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Men's Sexuality In The Modern World

2510 words - 10 pages

Matt UeckerSociology of SexualityFall Semester5 October 2014A New Man?The social construction of sexuality, in regard to men of the twenty-first century, is undoubtedly undergoing a change. For as long as history can recall, the androcentric view of sexuality was the only one that mattered, and men, just like women, were supposed to act a particular way to fulfill this view. However due to the more liberal social context of today's world, a huge paradigm shift with male sexuality is on the uprise. This is fantastic news for many, but just as it has always been, change doesn't come without an opposing fight from traditional values. Interestingly, these challenges and new freedoms are expressed simultaneously by the media.So what exactly does it mean to be a man today? Checking the classic masculine boxes of: being strong and tough, lacking the need to share feelings, being a bread-winner, thinking logically, never acting irrational, having natural leader tendencies, etc., doesn't really make you a man of 2014. This transition is known as a paradigm shift. A paradigm shift is when the dominant way of explaining the world moves from one view to another. In terms of male sexuality, this highlights the idea of a new type of man. For example, an openly homosexual man that is accepted among society. The United States has seen this kind of shift in male sexuality before, and in turn that original change has made this next one possible. Back in the early 1800's, industrialization and urbanization were reforming the landscape of America, while also redefining what was considered acceptable sexual behavior. This new process made family life transform from an all encompassing task to a more divided one since they weren't all on the farm anymore. This is the birth of separate spheres - the division of moving men into the public realm of work and keeping women restricted to the private, domestic realm. This division allowed sexuality in both spheres to grow and change, but with specific regard to men, John D'Emilio and Estelle Freedman argue that this is the inception of a man that is supposed to be "self-made, conquering nature and acquiring wealth…"(Intimate Matters; Chapter 4, 57). This image of an idealistic masculine man, that should be in control, went on for some time, and really gave encouragement to the androcentric model of sexuality. A model that solely cares about the man's perspective. Such androcentric views are extremely prevalent in a chapter of The Technology of Orgasm by Rachel P. Maines. Within this writing, Maines has a quote that perfectly sums up the idea that the male role of sexuality is the only one necessary and the only one worth considering. It says, "In the development of Western medical thought on the subject of sexuality, it has been thought both reasonable and necessary to the social support of the male ego either that female orgasm be treated as a by-product of male orgasm or that its existence or significance denied...

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