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Michel Foucault: The History Of Sexuality

Decent Essays
In the book, The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault talks about how it is that we use sex and sexuality as a way to explain who we are. One’s sexuality was thought to explain a lot about a person’s character, so much as to say sexuality ultimately defined a person’s identity and “truth” about them. This has to do with the relationship that sex has with power and knowledge. Foucault argued that he does not think there’s a truth in sexuality that is outside of power. He stated, “power is essentially what dictated its law to sex...sex is placed by power in a binary system: licit or illicit, permitted or forbidden” (Foucault 83). This idea represents the distinction between the right and the wrong, which is seen in terms of what are the permissible and prohibited forms of sexuality. Throughout history, the social environment has often influenced the scientific discourse, thus causing certain issues to shift in beliefs. The use of science as a way…show more content…
For example, in the article “Born this way? Society, sexuality and the search for the 'gay gene,” by Simon Copland, he gives the example of how in ancient Greece, many men would participate in sexual acts with other men and it was not seen as unusual or homosexual, rather, it was seen as “the most praise-worthy, substantive and Godly forms of love” (Copland 2015). Copland then continues to say that today, the sexual fluidity of a woman, “can be linked to social acceptance of that idea (based on male desires) that one social construction does not tell the story for everyone. Our sexuality is due to a range of factors we not fully understand” (Copland 2015). Here, we are able to see that our beliefs of sexuality are never constant. We are always coming up with new ideas and ways of viewing sex and either accepting or denying such actions depending on what society thinks at the
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