Essay about When Studying Sexuality From A Sociological Perspective

972 Words Dec 11th, 2016 4 Pages
Final Exam – Essay #1 When studying sexuality from a sociological perspective, one will undeniably encounter a plethora of unique theories that attempt to explain how sexuality comes about. Many of the earliest theories stem the world of psychology and use science and facts to explain sexual development. According to Seidman, these essentialist theories claim that naturally occurring traits (i.e. biology & genetics) define a group of people. The development of gender and sexuality is a fixed and invariant process that is complete by birth or childhood. The development of any non-heterosexual identity is viewed as abnormal and typically traced back to an alleged “gay gene.” Surprisingly, many people in modern society accept these bold and inaccurate claims, but according to Seidman, “The classification of sex acts into good and bad or acceptable and illicit is today understand as product of social power: the dominant sexual norms express the beliefs of the dominant social groups”(Seidman, 38-39). He then goes on describe the social constructivist theories, which describe sexuality as socially constructed system of symbols and norms that is based on individual and group interaction. Gender and sexuality are simply social categories that determine which what behavior is acceptable and appropriate. Rather than focusing on the role of genetics and biology, social constructivists highlight influence of social interaction and larger societal forces on sexuality (Seidman). The…

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