Gender & Sexuality Essay
Gender & Sexuality
Here I am going to talk about gender and sexuality choices which are shaped by society. I am going to talk about the painful, bitter conflict about sexuality which is vexing us especially in the United States, and which we are imposing on the rest of the world. We will explore several different sexual choices, some have been around since the beginning of time, while others seem to be new to us all. The angry, hurtful debate in this country about whether we have the right to our own choices and should our legal and social structures be “gay, bi, tri-affirming” , or should we reject these aspect as part of our society. In order to be happy, in order to develop the capacities God has given us and in order to make the world the manifestation of justice that God wants it to be, we need to change the shape of society and change our understanding of our own selves.
First you need to know the difference between gender and sexuality before we proceed. For many this seems to be a touchy subject. Gender is a range of characteristics of feminity and masculinity. Gender refers to the state of being male or female. “Gender” is now commonly used even to refer to the physical anatomy. Gender begins to be formed from the time a child is born. beginning with the obligatory pink and blue blanket, gender is implicated in everything we do. From the cloths we wear to the food we eat to the types of work we do, sex role differentiation, and pressure to confirm to the box of gender. Gender socialization starts at childhood and pretty much goes on until death. As a result of the pervasive attention that we give to gender, gender is pretty much implicated in everything we do. Beyond the basic fact that gender is something we focus a lot of attention on, there are a lot of strong opinions, theories, and emotions surrounding it.
Gender is and important topic because, over and above all the argument and rhetoric and research and opinion, is the basic fact that all over the world, in pretty much every culture that exists, women are treated differently than men. I could be much more elaborate on this gender topic although I would spend all day on this topic alone, so we move on to sex and sexuality. Sex is defined by the genitalia an individual possess. We will expand sex to sexuality, which refers to your sexual orientation. Sexuality would deal with your choice of sexual activity and your sexual feelings. So sexuality would refer to who you are attracted to. Wither it be man and women or two men or a mix of the previously mentioned. From the beginning of time the bible only stated the man and woman as being the “right choice” of sexuality. But as time goes on we are further understanding and studying different sexual choices. I want to go into detail on a few of these new choices of sexuality.
In today’s society there exists a huge variety of issues with sexuality’s. Some topics when discussed tend to raise the blood pressure of many citizens. There are a handful of topics dealing with sexual choices that always seem to heightened opinions An issue that has in recent years, begun to command the intensity of the crowd, is the acceptability of homosexuality in mainstream society. People with a homosexual orientation can express their sexuality in a variety of ways, and may or may not express it in their behaviors. Many have sexual relationships predominately with people of their own gender identity, though some have sexual relationships with those of the opposite gender, bisexual relationships, or none at all. Until recently, homosexuality was considered strictly taboo. If an individual was homosexual, this revelation was considered a grave secret to be kept from all family, friends, and society at large. However, it seems that society has begun to accept this lifestyle by allowing same sex couples some of the rights given to heterosexual couples. The idea of coming out of the closet has moved to the forefront of homosexual individuals when it use to be the exception.
Another type of sexuality is bisexuality. Bisexuality is romantic and, or sexual attraction toward males and females. The term is especially used to explain sexual attraction, sexual feelings toward men and women.with some sources try to say if they are bisexual the individual is attracted to all genders although it is unclear if there is more attraction to one more than the other, or if you should be equally attracted to each sex to be considered bi-sexual. This matter is also controversial although I don’t find it to be under so much scrutiny as homosexuality.
Today we also have come to put a small group of people who do not have sexual interest into a category called Asexual. Some say that the asexual category is used for those who are finding themselves for a brief period of time. Researchers so far are unable to agree on a clear definition of this sexuality choice, asexual. So far all they can agree on is asexual is a term to describe a lack or absence of sexual attraction or desire. Asexuality has great levels of variation from person to person. Every individual case that has been studied has been different. Most say they have sexual attraction but have no urge to act on it. This is because they have to true desire or need to engage in sexual or non-sexual activity. This means that they hold hands and cuddle but have no intentions of going any further.
Also, some individuals will only have sex as a release but find little or no enjoyment of sex. Some asexual men are completely unable to get an erection and sexual activity is completely impossible for them. Asexuals also differ in their feelings towards performing sex acts. Some are indifferent and may even have sex for the benefit of a romantic partner, while others are more strongly against the idea even though they do not necessarily dislike other people for having sex as long as it does not involve them. Some researchers believe asexuality should be considered a disorder, while others find it normal. Only 2 to 3 percent of the entire world notably are asexual. There have been many studies although after reading many of them I don’t believe it gives accurate information on the classification of asexual. Asexuality is still a relatively new term and is yet to have a clear and distinct definition and or label.
In today’s society we have too many sexual choices to mention here. Although to give you an idea we have come to use a scale instead of a single box to identify your sexual choices. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s a sex researcher by the name of Doctor Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues published two books called Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female based on the study of human sexuality. These works are also known as the “Kinsey Reports”. One of Doctor Kinsey’s most well known theories is the “Heterosexual/ Homosexual Rating Scale,” which rates a person’s homosexuality or heterosexuality on a 7-point continuum. Kinsey said you had to keep in mind, however, that it is normal for a heterosexual person to have thoughts, dreams or even fantasies about members of the same sex as it is for homosexuals to have thoughts about heterosexuals.
Thus, your “score” may not be a perfect 6 or 0. This scale say “How are gay are you?”. Zero being Exclusively heterosexual, one is predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual. Two predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual. Three equally heterosexual and homosexual, four predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual. Five redominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual and six exclusively homosexual. This scale is more accurate to measure a individuals sexuality in today’s society. Society has changed over the years and we have to adapt to the changes.
These sexual choices go much deeper into affecting what we want out of life and how we go about getting what we want. Having children or adopting is a major controversial aspect for gay, bi, transexual, and asexual individuals. Marriage for anyone but the man and woman can be a challenge to accomplish. Governments and laws in many states forbid or do not see any marriage but the man and woman. Religion which from the beginning of time has said that the only “right” relationship is the man and woman, although we are suppose to except others. It’s hard to understand what we are suppose to except or denie as a society. Although I do believe everyone should have their own choice to have control of their own lives and happiness. We as a society should not dictate what relationship is right or wrong. But I do see this topic as a pressing issue for all of us, especially with all the radical changes over the years. Only time will tell what the future will hold, although as more and more people come out it looks like the future society will be much more open then in the past years.