A. Largest influence on gender roles in contemporary American society? 100 words each minimum.
1. Parents? 100 words minimum
2. Teachers? 100 words minimum
3. Media? 100 words minimum
4. Something else like work environment or friends? 100 minimum each.
Please use chapter 5 on the word document attached
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B. 1.Most of us think of the world as made up of men and women who are assigned gender by their anatomy. (100 word minimum)
How does the existence of transsexuals and two-spirits suggest that this classification is inadequate for understanding human gender? 50 words minimum for adequate and 50 minimum words for inadequate? 50 words minimum.
Please use chapter 1 on the word document attached
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CHAPTER 1 PERSPECTIVE ON HUMAN SEXUALITY by: WILLIAM YARBER
“The media, especially magazines and television, has had an influence on shaping my sexual identity. Ever since I was a little girl, I have watched the women on TV and hoped I would grow up to look sexy and beautiful like them. I feel that because of the constant barrage of images of beautiful women on TV and in magazines young girls like me grow up with unrealistic expectations of what beauty is and are doomed to feel they have not met this exaggerated standard.”
“The phone, television, and Internet became my best friends. I never missed an episode of any of the latest shows, and I knew all the words to every new song. And when Facebook entered my life, I finally felt connected. At school, we would talk about status updates: whom we thought was cute, relationship status, and outrageous photos. All of the things we saw were all of the things we fantasized about. These are the things we would talk about.”
“Though I firmly believe that we are our own harshest critics, I also believe that the media have a large role in influencing how we think of ourselves. I felt like ripping my hair out every time I saw a skinny model whose stomach was as hard and flat as a board, with their flawless skin and perfectly coifed hair. I cringed when I realized that my legs seemed to have an extra ‘wiggle-jiggle’ when I walked. All I could do was watch the television and feel abashed at the differences in their bodies compared to mine. When magazines and films tell me that for my age I should weigh no more than a hundred pounds, I feel like saying, ‘Well, gee, it’s no wonder I finally turned to laxatives with all these pressures to be thin surrounding me.’ I ached to be model-thin and pretty. This fixation to be as beautiful and coveted as these models so preoccupied me that I had no time to even think about anyone or anything else.”
“I am aware that I may be lacking in certain areas of my sexual self-esteem, but I am cognizant of my shortcomings and am willing to work on them. A person’s sexual self-esteem isn’t something that is detached from his or her daily life. It is intertwined in every aspect of life and how one views his or her self: emotionally, physically, and mentally. For my own sake, as well as my daughter’s, I feel it is important for me to develop and model a healthy sexual self-esteem.”
SEXUALITY WAS ONCE HIDDEN from view in our culture: Fig leaves covered the “private parts” of nudes; poultry breasts were renamed “white meat”; censors prohibited the publication of the works of D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, and Henry Miller; and homosexuality was called “the love that dares not speak its name.” But over the past few generations, sexuality has become more open. In recent years, popular culture and the media have transformed what we “know” about sexuality. Not only is sexuality not hidden from view; it often seems to surround and embed itself into all aspects of our lives.
“Nature is to be reverenced, not blushed at.”
—Tertullian (c. 155 CE–c. 220 CE)
In this chapter, we discuss why we study human sexuality and examine popular culture and the media to see how they shape our ideas about sexuality. Then we look at how sexuality has been conceptualized in different cultures and at different times in history. Finally, we examine how society defines various aspects of our sexuality as natural or normal.
•Studying Human Sexuality
The study of human sexuality differs from the studies of accounting, plant biology, and medieval history, for example, because human sexuality is surrounded by a vast array of taboos, fears, prejudices, and hypocrisy. For many, sexuality creates ambivalent feelings. It is linked not only with intimacy and pleasure but also with shame, guilt, and discomfort. As a result, you may find yourself confronted with society’s mixed feelings about sexuality as you study it. You may find, for example, that others perceive you as somehow “unique” or page 3“different” for taking this course. Some may feel threatened in a vague, undefined way. Parents, partners, or spouses (or your own children, if you are a parent) may wonder why you want to take a “sex class”; they may want to know why you don’t take something more “serious”—as if sexuality were not one of the most important issues we face as individuals and as a society. Sometimes this uneasiness manifests itself in humor, one of the ways in which we deal with ambivalent feelings: “You mean you have to take a class on sex?” “Are there labs?” “Why don’t you let me show you?”
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
—Aristotle (384 BCE–322 BCE)
Ironically, despite societal ambivalence, you may quickly find that your human sexuality text or ebook becomes the most popular book in your dormitory or apartment. “I can never find my textbook when I need it,” one of our students complained. “My roommates are always reading it. And they’re not even taking the course!” Another student observed: “My friends used to kid me about taking the class, but now the first thing they ask when they see me is what we discussed in class.” “My friends gather around when I open up my online sexuality course, waiting for a glimpse of photos or new information.”
As you study human sexuality, you will find yourself exploring topics not ordinarily discussed in other classes. Sometimes they are rarely talked about even among friends. They may be prohibited by family, religious, or cultural teaching. For this reason, behaviors such as masturbation and sexual fantasizing are often the source of considerable guilt and shame. But in your human sexuality course, these topics will be examined objectively. You may be surprised to discover, in fact, that part of your learning involves unlearning myths, factual errors, distortions, biases, and prejudices you learned previously.
Taking a course in human sexuality is like no other college experience. It requires that students examine their sexual beliefs and behaviors in the context of a wide variety of social and cultural factors and incorporate this new perspective into their sexual lives and well-being.
Andersen Ross/Getty Images
Sexuality may be the most taboo subject you study as an undergraduate, but your comfort level in class will probably increase as you recognize that you and your fellow students have a common purpose in learning about sexuality. Your sense of ease may also increase as you and your classmates get to know one another and discuss sexuality, both inside and outside the class. You may find that, as you become accustomed to using the nuanced sexual vocabulary, you are more comfortable discussing various topics. For example, your communication with a partner may improve, which will strengthen your relationship and increase sexual satisfaction for both of you. You may never before have used the word masturbation, clitoris, or penis in a class setting or any kind of setting, for that matter. But after a while, using these and other terms may become second nature to you. You may discover that discussing sexuality academically becomes as easy as talking about computer science, astronomy, or literature. You may even find yourself, as many students do, sharing with your friends what you learned in class while on a bus or in a restaurant, as other passengers or diners gasp in surprise or lean toward you to hear better!
Studying sexuality requires respect for your fellow students. You’ll discover that the experiences and values of your classmates vary greatly. Some have little sexual experience, while others have a lot of experience; some students hold progressive sexual values, while others hold conservative ones. Some students are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, or another identity (LGBTQ+). This plus sign represents inclusiveness of all identities. Most students are young, others middle-aged, some older—each in a different stage of life and with different developmental tasks before them. Furthermore, the presence of students from any of the numerous religious and ethnic groups in the United States reminds us that there is no single behavior, attitude, value, or sexual norm that encompasses sexuality in contemporary society. Finally, as your sexuality evolves you will find that you will become more accepting of yourself as a sexual human being with your own “sexual voice.” From this, you will truly “own” your sexuality.
“Words do not have inherent meaning, they are signifiers of meaning and these meanings shift across time.”
—Morgan Lev Edward Holleb (1989–)
•Sexuality, Popular Culture, and the Media
Much of sexuality is influenced and shaped by popular culture, especially the mass media. Popular culture presents us with myriad images of what it means to be sexual. But what kinds of sexuality do the media portray for our consumption?
Media Portrayals of Sexuality
What messages do the media send about sexuality to children, adolescents, adults, and older people? To people of varied races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations? Perhaps as important as what the media portray sexually is what is not portrayed—masturbation, condom use, and older adults’ sexuality, for example.
“One picture is worth more than a thousand words.”
Media are among the most powerful forces in people’s lives today. Adults ages 18 and over spend more time engaging with media than in any other activity—an average of 12 hours per day, 7 days per week (see Figure 1). Watching TV, playing video games, texting, listening to music, and searching the Internet provide a constant stream of messages, images, expectations, and values about which few (if any) of us can resist. Whether and how this exposure is related to sexual outcomes is complex and debatable, depending on the population studied. However, data that are available may provide an impetus for policymakers who are forming media policies, parents who are trying to support their children’s identity and learning, and educators and advocates who are concerned about the impact of media on youth and who wish to underscore the potential impact of media in individuals’ lives. For those concerned about promoting sexual health and well-being, understanding media’s prominence and role in people’s lives is essential.
• FIGURE 1
Average Time Spent Per Day With Media by Persons in the United States, Ages 18 and Over, 2019.
Source: www.eMarketer.com [April 2019]
Mass-media depictions of sexuality function not only to entertain and exploit, but also in some cases to educate. As a result, the media often do not present us with “real” depictions of sexuality. Sexual activities, for example, are usually not explicitly acted out or described in mainstream media. The social and cultural taboos that are still part of mainstream U.S. culture remain embedded in the media. Thus the various media present the social context of sexuality; that is, the programs, plots, movies, stories, articles, newscasts, and vignettes tell us what behaviors are culturally most appropriate, with whom they are appropriate, and why they are appropriate.
Probably nothing has revolutionized sexuality the way that access to the Internet has. A click on a website link provides sex on demand. The Internet’s contributions to the availability and commercialization of sex include live images and chats, personalized pages and ads, and links to potential or virtual sex partners. The spread of the web has made it easy to obtain information, solidify social ties, and provide sexual gratification.
“Would you like to come back to my place and do what I’m going to tell my friends we did anyway?”
speaking A Quick and Evolving Glossary of Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation
Our knowledge and understanding about sexuality, gender, gender identity, and gender variations along with the nomenclature to describe each are evolving. For example, we now recognize that gender diversity extends well beyond variation in masculinity or femininity such that both government institutions and social media platforms like Facebook and Tinder have adopted over 30 different self-identifying gender terms that go well beyond the social constructs of man and woman (Whyte et al., 2018). Though subject to opinions and differences, this document represents a partial list of current terminology used for sexual and gender identities and variations and sexual orientation. The comprehensive list is, undoubtedly, much longer. To learn of the other current terms, one can seek information from professional sexuality organizations, especially those that focus on sexuality and gender-related issues. Over time, there will be additions and corrections to this evolving nomenclature.
Agender Those who do not identify with any gender.
Anatomical sex Refers to physical sex: gonads, uterus, vulva, vagina, penis, etc.
Androgyny A combination of masculine and feminine traits or nontraditional gender expression. May be referred to as genderqueer or gender fluid.
Asexuality Lack of sexual attraction.
Assigned sex An assignment that is made at birth, usually male or female, typically on the basis of external genital anatomy but sometimes on the basis of internal gonads, chromosomes, or hormone levels.
Bisexuality An emotional and sexual attraction to two or more genders or someone who is attracted to people, regardless of their gender. (See also pansexuality.)
Cisgender Someone whose gender identity aligns with the gender assigned at birth.
Disorders of sex development (DSD) Considered by some to pathologize gender variations, the diagnosis may be used to describe congenital conditions in which the external appearance of the individual does not coincide with the chromosomal constitution or the gonadal sex. The term DSD is no longer used by the World Health Organization. Also known as differences of sex development or intersex.
Gender The socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a society considers appropriate for a sex.
Genderqueer A spectrum of identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine. Rather, a person identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male or female genders.
Gender binary The idea that gender is an either-or option of male or female. Many who question their gender are uncertain, unwilling to state, or feel limited by those neatly fitting categories.
Gender non-binary or genderqueer is a spectrum of gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine.
Gender confirming treatment A means for those who find it essential and medically necessary to establish congruence with their gender identity. Also referred to as gender affirming treatment or gender reassignment surgery.
Gender diverse An umbrella term used to describe an ever-evolving array of labels people may apply when their gender identity, expression, or perception does not conform to the norms and stereotypes of others. Replaces the former term gender nonconforming.
Gender dysphoria A clinical symptom and psychiatric diagnosis which has focus on the distress that stems from the incongruence between one’s expressed or experienced gender and the gender assigned at birth. Previously called gender identity disorder.
Gender fluid(ity) People whose gender expressions and/or identity is not static; that is, it is not the same all the time.
Gender identity A person’s internal sense or perception of being male, female, or blend of both, or neither.
Gender roles Attitudes, behaviors, rights, and responsibilities that particular cultural groups associate with our assumed or assigned sex.
Gender variant Anyone who deviates from the historical norms of masculinity and femininity. Also known as transgender, gender diverse, gender non-binary, or genderqueer.
Genetic sex Chromosomal and hormonal sex characteristics.
Heteroflexible Individuals who identify as heterosexual or mostly heterosexual but report moderate same-sex behavior and attraction.
Heteronormativity The belief that heterosexuality is normal, natural, and superior to all other expressions of sexuality.
Heterosexuality Emotional and sexual attraction between persons of the other sex. Also referred to as straight.
Homosexuality Emotional and sexual attraction between persons of the same sex. Also referred to as gay or queer.
Intersex A variety of conditions that may occur during fetal development and lead to atypical development of physical sex characteristics. These conditions can involve the external genitals, internal reproductive organs, sex, and sex-related hormones. May also be known as disorders of sex development (DSD).
Pansexuality Emotional and sexual attraction regardless of gender identities and expressions.
Queer Those whose identified gender or sexual identity is non-conforming, that is, not heterosexual or cisgender.
Sex Consists either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions.
Sexual and gender minority A group including, but not limited to, individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, and/or intersex. page 6Individuals with same-sex or -gender attractions or behaviors and those with a difference in sex development are also included.
Sexual orientation A multidimensional construct composed of sexual identity, attraction, and behavior.
Transgender An umbrella term for those whose gender expression or identity is not congruent with the sex assigned at birth. This includes those who identify as genderqueer or gender fluid, gender nonconforming, intersex, and trans.
Transsexual A somewhat outdated term for someone who is not the gender they were assigned at birth. Often implied is a medical transition. Transgender is now the preferred term.
Transvestism Wearing of clothes of the other sex for any one of many reasons, including relaxation, fun, and sexual gratification. Often referred to as cross-dressing.
Images of sexuality permeate our society, sexualizing our environment. Think about the sexual images you see or hear in a 24-hour period. What messages do they communicate about sexuality?
John Violet/Alamy Stock Photo
It’s common knowledge that most of us have thoroughly integrated all forms of media into our lives. In spite of being heavy users of media, more than half of those aged 13–17 are worried that they spend too much time on their cellphones, while a similar percent have tried to limit their use of social media or video games (Pew Research Center, 2018). Though high school males spend more time on the computer than high school females, teenagers spend most of their media/communications time watching TV and videos (Rideout & Robb, 2019). For school-aged children and adolescents, the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] (2016) suggests that parents teach young people to balance media use with other healthy behaviors; no small endeavor considering the powerful draw and influence of the media.
The music industry is awash with sexual images and messages too. Contemporary pop music, from rock ‘n’ roll to rap, is filled with lyrics about sexuality mixed with messages about love, rejection, violence, and loneliness. Research has found that women are frequently sexualized and objectified within music videos, with sexual references including women engaging in implicit sexual behaviors, sex is seen as a priority for men, and women are defined by having a man (American Psychological Association [APA], 2018). As a result, there is increasing evidence that exposure to sexual content in music may be impacting young people’s identity and gender role development, most significantly related to stereotypical gender role attitudes, ideals, and expectations. Because of censorship issues, the most overtly sexual music is not played on the radio but is more often streamed through the Internet via YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, and other sites.
Women’s magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, and Elle use sex to sell their publications. How do these magazines differ from men’s magazines such as Men’s Health, Playboy, and Maxim in their treatment of sexuality?
emka74/Alamy Stock Photo
Magazines, tabloids, and books contribute to the sexualization of our society as well. It’s important to note that sexualization is not the same as sex or sexuality; rather sexualization is a form of sexism that narrows a frame of a person’s worth and value. The sexualization of individuals sees value and worth only as sexual body parts for others’ sexual pleasure. For example, popular romance novels and self-help books disseminate ideas and values about sexuality and body image. Men’s magazines have been singled out for their sexual emphasis. Playboy, Men’s Health, and Maxim, with their Playmates of the Month, sex tips, and other advice, are among the most popular magazines in the world. Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit edition alone draws 63 million adult users in the United States (Sports Illustrated, 2020).
It would be a mistake to think that only male-oriented magazines focus on sex. Women’s magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Elle have their own sexual content. These magazines feature romantic photographs of lovers to illustrate stories with such titles as “Sizzling Sex Secrets of the World’s Sexiest Women,” “Making Love Last: If Your Partner Is a Premature Ejaculator,” and “Turn on Your Man with Your Breasts (Even If They Are Small).” Preadolescents and young teens are not exempt from sexual images and articles in magazines such as Seventeen and J-14. Given these magazines’ heavy emphasis on looks, it’s not surprising that those who read a lot of women-focused magazines are more likely to have internalized the thin ideal, have negative views of their appearance, engage in restricted eating and bulimic behaviors, and experience negative psychological health (Northrup, 2013; Swiatkowski, 2016).
In the absence of alternative resources to guide their decisions concerning sexual relationships, college students often rely on sexual scripts conveyed through mass media (Hust et al., 2014). Since the majority of men’s magazines seem to promote men as sexual aggressors, it’s easy to understand how many men internalize this message. As a result, readers of men’s magazines report lower intentions to ask their sexual partner for consent for sexual activity and are less likely to adhere to sexual consent decisions by their partner (Hust et al., 2014). A recent meta-analysis from 59 studies revealed that exposure to sexual media had a small but significant effect on sexual attitudes and behaviors, with effects being stronger for adolescents than emerging adults. Additionally, the effects were stronger for boys than girls and for white individuals compared with Black individuals (Coyne et al., 2019). Regarding page 8women’s exposure to women’s magazines, Ward (2016) found that their exposure was positively associated with their ability to refuse unwanted sexual activity.
Advertising in all media uses the sexual sell, promising sex, romance, popularity, and fulfillment if the consumer will only purchase the right soap, perfume, cigarettes, alcohol, toothpaste, jeans, or automobile. In reality, not only does one not become “sexy” or popular by consuming a certain product, but the product may actually be detrimental to one’s sexual well-being, as in the case of cigarettes or alcohol.
Throughout the world, the media have assumed an increasingly significant role in shaping perspectives toward gender and sexual roles. In a review of 135 peer-reviewed studies in the United States between 1995 and 2015, the findings found consistent evidence that both laboratory exposure and everyday exposure to mainstream media are directly associated with higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater self-objectification, or evaluating oneself based on appearance; greater support of sexist beliefs; and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women (Ward, 2016). In addition, experimental exposure to media has led society to have a diminished view of women’s competence, morality, and humanity. This evidence, however, varies depending on the genres of media we consume and our preexisting beliefs, identities, and experiences.
Though much research has focused on the impact of media on female development, media undoubtedly has an impact on men as well. What has been found is that men’s frequent consumption of sexually objectifying media (i.e., TV, films, and videos) was associated with greater objectification of their romantic partners, which in turn was linked to lower levels of relationship and sexual satisfaction (Zurbriggen et al., 2011).
Media images of sexuality permeate a variety of areas in people’s lives. They can produce sexual arousal and emotional reactions, provide social connection, entertain, increase sexual behaviors, and be a source of sex information. On the other hand, unmonitored Internet access among youth raises significant concerns about its risks. Since 2006, the Me Too movement (or #MeToo) in social media has helped to create more gender and racial equality and inclusion, as well as safer working environments. Though it originally addressed sexual harassment and sexual assault, its scope has expanded to an international movement for justice for people in marginalized communities. However, there is still work to be done. Though sexual harassment has decreased and the voices of women are being heard, it doesn’t mean that we can cease our awareness or actions around social justice and empowerment issues.
Given the fact that teens now spend an average of more than seven hours per day on screen media for entertainment, it’s clear that media consumption and exposure play a significant role in their lives (Rideout & Robb, 2019). Currently, the total time spent on screen media beats time spent eating and drinking, socializing, and grooming.
Of concern around adolescents’ heavy media use is their viewing of sexually explicit videos. Because of its easy access along with the potential risks associated with its use, understanding its implications is important for parents, partners, as well as the rest of us.
Reality shows, such as The Bachelorette and 90 Day Fiancé frequently highlight idealized and sexual themes. What are some of the most popular reality shows? Do they differ according to race/ethnicity?
Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images
Television and Digital Media
Among all types of media, television and digital (online and mobile) have been the most prevalent, pervasive, and vexing icons, saturating every corner of public and private space, shaping consciousness, defining reality, and entertaining the masses (see Figure 2). While the frequency of online videos has been increasing, so has been the number of sexual references in programming. While narratives that provide educational information regarding the risks and consequences of sexual behavior are frequently missing from television shows, sexual violence and abuse, casual sex among adults, lack of contraception use, and failure to portray consequences of risky behaviors are common. Because reality programs (e.g., page 9Temptation Island and Are You The One?), and screen media feature “real” people (as opposed to actors), it is possible that exposure to their objectifying content can have even a more significant impact than other types of programming. Considering the variety of media genres, including music videos, advertising, video games, and magazines, it becomes apparent that sexualized images are often the dominant way that young people learn about sex.
• FIGURE 2
Amount of Time of Daily Media Use, By Age, 2019.
Source: The Nielsen Company, 2019
While it is apparent that exposure to television does not affect all people in the same way, it is clear that the sexual double standard, or judging heterosexual men and women differently for the same sexual behavior, taps into our national ambivalence about sex, equality, morality, and violence. It accomplishes this in ways that are both subtle and blatant, leaving some viewers confused, others angry, and still others reinforced around their views of the other sex. Other programs se
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