Chapter 2 knowing what we know
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Chapter 2: Knowing What We Know. Understanding Sexual Life Through Research and Theory. Questions to Consider. Just a reminder (from last week)! Intention to assess sex and sexuality from a perspective of HEALTH and WELLNESS

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Chapter 2: Knowing What We Know

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Chapter 2 knowing what we know

Chapter 2: Knowing What We Know

Understanding Sexual Life Through Research and Theory


Questions to consider

Questions to Consider

  • Just a reminder (from last week)! Intention to assess sex and sexuality from a perspective of HEALTH and WELLNESS

  • Does having common values matter when considering a sexual relationship? If so, what types of values are more important? Less important?


The greeks 1000 bce to 200 bce

The Greeks1000 BCE to 200 BCE

  • Ancient Greece: wild indulgences

  • Sacred prostitutes- slaves as forms of religious offerings to Aphrodite, the patron sexual goddess

  • Homosexuality prevalent

    • Pederasty

  • Women regarded by men as “suitable only for raising children”


The roman empire 27 bce to 385 ce

The Roman Empire27 BCE to 385 CE

  • Love went from guilt-free sexual indulgence to joyless, guilt-ridden experience

  • Lust out and self-sacrificing love in


Early christianity 50 ce to 1000 ce

Early Christianity50 CE to 1000 CE

  • Apostle Paul emphasizes, in the New Testament, that extra-marital sex and homosexual sex were sins

  • Bishop Augustine proclaimed that lust caused “the fall” of Adam and Eve

    • Lust as “original sin”

    • Beginning of 1,000 years of sex-as-sinful


The middle ages 476 ce to 1400 ce

The Middle Ages476 CE to 1400 CE

  • People concerned with faith, church, piety, and salvation

  • Sex only acceptable between man and women

  • Thomas Aquinas declared that sexual contact other than penis/vagina intercourse was a “crime against nature”

  • Pope Gregory proclaimed masturbation, oral sex, and anal sex as introduced by the Devil


Coming to america 1500 ce to 1600 ce

Coming to America1500 CE to 1600 CE

  • Puritans and Pilgrims were romantically sentimental and deemed sex thoroughly enjoyable within heterosexual marriage


Modern day 1800 ce to 1900 ce

Modern Day1800 CE to 1900 CE

  • Victorian Era (1819-1900)- British Queen Victoria= virginal, shy, virtuous, spiritual woman was the epitome of the attitude toward sexuality and the role of women

  • Showing “leg” in public seriously frowned upon

  • Any premarital sexual activity was strictly forbidden


Iwan bloch the father of sexology 1872 1922

Iwan Bloch: The Father of Sexology1872-1922

  • Devoted to understanding sex in a scientific and scholarly way

  • Launched the quest to understand sexuality across multiple disciplines


Karl heinrich ulrichs a political activist 1825 1875

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs: A Political Activist1825-1875

  • Theories of Uranism, or “third gender”

    • Men whom he believed possessed female souls and were attracted to other men

  • Became a public activist for issues associated with sexual minorities


Clelia duel mosher advocate for women s sexual health 1863 1940

Clelia Duel Mosher: Advocate for Women’s Sexual Health1863-1940

  • Challenged Victorian feminine stereotypes

    • Especially notion that menstruation was an “insurmountable barrier”

    • Studied what was “normal” for menstruating women

    • Felt she created liberation for women regarding menstruation and by uncovering their desire for experiences of intercourse and orgasm


Magnus hirschfeld a gay rights champion 1868 1935

Magnus Hirschfeld: A Gay Rights Champion1868-1935

  • Founded Scientific Humanitarian Committee, the first gay rights organization

    • Goal to change German law regarding homosexuality

  • Advanced the idea that gender ran along a continuum

  • Coined the term “transvestite”


Sigmund freud 1856 1939

Sigmund Freud1856-1939

  • Sought to anchor all aspects of sexuality in the dynamics of the human mind

    • (further in-depth study of Freud in Chapter 7)

  • Introduced sexuality into the theory of human personality development

  • Libido= mental energy (according to Freud)

  • Broadened attitudes about sexuality and sex


Alfred kinsey a sexual liberalizer 1894 1956

Alfred Kinsey: A Sexual Liberalizer1894-1956

  • His influential work helped bring about the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s

    • His work was a launch pad for the feminist movement

  • Developed sexual orientation scale

  • Instrumental in bringing homosexuality out of the closet

  • Multi-disciplinary approach (science, sociology, law, education, arts, music, literature)


William masters virginia johnson promoters of change 1915 present

William Masters & Virginia Johnson: Promoters of Change1915- present

  • Pioneers in research regarding physiological responses of human sexuality

    • Used definitive laboratory evidence

  • Pioneers of diagnosis and treatment of sexual disorders and dysfunctions


Research ethics

Research Ethics

  • Ethics- refers to the rules and standards that govern researchers

  • Includes:

    • Informed consent

    • Privacy and confidentiality

    • Injury (precautions and preparedness)

  • Institutional Review Boards for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB)

    • Human Subjects Committees


Sexuality and the ecological model

Sexuality and the Ecological Model

  • Social ecology- recognizes our individual backgrounds (our sexual history, experiences with our family of origin) social and cultural factors and policies, significantly affect the quality and nature of our personal and sexual relationships


Urie brofenbrenner s ecological model

Urie Brofenbrenner’s Ecological Model

  • Interacting contexts which function bi-directionally

  • Individual development is an intertwining of biology, cognition and social interaction

  • Figure 2.4, Page 26

  • Microsystem

  • Mesosystem

  • Exosystem

  • Macrosystem


Understanding sex and sexuality through theory

Understanding Sex and Sexuality Through Theory

  • Theory: an organized set or group of interrelated that provide a lens through which to view behavior and interactions

    • 2 major types of theories- one describes and the other explains


Sexuality theories

Sexuality Theories

  • Ecological Theory

  • Family Development Theory

  • Family Systems Theory

  • Symbolic Interaction Theory

  • Social Exchange Theory

  • Structural-Functionalism Theory

  • Conflict Theory


More sexuality theories

More Sexuality Theories

  • Women’s Studies/Feminist Theory

    • Marxist Feminist Theory

    • Radical Feminist Theory

    • Liberal Feminist Theory (focus on sexism)

    • Lesbian Feminist Theory

    • Women-of-Color Feminist Theory

  • Men’s Studies


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