drawn from Goode, 1994-2008
See the disclaimer)
- Sees sexuality
as an instinct or drive that demands fulfillment, an independent and powerful
- Sex is there;
it exists prior to the human consciousness; it is a natural force in the world
that has to be reckoned or grappled with.
- This is the physiological
or hydraulic model of sexuality, one that sees the sex drive as
an unstoppable force of nature, much like the flow of water.
- Overlaps with the symbolic
- How is sexuality itself
constructed? What are the meanings that are attached to it?
- Behaviors or phenomena
that may appear to be the same to an external observer, can have radically
different meaning to the participants
- Actions and other phenomena
that are objectively different can have very similar meanings to observers
- Sexual meaning does not
exist intrinsically or inherently in a given act.
- Sexual meanings areassigned
to phenomena or behaviors inparticular social contexts
- Sexual meanings are often
ambiguous and clearly problematic categories
- Sexual meaning does not
arise automatically from the nature of the act; it is the meaning that makes
the act sexual in nature.
- Sexuality does not shape
our social conduct - social meanings give shape to our sexuality.
use sexual scripts to understand sexual behavior and there are three
varieties of scripts that guide human sexual life:
- Cultural scenarios
- The "instructional guides
that exist at the level of collective life"
- Provide broad outlines
for appropriate behavior what is acceptable and unacceptable and with whom
and under what circumstances sex may take place.
- There are blank spaces/gray
areas in cultural scenarios; interpersonal scripts fill in where cultural
scenarios leave off
- Permit the actor to turn
from acting in a play with parts written by another (that is culture) to "being
a partial script writer or adapter shaping the materials of relevant cultural
scenarios into scripts for behavior in particular contexts."
- Constrained by and created
with real partners in the concrete world: what is allowed and what isn't.
- Such constraints do not
apply to intrapsychic scripting
- Enables the actor to
"reorganize" reality, to create "a private world of wishes and desires"
- The more diverse the
society, the more varied and diverse are the scripts that operate to guide
our sexual behavior.
argue: sex is not a given, something that simply "is," but something that
is created or fashioned out of our biological "raw material," partly by our
culture, partly by our partners and our interaction with them, and partly by
the richness of our imagination. It is not sex that makes us but we who make
sex - along with whatever it means to us, and to the people with whom we come
- Provides an economic benefit
to women who sell their bodies, and then labels them as deviant
- Women as sex objects--Conversation
- Women denied access to the
means of success in other areas
- Extension of dominant value,
activities, and institutions of conventional society.
- Male oriented, male dominated
- Double standard
- Profit and capitalist ethic
- Alienated labor
- Sexually restrictive society
How do we "gender"
is a category divided by gender." So we need to understand what Weitzer
(2000) refers to as the "gender disparity" in heterosexual deviance, that is,
that male sexual behavior "is less subject to social strictures" than female
For Example (page
- A sexually active teenage
girl is condemned more strongly than a teenage boy. Stigma or condemnation
is dependent on who is doing what (with whom).
- The problem of teenage
sex, pregnancy, and subsequent out-of-wedlock births is widely regarded as
a problem almost exclusively for the behavior of girls.
- The vast majority of
"sex work" jobs are enacted by women for men. "Female sex workers are quintessential
deviant women, whereas their customers are seen as essentially normal men."
Sexual behavior generally
and sexual deviance more specifically are expressions or manifestations of the
roles of men and women. It is naive to assume that a given sexual encounter
between a man and a woman means the same thing to the two participants, has
the same consequences, or is interpreted by members of the society in the same
An understanding of gender
(social roles) always informs our view of sexual deviance.
AND CUSTOM AROUND THE WORLD
Mangaia v. Inis
Beag (see also)- represents
the extremes of sexual permissiveness and repression.
- "What should be
clear is that many of the phenomena many of us might assume to be biological
functions, such as the frequency of intercourse and the experience of orgasm
in the woman, are learned and not innate in the human organism. They may have
biological basis or potential, but whether this is manifested
in real life is determined by the culture, not biology." (Goode 2001,
- "Sexual behavior,
sexual custom and sexual deviance are dictated not by - the body's anatomical,
hormonal, or genetic characteristics, but the society and culture in which
- What creates the phenomenon
of deviance is the reactions of specific others; these can be quite variable
- Sexual deviance
refers specially to socially disapproved behavior and characteristics and
that only. (not pathology or disorder--no implication of harm)
General Taboos of Intercourse Include:
- Psychological and
sociological deviance are not the same thing.
- Certain times
- Too young an age
What is of interest
to the sociologist of deviance is:
- The dynamic quality
of condemnation, that is, the acts that once attracted more condemnation now
attract far less, or none.
- How common the activity
What is condemned
is not a universal, but culture - specific, actor - specific, and situation-specific
Who, What, Where,
and When: Deviance
- Degree of consent
- Nature of the
- Nature of the
- The setting
in which the act occur.
- Also, The how often
question: sex addict versus
impotent or frigid.
MAJOR NATIONALLY REPRESENTATIVE SEX SURVEY
- Ken Plummer
(1983) classifies sex research into four "main traditions"
- The Clinical Tradition
of Freud and the psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, and clinical psychologists
- The "social bookkeeping"
tradition of Alfred Kinsey and other survey-takers
- The Experimental Method
of Masters and Johnson and many other psychologists
- The descriptive/ethnographic/symbolic
interactionist tradition of anthropologists and participant observation sociologist.
Strengths of "social
- Allows us to make inferences
about what behavior is likely to mean to the majority of the society we are
- Allows us to discover
correlations or relationships with key factors or variables that do bear symbolic
- Enables us to see, in
a systematic fashion, differences between the sexes not only in how they construct
meanings but also in objective, concrete behavior.
in America" ("Now
for the Truth About Americans and Sex," Philip Elmer-Dewitt, Time,
October 17, 1994)
- Nearly 3,500 adults age
18 to 59 were interviewed nationwide; they represented an accurate cross-section
of the country in that age range. The study results turned out to be surprising
in that the sexual behavior of the American population turned out to be a
great deal more conservative and conventional in their behavior than almost
anyone, the researchers included, had expected.
- Perhaps the most consistent
findings was that, whether or not marriage was the aim of the relationship,
people usually have sex with partners who are similar to themselves - in age,
'race' and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, especially education.
WHY? 3 Reasons
- Meeting someone
takes place within social boundaries.
- Social relations
are constrained by religious membership, neighborhood or community residents,
school or occupational setting, friendship networks, and so on.
- parents, relatives, peers, coworkers, friends, acquaintances, associates
in one social networks are likely to put pressure on one to date within certain
- More than
8 Americans in 10 had had sex with either no partners 12%, or only one partner
71%, in the past year, only 3% had had sex with five or more partners.
- Since the
age of 18, not quite 59% had had sex with 4 or fewer partners; only 9% said
that they had had sex with more than 20 partners in their lifetime.
of the married men 75% and 85% of the women said that they had been sexually
faithful to their spouse during the course of their marriage. Among married
persons 94% said that they were faithful during the last year.
- Only 2.8% of
the men in the sample, and 1.4 % of the women, identified themselves as homosexual
- Only 2% of the men
and the women said that they had had sex with a same-gender partner in the
- Only 5.3% of the
men, and 3.5% of the women, said that they had done so since the age of 18
- Only 9% of the men,
and 4% of the women, said that they had done so since they onset of puberty.
lower than many observers had anticipated.
- Only one-third of
the sample 34% had sex as often as twice a week; of that total, only 8% said
that they had sex as often as four or more times a week.
- One out of ten of
the men in their fifties 11%, and three out of ten of the women of that age
30% did not have sex at all during the past year.
- Married members were
significantly more likely than the single members to have had sex twice a
week or more 41% v 23%
- Cohabitation partners
who were living together but unmarred were even more likely to have had sex
this often 56%
- In addition: the
marrieds were most likely to report being physically and emotionally pleased
with their sex and its frequency.
- Thus: the image of
the wild, free and easy sex lives of the "swinging singles" received a serious
body blow from the findings.
Most appealing Sexual
penile-vaginal sex turned out to be the only sexual activity that was almost
universally appealing: 83% of men and 78% of women said that is was "very
appealing to them."
- 80% of the sample
said that every time they had sex during the past year, they had vaginal sex.
- Half of the men and
a third of the women said that watching their partner undress was very appealing
- Giving oral sex:
37% men, 19% women
- Thus: the activates
the respondents said they found appealing were quite traditional and conventional.
Unusual, far-out "deviant" activities attracted very few positive
Critics of the study
assumed respondents would lie about their sex lives - The fact that researchers
used a variety of techniques to cross - check the answers respondents gave gives
us more confidence that the answers they received are accurate. And the fact
that similar similar conclusions for a number of behaviors were found in a Britain
The Tourist Sex
Trade: Feminism versus ethnography? (see
pages 254-257, Goode, 8 ed.)
- "Etic" versus
- Who benefits from prostitution?
- Choice and stigma?
- Tradition or imposition?
- The defining feature is the view
that all heterosexual sex is patriarchal or male dominated and therefore oppressive.
- "Sex work" generally and prostitution
and pornography specifically, represents the most extreme forms of patriarchy
and sexual oppression
- All women are exploited, demeaned,
and brutalized by pornography: Men who are exposed to it carry over this exploitative
stance into their relations with all the women in their lives.
- All sex is saturated by patriarchy-
the "anti-sex" position- All heterosexual sex is sexual slavery. Hence, it
is necessary to do away with all sex.
- "Good" sex can be separated from
"bad" or bogus sex
- Prostitution and pornography
are not really an expression of sexuality at all, but a corruption of sex
that must be excised from the body social
- It is the tasks of feminism to
enlighten the members of the society about the exploitative nature of commercial
- Men must learn that every time
they patronize a prostitute or watch a pornographic video, they are contributing
to the exploitation of women.
- Women must learn that by working
in such enterprises, they are oppressing not only themselves, but all woman-kind
- Women bear the responsibility
of teaching their husbands and boyfriends the truth about patriarchy and the
role that prostitution and pornography play in upholding it.
- "Sex work" is empowering, not
- The woman is not a slave or a
victim, but a free agent who chooses a path that not only defies society's
normative restrictions, but also makes her a dominant party in sexual transaction
- Far form representing power,
offering money for sexual services is an expression of weakness
- All sexual acts including "sexwork"
have meaning independent of the culture or social structure and two each sexual
encounter is an isolated independent act
- Blends sexual libertarianism
( versus the "anti-sex" position of the radical feminists).
- Issue: the
meaning of sex generally and "sexwork" specifically is negotiated with in
the framework of patriarchal system.
- Unusual sexual practices can
be liberating, only if they are designed to subvert the dominant system of
- Prostitution and pornography
like other forms of commercialization can be interpreted "in more complex
ways than simply confirmation of male domination." Sex
workers do not need to be "saved" or liberated form their current mode of
employment. Indeed, these writers and theorist argue, sex workers have a great
deal to teach us about the nature of sexuality and gender. It is they who
may very well liberate us from the oppressive bonds of patriarchy.
Prostitution and Pornography in the USA
- Social structure
- Internal organization: "Deviant
Street Networks"- "The Hustle"
- Link to wider society
Extent of Prostitution:
(Clinard and Meier, Sociologgy
of Deviant Behavior, 9th ed., Harcourt Brace College Pub., 1995)
- 72 So. California prostitutes
- Sample served 560 clients per
day (2-30/women, average 8)
- Fees: $20-$100, most common: $30
- Most popular act: intercourse
and fellatio ("half and half")
- Total population: 100,000-500,000
- $1 billion annually
- 1992: 96,200 arrests (most female),
age: early 20s, 60% white. (problem of multiple arrests)
- Many experts suggest decline in
recent years: Sexual freedom for women==> greater sexual access for men?
- 20% of adult male population have
had some experience as clients
- Economic aspect- enjoy "control"
- Easy and certain sex
- Personality over Appearance: Pay,
yes, but demeanor should not remind them of this fact.
- No enjoyment, it gets in the way.
- Appreciate the economic rewards,
however the downside is the sex.
- Mockery of sex/love; Selling their
- Contempt for "trick"
- Not characterized as man haters.
- Research sources: Limitations
- Background factors: Variety of
experience, although abuse and early promiscuity are common.
Casual Sex ==> Drift ==> Transition
- Drift--forks in the road
- Transition--Stigma Neutralization,
- Role ambivalence--"Turnout
- Deviant ID
- Organize life around activity
- Internalization of subcultural
- "Better (smarter) than
- Sex for Drugs: The World of
Step-by-step process: Learning and
Sub-cultural Theories, Labeling and Secondary Deviance
- Bar girls
- "Baby Pros":
Children (introduced through family, part-time and school, cavalier attitudes
and like the money (Inciardi, 1984: "Little Girls and
Sex", Deviant Behavior, 5:71-78)
- Adolescent Female (Marginality)
- Adolescent Male Prostitutes
(Typically unplanned, Peer-Delinquent Subculture: Hustling Network, Gay Subculture)
- "Road Whores":
Labor camps, Conventions, Truck stops
- Massage Parlor, Photo
- Escort Service
- Business Office: "Party
girls," "Mistresses," "Career Climber"
- House Prostitutes
- Call girls (Entrance,
Apprenticeship, Contact Development)
WWW Links on Prostitution
- Soft and hard; erotica
- Audience: Works consumed for sexual
- Public definition
- What society say is bad is GOOD
- Everyone is obsessed with sex
- Women always available and responsive
- Right women===>man become potent
- Sex permeates EDL
Effects of Pornography on consumers
Commission on Obscenity and Pornography: Little impact, lack of violent pornography
Commission 1986--link to aggression (correlation vs. causation): sex offenders
use porn, therefore porn causes sex crime.
- Research indicates about 1% contains
significant element of violence (A. Dworkin-all porn is violence)
- Goode's research: 4% --rape/forced,
11% S/M-most males dominated by females
- Laboratory research: no hard correlation
between viewing sex and acting aggressively, but view violence--YES. (Electric
shocks, attitudes toward rape)
- Macro-level studies:
- Baron and Strauss (89), states
with high levels of porn also have high rape rates; but, 3rd variable-hypermasculine
culture (violence, rape myth, etc).
- Gentry (91) control for SMSA--no
relationship, cities with high rates of porn have same rape rates as cities
with low porn rates.
- Big business-40% VCR owners consume
Pornography in Cyberspace
for Democracy and Technology Communication Decency Act Page
Stigma yes, yet ambivalence
"Sex in America"
Exactly the same
trend was found in Great Britain.
- The majority
of the American population, 61%, believe that teenage sex is always or
almost always wrong."
- There is a double
standard concerning teenage sex. Adults are much more concerned about teenage
girls having sex than teenage boys.
- Age at first
intercourse has declined
- Likelihood that
someone will have intercourse by the age of 20 had risen
- Increase among
teenagers in having sex with more than one partner -women who had sex with
two or more partners in their teenage years has more than tripled.
THUS: Not only are young women today having sex at an earlier
age than was true in earlier eras, but: sex typically takes place at time when
it is regarded as unacceptable to the parental generation, before their 20th
birthday, most teenage girls engage in what adults view as sexual deviance.
- Teenage sex
is simultaneously an activity in which a majority of adults view as sexual
deviance. It is simultaneously an activity in which a majority engage and
an activity that is condemned by the majority at least a majority of adults.
But their disapproval is considerably less powerful than in the past.
- Whenever persons
in power fail to exert the social control they consider legitimate, they must
necessity disapprove of the activity that escapes their supervision. But parents
would explain their disapproval in more practical and less symbolic terms:
- Teenage sex
is thought of as the gateway to pregnancy. Thus, it is activates fear from
all sides of the political spectrum from liberal to conservative. But the
birth rate among teenage women has declined in the 1990s- 62.1 per 1000 for
females age 15 to 19 in 1991 to 54.7 in 1996.
- The decline
was attributed to both an increase in the use of contraceptives among sexually
active teenagers and a decline in teenage sexual activity.
In spite of the
decline, the United States has the highest rate of teenage births among all
the industrialized nations of the world. In 1996, just under half a million
babies were born to girls age 15 to 19; 10,000
were born to girl's age 14 and younger.
The 1990s "moral
panic" regarding teenage sex and more specifically teen pregnancy virtually
exploded precisely at time when illegitimate births among 16-19 years old actually
Not all agree that
jealous is genetically encoded. Enormous variation exists from one society to
another with respect to how jealousy its members are at the infidelity of their
partners. The male-female gap predicted by the evolutionary biologists is found
everywhere it is true, but the size of the difference varies considerably.
- Adultery is
far less common than most of us imagine
- It may be the
cause and consequence of marital instability
psychologists say, the tendency of organisms, humans included, to act in such
a way that they maximize the transmission of their genes to later generations
and one way of understanding this process they claim is the differences between
males and females in responses to questions about what would be most upsetting
about the infidelity of their spouse or partner. "What would distress you
- Women are
much more likely to be distressed by the emotional involvement of their
partner's sexual infidelity while men become more upset at their partner's
sexual infidelity. This 'jealously gender gap' is encoded in our genes.
are "evolutionarily programmed to become more distressed at emotional
infidelity than sexual infidelity"
What triggers sexual
- In the United
States three times as many men as women are upset at her partner sexual faithlessness
versus their emotional infidelity . Moreover, while the relative differences
between men an women support the theory the absolute size of the percentages
runs counter to it. Evolutionary Biologists predict that more men would care
about sexual than emotional fidelity; in fact most men are not disturbed more
by sexual than emotional infidelity, which is totally contrary to the theory.
It is our awareness
of what sex and sex roles mean to our partners that determines the differences
that researchers observe.
- Men's conception
of female sex has it that her sexual infidelity implies emotional infidelity
as well if she has sex with another man, he assumes that pretty much means
that she love him too
- In addition,
some women can be in love with another man but not have sex with him hence
the man loses twice when his partner is sexually unfaithful a more threatening
situation tan simple emotional infidelity which may imply nothing beyond that.
- In contrast,
women are aware of the fact that their male partner can have sex with another
woman without loving her but when a man forms a romantic or loving attachment
to another woman it is more likely to be a serious threat on his relationship
with the first women.
The "jealously gender gap " critics of evolutionary psychology
argue is the result of a cultural, intellectual, and to some degree, rational
process-- not the nagging and largely unconscious demands of our genes.
Regardless we can be certain that marital infidelity is not
likely to be accepted any time soon.
Owner: Robert O. Keel email@example.com
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