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Sexuality Issues

In few areas of the social disciplines are theory and methodology so frought with political and ideological overtones than in the study of the creation of sexuality. Political issues are reached not simply when plunging deep into theory; they may be encountered from the very first assumptions we make, for example that we are dealing with innate (rather than socially adopted) "male" and "female" genders (Stoltenberg, 1989). At a slightly less immediate level, enormous assumptions about how sexuality develops in men and in women are contained within the choice to classify "lesbian" and "gay" together (Rich, 1983).

Similar political questions arise when dealing with methodology. What does it mean, for example, if we carry out a study of gay and non-gay adolescent boys, and find (for example) that gay boys suffer more from self-image difficulties? Does this correlation mean that poor self-image in boys leads to gayness, or (more probably, perhaps) that it is hard for a teenage boy to be gay in our society? There is no way to approach such issues apolitically; sexuality and how it is created is a political subject. All we can hope to do is be continually aware of the political assumptions and political consequencies of our theories and methodologies alike.

Topic 2: It is difficult to identify a single central question in the interrelationship of social issues and sexuality, save perhaps to say that sexuality itself is central to our social life. The question arises across all aspects of sexuality, and a broad range of social issues. Is sexuality equality even possible in the face of the assumption of fundamental differences between the sexes, or does that assumption immediately face us with the impossibility of "separate but equal" (Vance, 1983). If rape is essentially a political act of oppression, why is it expressed in a distinctly sexual way? Is a "prostitutes' rights" movement viable (Weitzer, 1991), or does the ver...

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Sexuality Issues. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:24, February 26, 2017, from