Sexuality What aspects of sexuality does Sociology study? Why study sexuality sociologically? Important and controversial People do not understand sexuality very well Part of many areas of social life The more global our view of sexuality, the more variety we see in the meanings people attach to sexuality. What do we learn from research? The more global our view of sexuality, the more variety we see. What do we learn from comparative (Global) Research? Comparative research shows sex varies from culture to culture & place to place - positions, frequency, taboos, etc. What was the effect of Kinsey’s Research? 1940’s - 1950’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male Sexual Behavior in the Human Female Set the stage for the sexual revolution Defined sexuality as a proper focus of scientific study Showed people were less conventional than assumed Created a new openness toward sexuality Do you remember? Why does Sociology study sex? What did we learn from comparative research? What was the effect of Kinsey’s research? What causes homosexuality? Kinsey’s continuum Most evidence indicates sexual orientation is rooted in human biology Biological explanations Simon LeVay Hormones Chromosomes (Twins studies) Social Explanations (Society plays some role) What sexual variations exist? Hermaphrodites Transsexuals (Transgender) “Trapped in the wrong body” Transvestites Combination of female and male genitalia “Cross dressing” Genetic variations How does society deal with prostitution? Often seen as a victimless crime Often not simply a personal choice between adults Women subjected to violence Increases spread of STD’s Many poor women become trapped into selling sex Prostitution Common in low-income countries where women have fewer economic opportunities Hierarchy of prostitution Elite (top) = call girls (or escorts) Young, attractive, well educated Bottom = Streetwalkers Against the law everywhere in US except for some parts of Nevada Legalizing prostitution Do you remember? What causes homosexuality? What sexual variations exist? Where is prostitution most common? Are rape statistics accurate? Often not reported to police Official statistics include only women victims (recently changed to include men in FBI statistics) Most men who rape men are not homosexual What are some false beliefs about rape? Committed between strangers Victim encouraged their attackers Motive is simply a desire for sex How is birth control related to social norms? As society gains birth control, social norms regarding sexuality become more permissive. What do we know about teen pregnancy? Increasing 1,000,000 teenagers become pregnant each year. Teenage women with low incomes and weak families have the highest probability of pregnancy. Do you remember? Why are rape statistics often not accurate? What are some false beliefs about rape? What is the background of teenagers how are most apt to become pregnant?