Sexuality and Society

Topics: Sexual intercourse, Human sexuality, Human sexual behavior Pages: 13 (3597 words) Published: December 5, 2007
Sexuality and Society

I. Understanding Sexuality.
A.Sex refers to the biological distinction between females and males. B.Sex and the body.
1.Primary sex characteristics refer to the organs used for reproduction, namely, the genitals. Secondary sex characteristics are bodily differences, apart from the genitals, that distinguish biologically mature females and males. 2. Sex is not the same thing as gender.

3.In rare cares, a hormone imbalance before birth produces intersexual people, human beings with some combination of female and male characteristics. 4.Transsexuals are people who feel they are one sex even though biologically they are the other. C.Like all dimensions of human behavior, sexuality is also very much a cultural issue. 1.Almost any sexual practice shows considerable variation from one society to another. 2.SEEING OURSELVES-National Map 8-1: First-Cousin Marriage Laws across the United States. There is no single view on first-cousin marriage in the United States. 3.One cultural universal is the incest taboo, a norm forbidding sexual relations or marriage between certain relatives.

II. Sexual Attitudes in the United States.
A.Alfred Kinsey set the stage for the sexual revolution by publishing a study of sexuality in the United States in 1948. 1.The sexual revolution came of age in the late 1960s when youth culture dominated public life and a new freedom about sexuality prevailed. 2.The introduction of "the pill" in 1960 both prevented pregnancy and made sex more convenient. B.The sexual counterrevolution began in 1980 as a conservative call for a return to "family values" by which sexual freedom was to be replaced by sexual responsibility. C.Although general public attitudes remain divided on premarital sex, this behavior is broadly accepted among young people. D.WINDOW ON THE WORLD-Global Map 8-1: Contraceptive Use in Global Perspective.

E.The frequency of sexual activity varies widely in the U.S. population. It is married people who have sex with partners the most and report the highest level of satisfaction. F.Extramarital sex is widely condemned. But extramarital sexual activity is more common than people say it should be. III. Sexual Orientation.

A.Sexual orientation refers to a person's preference in terms of sexual partners. 1.The norm in all societies is heterosexuality, meaning sexual attraction to someone of the other sex. 2.Homosexuality is sexual attraction to someone of the same sex. 3.Bisexuality refers to sexual attraction to people of both sexes. 4.Asexuality means no sexual attraction to people of either sex. B.What gives us a sexual orientation?

1.Sexual orientation: a product of society.
2.Sexual orientation: a product of biology.
3.Critical review. Sexual orientation is most likely derived from both society and biology. C.How many gay people? In light of the Kinsey studies, many social scientists estimate that 10 percent of the population are gay, but how one operationalizes "homosexuality" makes a difference in the results. D.The gay rights movement.

1.In recent decades, the public attitude toward homosexuality has been moving toward greater acceptance due to the gay rights movement that arose in the middle of the twentieth century. 2.The gay rights movement also began using the term homophobia to describe the dread of close personal interaction with people thought to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

IV. Sexual Issues and Controversies.
A.Teen pregnancy.
1.Surveys indicate that while 1 million U.S. teens become pregnant each year, most did not intend to. Today, most teenagers who become pregnant are not married. 2.SEEING OURSELVES-National Map 8-2: Teenage Pregnancy Rates across the United States. B.Pornography.

1.Pornography refers to sexually explicit material that causes sexual arousal. 2.Pornography is popular in the United States.
3.Traditionally, people have criticized...
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