Constructed Nature of Sexuality Analytical Essay

Constructed Nature of Sexuality
A discussion on how society has constructed the idea of sexuality.
# 153907 | 0 words | 0 sources | 2014 | US
Published on Jun 16, 2014 in Gender and Sexuality (Sexual Politics)


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From the Paper:

"Sexuality and its nature have changed over time due to different social ideas of what is considered normal and acceptable. In ancient Greece and Rome, men were allowed to have sexual with relationships with young boys as a way of mentoring them; this was known as pederasty. If a man were to take part in pederasty today, he would be labeled a pedophile and be sent to prison if his actions were discovered. In his book Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud written in 1990, Thomas W. Laqueur discusses sex and sexuality throughout history and how it changed or developed based off of new discoveries. Laqueur says that "there are two explanations for how the two modern sexes as we imagine them were, and continue to be invented: one is epistemological and the other is, broadly speaking, political." This means that sexuality isn't based off of an absolute science, but is instead based off of what people know and what people want to believe. Laqueur later goes on to argue that sexuality "is not susceptible to empirical testing" and that "all but the most circumscribed statements about sex are, from their inception, burdened with the cultural work done by those propositions." Laqueur is correct about the constructed nature of sexuality because sexuality is clearly formed by what society believes to be acceptable or normal - the entire concept of sexuality is an idea created by humanity.
"Laqueur is not the only person to write about the idea that sexuality is constructed by society. In the mid-twentieth century, two men by the names of John Gagnon and William Simon came up with theories about the social sources of sexuality. Gagnon and Simon argued that "sexual life is subject to a 'socio-cultural molding...surpassed by few other forms of human behavior." This is similar to the argument that Laqueur made about sexuality because Gagnon and Simon are also arguing that sexuality is made based off of beliefs held by the society of any one culture. Society is continually trying to discover the scientific basis behind human sexuality so that they can then fit a person's sexuality into a specific category such as heterosexuals, homosexuals, or transgender."

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