Assembling an Understanding of ‘Sex’ Verses ‘Sexuality’
“Biologists and psychologists who have accepted the doctrine that the only natural function of sex is reproduction have simply ignored the existence of sexual activity which is not reproductive” Alfred Kinsey (The Invention of Sexuality 40)
The terms ‘sex’ and ‘sexuality’ have not always had a clear differentiation, but as the study of sexuality (sexology) has continued and become more commonly studied and recognized, these terms have adapted their own definitions. However, each does not have a perfect definition, because people will have their own opinions regarding the terms. The above quote by a historian of sex was interesting to me because it brings up the aspect of biology within the understanding of the terms ‘sex’ and ‘sexuality’. My personal idea, or understanding, is that ‘sex’ constitutes the more biological side— ones physical features, gender, reproduction (‘sex’ is also the abbreviation for sexual intercourse); and the term ‘sexuality’ makes up everything else that surrounds an individual’s definition of their sexual identity, orientation, and feelings. When reading articles online, I came across this quote: “sexuality is about who or what you are attracted to, not where you put your dick” (bitheway), which I found to be a very blunt but interesting way to think about what constitutes ‘sexuality’. “Where you put your …” is your personal preference, but that preference is a compilation of the aspects of one’s personal world and how they have come to define and understand their individual inclination. All of the parts that are compiled in order to form ones individual definition are aspects of ‘sexuality’ within our culture. Another page online gives definitions for ‘sex’ and ‘sexuality’ that I have found to be the most clear and complete: Sex refers to whether or not a person is male or female, whether a person has a penis or vagina. Sexuality refers to the total expression of...
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