The "sexual natural attitude" that is reflected through our Western culture differs greatly from that of other cultures. Our sexual natural attitude includes human beings falling into two distinct and complementary categories: male and female. Our culture denotes normality as only when two people of different genders have sexual relations or get married. It is a male dominated society where norms are often based on androcentric beliefs (McGann 2005). Our society labels people as heterosexual or homosexual with many inherent stereotypes that go along with the word "homosexual". An alternative point of view is the "sexual script" theory which states that sexuality is socially learned (Seidman 2003). In the film Chasing Amy, many features of the "sexual natural attitude" are both evident as well as challenged. The film also shows many of the characters to have "sexual scripts" which seem to be based on age, race, and class.
The film Chasing Amy is based on a middle class, white male (Holden McNeil) who falls in love with a lesbian named Alyssa Jones. Holden is portrayed as a conservative male who is bound by rigid ideas of what is normal' and is ruled by his stereotypes. Alyssa Jones is as experienced as one can get in her search for sexuality and is portrayed as a "non-agenda, male friendly lesbian", by Holden's friend Banky who in himself has problems with finding his true sexual nature. Alyssa is the main character of focus in this essay in that she described herself as not "given a map at birth". Throughout her lifetime she experiments with people of both genders and believes that by confining herself to only one gender she is in turn limiting her options to find true love.
Throughout the film, Holden is burdened by the fact that his relationship with Alyssa could never be "normal". A key component of the "sexual natural attitude" is heteronormativity which implies that each gender has certain natural roles in life. In a heteronormative...
Cited: McGann, PJ. "Basic Concepts." Sociology 345: Sociology of Sexuality. University of
Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI. 14 September 2005.
Schwartz, P and I. Rutter. 1998. The Gender of Sexuality. Thousand Oaks: CA. Pine Forge Press p. 26-27
Seidman, Steven. 2003. The Social Construction of Sexuality. New York. W.W Norton & Company p. 26
Stepp, Laura. (2004, January 4). Partway Gay? Washington Post.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document