Sexual Nature And Sexual Differences

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Several of the fundamental shifts in the ideas about the sexual nature and sexual differences occurred in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries. During this period the new scientific knowledge is increasingly accepted concerning biological sex, gender, and sexuality, under which the belief that men and women are biologically different emerges. As the acceptance of this discovery grew it creates a new cultural system of proper behavior for men and women, and new constructions of gender. Through the change in the gender/sex system, Rousseau’s ideas about what makes men and women different and the evolution of homosexuality the ways by which behavior is codified as proper or deviant in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries is made clear.…show more content…
Under this configuration there are two bodies, male and female, and there are three genders, male, female, and sodomite (Trumbach 193). This change in the sex/gender system created a new construction of gender for the population of Enlightenment London. This model, which explains the sexual nature of the body, quickly became ingrained into society to an extent by which social and political regulations of the population occur in accordance to this system. The emergence of Molly-Houses during this time illustrates how the change in ideology around the sexual nature of the body also influenced societal norms and behaviors in the eighteen-century. The expectation of men who were Mollies was that they would play a feminine role within the Molly-House, but conduct life in public as a man (Trumbach 190). This dynamic illustrates how the creation of strong gender identities and norms persuaded sodomites to adhere to proper behavior of the time period, despite their sexual desires or gender. Trumbach explains that sodomites biologically appear to be men and therefore are held to the standards of men in society, even though they are socially less than men (190). Society under the hierarchy created by this system, views specific behaviors, such as sodomy and prostitution, as improper because they go against the defined roles of men as
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