Our Understanding Of Sexuality And Family Formation

1785 words - 7 pages

Our Understanding of Sexuality and Family Formation

The investigations in the determinants of gender and sexuality are
ongoing; some are biologically orientated while others believe that
they are socially constructed. This essay will discuss the idea that
our understanding of sexuality and gender is linked to our
understanding of family formations. It will highlight the diversities
and the relationships of sexuality, gender and the family. It will
also draw attention to the theory of how gender is biologically
determined and fixed and the family has no influence on gender, but on
the other hand the belief that gender is socially constructed, fluid
and subject to change and we have to learn gender through processes
such as the family. Sexuality will also be addressed and how
heterosexuality and the need for a family shaped and still shape
societies norms about sexual preference.

Gender is defined in the Collins English Dictionary (2003) as ‘state
of being male or female’. Sociologists would argue that it is not so
easily defined and that the origins of gender are constantly being
investigated. Biological determinists attach biological
characteristics to gender differences (Bilton et al, 2002: 132;
Giddens 1998: 91). They have looked at evidence from animals,
measuring hormonal make-up and anatomical differences (which defines
the sex) as the reason for differences between masculinity and
femininity (Giddens, 1998: 91). Bilton et al (2002) identifies that
biological ‘determinists highlight similarities in male behaviour
across different environments. They argue that male traits (whether a
preference for competitive sport, or lack of maternal feeling) have
their roots in chromosomal differences…hormonal differences…or some
other natural characteristic that distinguishes men from women’
(Bilton et al 2002: 132).

This account has been questioned, as it does not account for the range
of masculinities and femininities over time, culture and from person
to person. Giddens (1998: 92) draws attention to a case where,
through an accident, the sex of an infant had to be changed and they
subsequently grew up in the ‘new’ gender not knowing their past.
Evidence such as this stresses that it is not only biological factors
that account for gender and gender is not fixed, it can be changed.
Anne Oakley (1972: 156) states, ‘the chief importance of biological
sex is in providing a universal and obvious division around which
other distinctions can be made’. This underlines what Bilton et al
(2002: 134) describes as the ‘sex/gender distinction’, they state,
‘Sex is said to be rooted in nature; it [physically] distinguishes
males from females. Gender on the other hand refers to the socially
constructed and infinitely variable categories of masculine and
feminine’.

...

Find Another Essay On Our Understanding of Sexuality and Family Formation

How does syntactic and semantic knowledge contribute to our understanding of a piece of text

2426 words - 10 pages How does syntactic and semantic knowledge contribute to our understanding of a piece of textThe Little Oxford dictionary (1986) defines syntactic knowledge as "the grammatical arrangement of words/rules or analysis of this", while semantic knowledge is described as knowledge "of the meaning in language."But what is comprehension? Anderson claims "comprehension involves a perceptual stage, followed by a parsing stage, followed by a utilisation

Formation of United Nations and Canada's Involvement.

879 words - 4 pages Kremlin. The Government of Canada immediately placed Gouzenko and his family under protection and Prime Minister Mackenzie King told his British and American allies of the situation. All three leaders, Prime Ministers King and Attlee and U.S. President Truman, decided to keep the affair secret until real evidence was found. The Gouzenko Affair that revealed the existence of a Soviet spy ring in Canada is an event of national historic significance

Assessment of the Usefulness of Functionalism in Understanding the Family

1806 words - 7 pages Assessment of the Usefulness of Functionalism in Understanding the Family Functionalism is a structuralist theory. This means it sees the individual as less important as the social structure of society. It is a ‘top down’ theory. The family can be defined as an intimate domestic group composed of people related to each other by blood, sexual relations and legal ties. When assessing how useful functionalism is when

The Usefulness of Functionalism for an Understanding of the Family

783 words - 3 pages The Usefulness of Functionalism for an Understanding of the Family Functionalists focus on the roles of the family as an institution and its interaction with other institutions, such as the ratio of functions the family has to perform compared to those that other institutions such as schools and the NHS perform. Functionalism sees the use of the family in society and how it can take pressure from the government by

Sartre and the Rationalization of Human Sexuality

2644 words - 11 pages and the other a subject (masochism, love; 364-379); 2) making the self a subject and the other an object (sadism, desire, and indifference; cf. 379-410); 3) attempting to destroy the relationship to the other (hate). This is a negation of the other attitudes (410-412). Sartre's discussion of sexuality is found principally in the sections on the first two attitudes above. To anticipate our conclusions, it turns out that Sartre's approach

The Social Construction of Gender and Sexuality

1290 words - 5 pages sex according to the culture of society. Sexuality, within this definition of gender, reflects society's expectations, which are created in relation to the opposite sex. The variances between cultures means that gender expectations change within different cultures. These expectations put pressure on each member of society to conform and abide by the folkways of their own culture. The creation of gender expectations by society creates a restricting

The Social Construction of Gender and Sexuality

1338 words - 5 pages . Sexuality, within this definition of gender, reflects society’s expectations, which are created in relation to the opposite sex. The variances between cultures means that gender expectations change within different cultures. These expectations put pressure on each member of society to conform and abide by the folkways of their own culture. The creation of gender expectations by society creates a restricting definition of gender roles and sexuality that

Sherwood Anderson’s Expression of Sexuality and Loneliness

1636 words - 7 pages ” illustrate a personal acknowledgement of loneliness and isolation in relation to sexuality by Anderson, while expressing these emotions in different ways in each story. Due to being exposed to the arts from an early age, Anderson received a jump-start to his career by learning from his family and surroundings (Dewsbury, ed. 294). By starting early, Anderson received the chance to broaden his horizons in the literary world; therefore allowing

Spirituality And Sexuality In “Song Of Myself”

601 words - 2 pages more than another it shall be the spread of my own body, or any part of it," (l. 527). For those who feel the need for religious justification, one can take this as meaning because in the Christian/Catholic faith, humans are made in the exact image of God; the human body is a holy structure.Whitman uses his open views on human sexuality and sensuality in this poem to try to loosen the chains of restraint that his society had collected over the years

Discuss the value of understanding sociological approaches to the family in enhancing effective partnerships with families and children’.

1852 words - 7 pages the family to a wider support system (Ingleby and Oliver 2008). For example if a parent has a concern about their child’s health the practitioner could direct them to the health visitor or GP. It is apparent that the functionalist approach is very much blinkered by an ideological structure of the ‘nuclear’ family. (Peterson 1985). However, as a practitioner in early years it is important to have an understanding of and recognise the diversity

The Problem of Understanding and Its Possible Solutions in "Our Time" by John Edgar Wideman and "Indians" by Jane Tompkins.

895 words - 4 pages Both Jane Tompkins and John Edgar Wideman devote some of their paper to pointing out the difficulties they face when writing their essays, "Indians" and "Our Time" respectively. The two authors are trying to reach and give an account of the actual situation and circumstances of the subject of their writing, but in the process of creating their essays realize that this is something they would hardly achieve."Our time" was created to tell the

Similar Essays

Understanding Gender Identity And Sexuality Essay

1341 words - 5 pages wealthy, white women were still recognized as having a role in the family, while color, poor women were not. In such an instance where people of color were viewed to be lesser than white people, the understanding of what it meant to be a woman changed. Throughout history, family has been valued and received a great deal of importance in our society. Thus, when women of color were not viewed in the same way, society deemed them as merely symbols

Different Types Of Family Within Sexuality

2276 words - 10 pages This journey was a lot different for me. I would say I am a person with middle of the road views. I have heard people in my congregation speak about types of family. As I looked at this topic I wondered how to put the idea of family and sexuality together. I say this because I am serving at churches made up of rural conservative European congregations. I was looking at this by looking at different types of family and God’s family. I wanted to

The Role Of Sexuality In Our Lives

1252 words - 5 pages The Role of Sexuality in Our Lives The word “sexuality” has been looked upon as taboo and for centuries many of us grow up being taught how this part of our lives shouldn't be expressed openly. We all experience the feeling as humans, we share this characteristic. Some of us are taught not to express any feeling that has to do with our inner wants when it comes to this topic. It could make us more loving or even at times some incidents

The Role Of Women And Family In Arab Culture And The Western Understanding

579 words - 2 pages amongst the countries investing the most in the education of their women. The quality of life in these countries is also notably better for not only women but the society as a whole.The approach to living in Arab culture is family oriented, and the approach to ensuring a successful family unit is unique and places emphasis on particular aspects beyond the understanding of Westerners. Western social conditioning has limited their understanding how