When analysing the current state of sociological attitudes toward gender and sexuality, the overwhelming conclusion is that the hegemonic view in society assumes an inherent binary (Lorber via Steele, 2005, p.75). We categorize people into two groups: male or female; man or woman; masculine or feminine; gay or straight. However, throughout humanity’s development, variances to that model have emerged, either choosing to sit somewhere between the binary, or reject the model altogether. These variations challenge the binary assumptions entrenched within society, and as a result, are often denied, misunderstood or ignored entirely.
Enter bisexuality. Put simply, the concept of bisexuality is a sexual orientation that lies in the space between heterosexuality and homosexuality. However, society’s assumption of sexual essentialism, the idea that sexual orientation is fixed and absolute, has led to a culture that is “uncomfortable with people who are sexually ambiguous (Valverde via Naugler, 2012, p. 87). This urges society to assume that, despite the existence of bisexuality, people are really either gay or straight (Valverde via Naugler, 2012, p. 83). This is the phenomenon of bisexual erasure (Eisner, 2013, p. 89). Bisexual erasure affects both bisexual men and women in various ways; however, this essay will focus on the erasure of bisexuality in men in particular.
There is a distinctive public perception when it comes to bisexuality in men: that they don’t exist at all. Denial
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Alike gender, sexuality is also a social construct, especially when looking at the period before the 18th century, when one’s sexual orientation did not matter, hence there being no need for justification, just as pointed by Foucault: “Sexual practices had little need of secrecy; words were said without undue reticence, and things were done without too much concealment; one had a tolerant familiarity with the illicit.” (3). And the 19th century came and brought with it a big change, and not only did people become engulfed by social norms, whom they should abide at all costs, but they also had to keep their sexual preferences under lock and key: “But twilight soon fell upon this bright day, followed by the monotonous nights of the Victorian
In “The Myth of Homosexuality” by Christine Downing, there is the discussion of homosexuality and its meaning over the years. Downing begins the article by stating how a myth has classified women-on-women and men-on-men relationships to fall under the same term of homosexuality, but there is much deeper understanding to it than that. The classification under one word has caused a lot of shaping concerning how they are viewed or how they view themselves. In order to look past the surface of what defines the myth, Downing states that we must start with the culture’s myth and it’s origin.
There are various perceptions of gay and lesbian couples that they represent a more egalitarian relationship. (Civettini 2015:1) However, when same-sex couples are observed there is still a tendency to believe that the relationship contains a masculine and feminine figure following the heterosexual model. So, it is necessary to address both how these couples deviate from society’s norms as gay individuals but might still be reproducing the same behaviors as heterosexual couples because the ideologies are so deeply rooted in social institutions. The stereotypical connotations of masculinity and femininity influence all aspects of American society and gender display relies heavily on meeting those given expectations. So, in the case of this article, the author Civettini views a connection between sex, gender, and sexual orientation when it comes to displaying
For many years, Americans have held certain opinions concerning gender, sex, women, and sexual orientation. A definition of both gender and sex will be provided. The roles of women throughout American history will be discussed. When people think about masculinity and femininity, they have certain preconceived ideas. How these ideas contribute to the understanding gender, sex, and sexual orientation will be examined. Finally, the status of GLBT individuals will be explored. An increased understanding will be gained concerning these issues.
Bisexuality is often is disregarded by America 's monosexual society. There is an underlying layer of bierasure that has been happening for decades, and no one, but those affected, notices because that is the point. Bierasure is the removal of bisexual representation throughout all platforms. When information and awareness is removed, misrepresentation beings to arise. For bisexuality, the myths made up about it are endless and only add to the generally biphobic nation that is America. Biphobia is the hate or discrimination against bisexuals or bisexuality in general. Much like homophobia, hate and
Rubin discusses sexual hierarchy and how people are constituted within it based on types of sexual practises. She approaches these schemas as a basis of understanding how various institutional forces such as Medical communities and Religious communities define good sex versus bad sex and how their discourses define how people should see various types of sex. She emphasises that “marital, reproductive heterosexuals are a lone at the top of the erotic pyramid” (279). From this point, any type of sex falls under the heterosexual ideal is considered bad sex. Rubin further argues that “sexual liberation has been and continues to be a feminist goal” and states that both the LGBTQ+ community and Feminists often debate internally whether sexual liberation is good or not
Consider the frustrations of bisexual and/or transgender individuals when the LGBTQ community’s experiences are defined largely by the experiences of gay and lesbian individuals (LGBT Advisory Committee, 2011). Self-identified bisexuals make up the largest single population within the LGBTQ community in the U.S. (Egan, Edelman, & Sherrill, 2008; Herbenick et al., 2010; Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005). However, both research on the LGBTQ community and funding for LGBTQ organizations tend to focus exclusively on gay and lesbian individuals, rendering bisexual individuals invisible and sidelining or eclipsing their particular needs (Miller, André, Ebin, & Bessonova, 2007). This invisibility has serious consequences for bisexual individuals’ sense of belonging within the LGBTQ community (LGBT Advisory Committee,
This paper examines the social aspects of the sexual identity in America, illustrating how sexual identities have progressed, evolved, and transformed. Social categories have been created as a tool used for social divide and control, inadvertently creating stereotypical facts and discriminatory opinions on sexes; while also helping create social and welcoming communities, whose goals are to diminish ideals such as those. Concluding, this paper will have explained the dichotomous categories of different sexualities and the divides within them. The already established sexual divide leaves no room for those stuck in the in between of today's society, especially one as progressive as America’s. Derived from the examples giving, this paper argues
Sex and gender play a big part in american society today and are often misconstrued. These two topics have become progressive as people are starting to express their gender and sexuality in ways other than what is and has been considered the norm. Many people believe that sexuality and gender are synonymous with one another. Gender is socially constructed while sex is biologically determined. In society’s past, Americans often strayed away from discussing controversial topics, but with the rise of different ways of addressing people, it is deemed more important to understand. Along with the blurred lines of gender and sex comes sexuality, who someone is attracted to sexually. When people stray from society’s heteronormative mindset, they are often faced with many more challenges than the average hetero man or woman. People often have the preconceived notion that if something does not concern them, then they should not be involved in it. A person who could be your neighbor, co worker, or even child, may have to deal with the troubles of people confusing their gender identity with their sex. While also facing challenges that deal with the sex of the person they choose to love. Learning the difference between gender and sexuality will open the eyes of many people and see how the two are different but relate to one another very much.
This article is about heterosexuality and it talks about homos vs. hetero and how it’s different in other culture. Katz goal of this article to get people to have open minds about the name “heterosexuality”. He wants to remove the idea of heterosexuality from “the realm of the taken-for-granted, subjecting it to the dangers of analysis–and the possibility of critique” (67). To me this article make the readers open their mind up to things they never properly thought of and think out of their own boxes. Makes them think what “hereto” and “homo” people are like and how they live their lives. Katz goes back to the 19th century and talks about the history back then and how sexuality wasn’t a
The heterosexual imaginary is immensely ingrained in our everyday experience that most people, including feminist sociologists, has become inclined to conceptualize and theorize based around the heteronormative. The heterosexual imaginary acts as an invisible framework at play that structures our thinking processes and in which constructs our social identity. For instance, the inquiry of a survey taker’s marital status in most social science surveys come to show that our recognized and appropriate social identity is formed around heterosexuality. That is, any deviation from this heterosexual norm would be considered abnormal and be marginalized. To a minimal extent, this focus has served the interests of women because of the lack of activism
Some says that a person who has intimate relationships with both men and women doesn’t consider herself bisexual or of any sexual orientation for that matter. I think that today, we are seeing more people displaying an attraction to another individual based mostly on what their personality has to offer, rather then their ‘plumbing’. I find this an interesting concept and I think I do believe that what it boils down to is the love you have for the person despite their anatomy, though I have yet to experience feelings like this myself.One of the main problems that bisexual people face is the idea that bisexuality is not a “real” sexual orientation. This belief is held by not only the heterosexual community but by the homosexual community as well. Many people think of bisexuality as a transition into becoming gay or as a denial of oneself being gay. This belief is damaging not only because it refuses to acknowledge that bisexuality exists, but it also restricts a person’s love and affection to only one gender (either same-sex or opposite) and it refuses to take into consideration that someone could be attracted to or love people of
even though sexuality can be considered universal, the sexual behaviors affiliated with it offer different attitudes in various communities. Sexuality is aligned to sexual attraction where individuals can identify themselves with a broad range of sexuality that is bisexual, gay or being lesbian. Sexuality can change over time in a person depending on the circumstances surrounding him or her. It may be affected by the social circle and emotional imbalances that may occur in an individual. Interestingly there exists sexual inequality among many societies in the world. As observed, many societies encourage men to have multiple sex partners but forbid it in women. Moreover, pre-marital sex is promoted in men, but women are flaunted if they participate in pre-marital sex. Across the globe, Western Europe has embraced certain norms in sexuality such as homosexuality whereas African society embraces a negative attitude towards the same.
Gender and sexual orientation is a topic that has been and still today is not talked about in such a way it should be because of how society has chosen to structure and control it. Social stratification is a system in which groups of people are divided up into layers according to their relative privileges (power, property, and prestige). It’s a way of ranking large groups of people into a hierarchy according to their relative privileges (Vela-McConnell 2016). People, who deviate from the norm of the “accepted” gender and sexual orientation that society has placed upon us, are stratified below the norm of a dominating binary gender and sexual orientation. People who are queer face the struggle of mistreatment and an unaccepting society that has been socialized to see and act on gender and sexual orientation to being a dualistic system.
Upon entering this course, my understanding of human sexuality was decent; I was aware of certain aspects of sexuality such as being straight, gay, lesbian, queer, transgender, etc. Nevertheless, I did not realize how expansive sexuality is; it never occurred to me that sexual health, prostitution, marriage, rape, sex trafficking, divorce, families, etc., all fell under the umbrella of human sexuality. Books and essays such as Renee Hill’s Walk Together and David Shneer’s “Out of School” showcased the multiple facets of human sexuality and how terms like queer are not directly related to homosexuality. While sexuality and homosexuality are linked, frequently, people mistake them as being synonymous; before entering this class, I was searching for a definition of sexuality, and often in the thesaurus section of dictionary websites homosexuality and or sexual orientation was considered a synonym of sexuality. Formerly, I too would have agreed they were the same, however, after taking this course, I concluded that homosexuality is just one topic in the broad discussion of sexuality. My understanding of sexuality now is that it