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INVENTING HETEROSEXUALITY PowerPoint Presentation
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INVENTING HETEROSEXUALITY

INVENTING HETEROSEXUALITY

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INVENTING HETEROSEXUALITY

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  1. INVENTING HETEROSEXUALITY Dr. M. C. Sengstock Professor of Sociology SOC 3300 – “Inequality http://users.wowway.com/~marycay910

  2. HETEROSEXUALITY: A NEW CONCEPT • All Dominant Groups Seek to Prove That They Are/Were the “Original” Group • Heterosexuals Are No Exception • View Today That the “Natural” State of Humans Is Heterosexuality: • Adam & Eve Were Normal Sexual Beings Like Us • Strong Sexual Motivation to Opposite Sex • NOT Sexually Attracted to Anyone/thing Else • EX: Same Sex, Animals, Masturbation, etc. • (Jonathan Katz #13)

  3. REALITY OF SEXUAL HISTORY • Heterosexuality “Invented” in Victorian Era • Pre-Victorian Era: • Early Victorian “Pure Love”: • “True Womanhood” – “Proper” – Not “Lustful” • “True Manhood” – More Sexually Oriented … BUT • Males Still Aspired to Freedom from Sex Drives • Aspired to “Higher Things”: Economic Productivity

  4. SEXUALITY: GREATLY CONFINED • Sex Was for Procreation – Not Pleasure • Lust Was for Prostitutes • The “Home/Castle” Was for Love & Children • Lust & Sex Was for Prostitutes • This Pattern Prevailed Throughout Most Middle Ages • EX: The Double Standard of Royalty & Nobility • Sex for “Other Woman”– Male Royals Had Mistresses • Think About Most U.S. Immigrant Groups: Marriages Were Arranged

  5. LATE VICTORIAN SEX-LOVE VIEWS (1860-1892) Eroticizing of Western Society Middle Class: • Consciousness, Behavior, Emotion, Identity • Family Became Consumer (vs. Producer) Unit • Societal Focus Changed to Consumerism • New Bodily Focus: Pleasure vs. Productivity • Medicine Became More Professional … • Doctors Began Defining the Body & Functions • Literature & Advertising Focus on Body Pleasures

  6. VICTORIAN CHANGES INSEXUAL DEFINITIONS (1892-1900) 2 Major Medical Figures • James G. Kiernan, MD, Chicago • Dr. R. von Krafft-Ebing, Germany • Beginnings Stages of Medicalization of the Social?

  7. James G. Kiernan, MD, Chicago • “Heterosexual” – Mixed Person – Psychical Hermaphrodites (Today’s Transsexual?) • Heterosexuals Have Abnormal Methods of Gratification (Sexuality w/out Procreation) • Homosexual – Persons Whose “Mental State” Is That of the Opposite Sex (E.g., Attraction is NOT Toward the Opposite Sex) (I.e., Same Sex Attraction) • Deviate from BOTH Gender & Procreative Norms • New View of Sexuality – Viewed in Terms of Gratification (vs. Procreation) & Gender Preference

  8. Dr. R. von Krafft-Ebing, Germany • “Heterosexual” – Attraction to Opposite Sex • “Homosexual” – Erotic Feelings for Same Sex • “Hermaphroditism” – Erotic Impulses Toward Both Sexes • Still Viewed Opposite Sex Attraction Oriented Toward Procreation • Closest to Current Definitions • New View of Heterosexual Sex: Introduced Erotic Motivations (Not Just Procreation)

  9. CONSEQUENCES FOR SEXUAL DEFINTIONS • Heterosexual: Persons Attracted to Opposite Sex • Homosexual: Attracted to Same Sex • Hermaphrodite: Attracted to Both Same & Opposite Sex • Introduced Concept of Sexual Attraction As Motive for Sexual Activity • Questions Previous Procreation Motive

  10. EARLY 20TH CENTURY (1900-1930) • Society Still Viewed Purpose of Sexual Desire as Procreation • Increased Public Concern for Sexual Changes: • Falling Birth Rate • Rising Divorce Rate • War of Sexes (Women’s Liberation of the Day?) • Support of Heterosexual Eroticism as Motive for Traditional Sexual Relations • Homosexual Relations Defeated the “True Purpose” of Sex  Had to Be Opposed

  11. SOCIAL & RELIGIOUS OBJECTIONS • Men Increasingly Worried About Changing Sex Roles • Focused on BOTH Biological & Social Differences • Shifting Work & Social Roles for Women • Failure to Recognize Old Social Roles with Males Dominant • Decrease of Male Power • Women’s “Andromaniac” Tendencies (Rev. Charles Parkhurst) • Objection to the “New Woman” (1890s) & “Flapper” (1920s) • These Threatened MAJOR Institutitons in Society

  12. EVIDENCE FROM READINGS 1. Making Young Boys Heterosexuals (Emma Reynolds #14) • Boys in Grade School Pressured by Peers (Male & Female) to Exhibit Adult Heterosexual Characteristics 2. 5 Sexes? (Anne Fausto-Sterling #10) • Biologically Based Differences (Chromosomes, External & Internal Sex Organs) • “Herms, Werms, Ferms” (1.5%-4%, High in AK Yupik) • In U.S., Medical Modification Common in Infancy

  13. CONNECTION BETWEEN WOMEN & HOMOSEXUALS • Destroys the “Pure Woman” of Early Victorian Ideals • Discrimination Against Women & Homosexuals Became Connected: • If MALES Could Satisfy Sexual Urges Through Same Sex Relations … • WOMEN Could Do the Same! • “The Lesbian” Was Viewed as a Monster • This Presented a Grave Threat to Sex Between Male & Female .., • Hence Grave Threat to Procreation

  14. MID 20TH CENTURY • 1st Suggestion that People Could Alternate Between Hetero- & Homo- Sexual Categories • Conservatives Became Concerned That Limitations on Heterosexual Activity Would Activate Homosexual Activities • Encouragement of “Trust of the Opposite Sex” Became an Impetus for Increased Emphasis on “Heterosexual” as a Category

  15. POST WW II: “CULT OF DOMESTICITY” • Return of Troops from WW II • Attempt to Return to Normal”: • “Women’s Place Is In the Home” • Only Men Work Outside the Home • Male Dominance • Procreation Emphasized • Sex Without Reproduction Immoral  Anti-Birth Control (Abortion Not Even an Issue!) • Homosexuality Clearly Threatened this Picture

  16. ENTER ALFRED KINSEY STUDY(1948) • Interviewed Males Re Their Sexual Behavior • Found Very Wide Variety of Sexual Activity • Both Hetero- & Homo-Sexual Acts by All Males • Kinsey Questioned Appropriateness of “Normal” & “Abnormal” in Scientific Terms • Freed Many Homosexuals to Pursue Their Personal Inclinations • Gave Impetus to Gay Rights Movement

  17. CONCLUSION • History of Views of Sexual Behaviors Have Changed Dramatically Over Past 200 Years … • “Moral” or “Immoral”? • “Normal” or “Abnormal”? • Socially Acceptable or Forbidden? • “help[s] us understand the erotic relationships of women and men in terms of their modes of social organization.” (Katz, prev. ed.)