5.2.3 Sexual Orientation

Tao Yuan Ling
Note by Tao Yuan Ling, updated more than 1 year ago
Tao Yuan Ling
Created by Tao Yuan Ling over 5 years ago


Degree Sociology (Gender) Note on 5.2.3 Sexual Orientation, created by Tao Yuan Ling on 02/21/2016.

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Sexuality/Sexual preference - usually thought of as both highly individual & private topicMost of sexuality study has come from biological/medical researchers, sexologists basing claims on comparisons between animals and humansAnatomy of sexes differs - there has been biological imperative to reproduce else humans would have become extinctEvolutionary scholars (e.g. sociobiologists): female fidelity & male promiscuity have served biological purposesBaresh (1979): millions of sperm produced by men have an evolutionary reasn for impregnating greatest number of women as possible; women in contrast only produce a limited number of eggs, carry foetus for 9 months = why women are concerned with emotional commitment > promiscuity. t.f. biological make-up of men and women = root of diff sexual behaviours^ Most social scientists not convinced by such approach: Human infants plastic in brain structure, thus beh is much more influenced by social environment than biological pre-determinationElias (1987): Human capacity to learn = development of evolution, but for people, learned behaviour more significant than that which is not learned; not only can humans learn, but they do so to live in > & > complicated social millieus; underneath social dev thru history, there may be biological evolution, but it is so small in causal effect opon social beh that its influence is negligible effectSexual Orientation = where an individual's attractions is directed; Sexual pref sometimes used, but suggests degree of choice which is arguableThough S.O may not be matter of free choice, does no imply agreement amongst scholars that it is wholly biologically determined eitherS.O appears to emerge from complex interaction of biological and social elements, t.f. potentially considering it to be mixture of preference & orientation most accurateMost common S.O is heterosexuality - attraction to a person of opposite sexHomosexuality - attraction of person os same sex, Bisexual - either sex

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