great
    evolutionary achievement
  • Free love and rise in premarital pregnancy and
    illegitimate births
  • Homosexuality condemnation and persecution, then

History of Sexuality Victorian Era
  • Womens role constrained women as asexual
  • Emotional physical distance between husband and
  • Public behavior important, especially to the
    upper class
  • Conservative sexual attitudes, not always
  • Prostitution flourished
  • Continued polarized view of women Madonna vs
  • Moshers research contradicts prevailing view
  • -Victorian women experienced sexual desire,
    enjoyed intercourse, and experienced orgasm

  • In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many
    doctors taught that masturbation was harmful, and
    so devices, such as the two barbed rings and the
    shock box shown here, were created to keep
    children-especially boys-from achieving unwanted

History of Sexuality Sex in American History
  • The Colonies
  • United States New World
  • 19th century
  • 20th century

History of Sexuality The Colonies
  • Puritans had severe sanctions for sexual
  • Sexuality was natural within marriage
  • Bundling for young, courting couples

History of Sexuality United States New World
  • Churchs power diminished
  • Right to personal happiness, sexual liberation
  • Brothels, contraception, abortive medicines
  • Sexuality embraced within marriage, and without
  • Female indentured servants and slaves were
    commonly raped
  • Myth of slave promiscuity
  • Sexuality of minorities was used to oppress them

History of Sexuality The 19th Century
  • 1820s free love movement
  • 1852 Mormons announce practicing polygamy
  • End of 19th century Medical model of sexuality
  • Women ruled by their wombs ovarectomies
  • John Kelloggs sanitarium
  • Homosexuality an illness, not a sin
  • Comstock Act of 1873 prohibited mailing obscene
    writing or ads, including contraceptive
    information and artwork containing nudity

History of Sexuality 20th Century Sexuality
  • Social Movements
  • Suffrage movement
  • Temperance movement
  • Civil rights movement
  • Lesbian gay movement
  • World War II
  • Roles were expanded more flexible
  • Postwar return to stricter roles
  • 60s 70s
  • Feminism
  • Sexual Revolution
  • Research

Biological Perspective
  • The roles of genes, hormones, the nervous system,
    and other biological factors.
  • Human sexuality is more than just the physical

Evolutionary Perspective
  • Some individuals are better adapted to their
    environment than others those who are able to
    adapt are more likely to survive and pass on
    their genes.
  • Evolutionary psychology behavior patterns, such
    as sexual behavior are genetically transmitted.
  • Erotic plasticity people showing different
    levels of sexual desire in response to social and
    cultural influences.

Cross-Species Perspective
  • The examination of sexuality in other animal
    species, placing human sexuality in a larger
    context (i.e. male-female, male-male, and kissing

Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • How do cultural beliefs affect sexual behavior
    and peoples sense of morality?
  • Among societies there are great commonalities and
    differences in sexual behavior.

Sociocultural Perspective
  • Focuses on the differences in sexuality among the
    subgroups of a society, such as differences in
    religion, race, age, or gender.

Cultural Perspectives
  • Variation among societies
  • Variation within societies
  • Major influences on sexual attitudes behaviors
    in all cultures
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Education level
  • Religion
  • Ethnicity and/or nationality
  • Gender

Cross-Cultural PerspectivesIslamic Middle East
  • Based on beliefs of Muhammad
  • Belief that sex should be enjoyed by both sexes
  • Women viewed inherently more sexual than men
    (this power contained by veils, segregation,
    female circumcision)
  • Oppression of women and many sexually related
    restrictions stem from patriarchal cultural
    traditions and fundamentalist sects, not from
    religion and the teaching of the Quran

Cross-Cultural Perspectives China
  • Sexual conservatism with communist rule (1949)
  • Lack of basic information about sexuality
  • Sex outside of marriage and frequent sex within
    marriage discouraged
  • Almost no STDs
  • Current trends
  • increasing rates of pre-marital sex
  • increasing STDs
  • slightly more open to homosexuality
  • still lack sexual knowledge and safe-sex skills

Psychological Perspective
  • Psychological influences perception, learning,
    motivation, emotions and personality.
  • Sigmund Freud and psychoanalytic theory we
    internalize conflicts between sexuality and
    society. How we resolve the conflicts determines
    our ability to love and work.
  • Learning theories environmental factors help
    shape behavior (rewards and punishments)
  • Social-Learning behaviors are determined
    through learning theories, but also through
    observational and cognitive experiences.

The Media and Sexuality
How have mass media reflected and influenced
sexual norms? What are elements unique to
sexuality on the Internet compared with other
mass media?
The Media and Sexuality
  • Television
  • News, advice, and educational programs
  • Increased access to sexual material
  • Percentages of sexual content
  • Cable and music videos
  • Video games
  • Determining of social norms
  • Advertising (Mans last stand, womans last
  • Magazines

Sexual Taboos and Television
Cyberspace and Sexuality
  • 1.5 billion Internet users worldwide
  • 80 of people obtain health information from
  • Source of sexual expression
  • MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
  • Availability on hand held devices
  • PDA, iPod, Cell phones

SexualityWhere the Personal is Political
  • Impact of social norms
  • Freedoms and responsibilities today
  • Controversies facing human sexuality

How can something as personal as sex be political?