Gender, Sexuality and Society

I love this module. Sociology is such a relevant and interesting subject; it changes with new research, and research is ongoing across the entire 'social' spectrum. Not only that but Feminism is almost always at the forefront of discussion, and the male to female ratio in class is pretty balanced.

In my Gender, Sexuality and Society lecture on Tuesday, the main topic of discussion was whether sexuality is natural and inborn, or if it is a social construction. Obviously some people think sexuality is purely about sexual preference and drive and the physical act of sex, others that sexuality is about relationships and how you organise your personal life. I sit somewhere in-between. I think sexuality is as natural as actual sex is because to me it's about innate feelings and desires, but I also agree (to a certain extent) that our ideas and perceptions of sexuality are socially constructed - a good example given during the lecture was masturbation. We don't learn that masturbation is wrong until we are told by our parents that it's wrong. But surely we all have the right to experience pleasure, right? So why is society so focused on sex but often not in a positive way? It's probably one of, if not the, most natural thing in the world.

Of course things get a bit awkward when you consider your parents having sex, because you're the product of it. But sexuality doesn't just cut off once you have children, and society has pejorated the idea of sex for couples with children because it's "gross and nasty" and no-one wants to talk about their parents getting funky.

So actually talking about and researching sexuality is problematic because even today, many people feel incredibly uncomfortable discussing such an intimate and private topic, and to some sex is still a taboo subject. I do, however, think it's great that the attitude to sex is becoming far more relaxed, in schools and the media in particular.

But, alas, the double standard prevails. Women, enjoying unmonogamous sex? HEAVEN FORBID. Men enjoying unmonogamous sex? Kudos, bro. Where the fuck did this come from?! The mere concept of women being equally as sexual as men blows peoples minds... But it's nothing new. Human's have been around for yonks, I doubt women enjoying frequent sex with more than one person in their lifetime is a recent phenomenon.

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