Social Problems Chapter 7: Sexuality

question

Sex
answer

The biological distinction between females and males
question

Primary sex characteristics
answer

Refer to differences in genitalia
question

Secondary sex characteristics
answer

Refer to the distinct physical characteristics that develop as we mature
question

How is sex a biological issue?
answer

Females and males have different organs used for reproduction and also different physical traits
question

How is sex a cultural issue?
answer

Sexual attitudes and practices vary from one place to another and over time
question

Sex: A cultural issue
answer

Sociologist point out that sexual activity is also guided by human culture
question

What are some cultural norms define who can have sex with whom?
answer

-Age -Marital status -Sex of partners
question

Cultural norms…
answer

define what is viewed as normative sexual activity
question

What are some factors that led to increased sexual freedom in the U.S. over time?
answer

-Advances in technology -> more control over -Industrial era migration to cities -Kinsey research in the 1940’s and 1950’s
question

What resulted from these changes?
answer

-Fewer people delaying sex until marriage -Small \”gender gap\” in sexual activity
question

Feminist movement in the 1970s:
answer

-View of sex as men’s power over women -\”Sexism\” emerges as a social problem -Public stands against pornography, rape, incest -Demand for access to birth control and abortion
question

Conservative sexual counterrevolution in the 1980s:
answer

\”return to family values\”
question

Continuing Sexual Revolution: Older people
answer

Men and women who began the sexual revolution the ’60s are carrying the movement into old age
question

Those reporting a current sexual partner
answer

-Age 65-74: 85% of men; 62% of women -Age 75-84: 78% of men; 41% of women
question

Erectile dysfunction prescriptions
answer

20 million prescriptions a year -1.5 billion to drug companies
question

Sex attitudes over U.S history: Early colonist
answer

Early colonists viewed sex rigidly as intended solely for reproduction
question

Sex attitudes over U.S history: Recent Decades
answer

Sex has become more of a matter of intimacy and personal pleasure
question

Sex attitudes over U.S history: Sexual Revolution
answer

1960s – encouraged people to be freer and more open about sexuality
question

Sex attitudes over U.S history: Sexual Counterrevolution
answer

1980s – reflected the country’s more conservative politics as well as fears about sexuality transmitted diseases
question

Sex attitudes over U.S history: Sexual revolution now
answer

Continuing today among older people, sometimes making use of drugs that treat erectile dysfunction
question

Sexual Orientation
answer

An individual’s romantic and emotional attraction to another person
question

Sexual orientation can include partners of:
answer

-Same sex = homosexuality -Other sex = heterosexuality -Either sex = bisexuality -Neither sex = asexuality
question

Homosexuality in population
answer

How one defines homosexual orientation affects the share of the population considered to be homosexual
question

Homosexuality history
answer

Long history of prejudice and discrimination
question

Major shift in public opinion of homosexuality
answer

-Fewer than half of U.S. adults now say that same-sex relations are \”wrong\” -Laws now band discrimination based on sexual orientation -In 2011, the U.S. military ended its ban on same-sex behavior -60% of U.S. population now lives in a state where same-sex marriage is legal
question

Hostility and Prejudice still exist for homosexuals
answer

-Many religious organizations refuse to ordain gay men or lesbians -1/3 of homosexual college students report experiencing harassment -1,300 hate crimes against gays in 2012 -Homosexual people of color are especially likely to experience violence
question

Cultural Factors of Sexual Orientation
answer

-Diversity of sexual expression around the world suggest cultural influence -Patterns of socialization have an impact
question

Biological Factors of Sexual Orientation
answer

-Sexual orientation largely fixed at birth -Studies focus on genes, hormones, epigenetic research
question

1973: American Psychiatric Association
answer

Removed homo-sexuality from list of mental disorders
question

2003: U.S. Supreme Court
answer

Struck down Texas banning sodomy
question

Surveying of U.S. population later on
answer

Showed a large decrease in U.S. adults viewing homosexuality wrong
question

2004: Supreme Court of Massachusetts
answer

Ruled that gay men and lesbian women had the right to marry
question

By 2015
answer

29 other states (plus D.C.) enacted laws permitting same-sex marriage
question

Same-Sex marriage globally
answer

There are 17 countries in the world where it is legal
question

June 26, 2015 SCOTUS
answer

Rules that same-sex couples have the same right to marry as different-sex couples
question

The Gay Rights Movement
answer

-Gained public attention in the 1950s -\”Stonewall Riot\” in 1969 -Introduction of the term homophobia claiming intolerance of sexual orientation is a social problem
question

Stonewall Riot in 1969
answer

defining moment in growth of the movement
question

Homophobia
answer

An aversion to or hostility toward people thought to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual
question

Transgender
answer

Refers to appearing or behaving in ways that challenge how females and males should look and act -not the same as sexual orientation
question

A better term of transgender
answer

These people feel like they don’t match Ex. People born as a certain sex but don’t feel like they match with sex
question

Pornography
answer

Words or images intended to cause sexual arousal -Differing opinions as what \”community standards of decency\” should be
question

Pornography: Conservatives
answer

View pornography as a social problem because it threatens conventional morality
question

Pornography: Liberals
answer

Defend freedom of expression and support the right to privacy but object to pornography as demeaning to women
question

1985: US Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography was formed
answer

-Concluded that pornography increases people’s sexual activity and encourages men to be aggressive and more accepting of violent acts such as rape -Others claim that the evidence does not clearly support a link between pornography and rape
question

Sexual Harassment
answer

Unwanted comments, gestures, or physical contact of a sexual nature
question

Sexual Harassment in recent years
answer

-Sexual harassment has been defined as a social problem -Today laws protect people from sexual harassment, esp in the workplace -Most but not all cases of harassment involved men victimizing women
question

What was the rise of women’s movement in the 60s was primarily responsible for?
answer

The definition of such behavior as a social problem
question

1976: federal court declared…
answer

That sexual harassment amounted to illegal discrimination
question

The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission identifies two types:
answer

-quid pro quo (one thing for another) -forms of behavior that create a hostile environment (not just intent, but also effect)
question

82% cases of sexual harassment
answer

Are men who harass women
question

Supreme Court (1998):
answer

Employees can be victims of harassment even if they are not obviously harmed by the actions
question

Prostitution
answer

The selling of sexual services
question

Where is prostitution most common?
answer

In low-income nations
question

Most sex workers…
answer

Are women and range from escorts to streetwalkers
question

In the US how many arrests are for women and men?
answer

2/3 of arrests are of women; and the remaining men are both prostitutes and clients
question

Sweden and prostitution
answer

Allows people to sell sex but makes it a crime to buy sex
question

Child Prostitution and \”sex tourism\”
answer

-For desperately poor children, selling sex is a means of survival
question

World wide Sex tourism
answer

On the rise with the greatest increases in Africa, Latin American, and Eastern Europe
question

Child Prostitution and \”sex tourism\”: In patriarchal societies
answer

Poor girls sent out of the home to work and may end up in the sex trade
question

Teenage Pregnancy
answer

The rate of teen pregnancy in the U.S. is decreasing, but is still higher than in most other high-income countries
question

How many teens become pregnant each year in the U.S.?
answer

768k
question

Off all pregnant teens
answer

Most are not married -17% have miscarriages -25% have abortions 58% keep their babies
question

In who is teenage pregnancy more common in?
answer

Among poor families and most common among poor AA girls
question

What increases when a teen becomes pregnant?
answer

Increases the odds of remaining poor
question

How much does teenage pregnancy cost this year?
answer

11 billion/year
question

Babies of teen pregnancy more likely to what?
answer

-Have lower birth weights and higher risk of physical and developmental problems -May face poor nutrition, little schooling, inadequate health care -Grow up at high risk of becoming single parents themselves
question

Sex education: Critics
answer

Say that level of sexual activity has increased with the adoption sex education
question

Sex education: Supporters
answer

Say that the biggest cause of teen pregnancy is ignorance
question

Abortion
answer

Intentional termination of a pregnancy
question

How many abortions are preformed annually in the U.S?
answer

1.2 million -1/4 of all pregnancies
question

Abortion statistics
answer

-85% of women are unmarried, half have income below or close to the poverty line -Most are in their 20s and about half have already had at lease one abortion
question

Abortion: Early time
answer

From colonial era until mid-19th century, early term abortion was legal everywhere
question

Abortion: 20th century
answer

Laws banning abortion had been enacted in every state
question

Abortion: 1973
answer

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down all laws that banned abortion
question

Abortion: Today
answer

Remains a controversial issue
question

Support for abortion: Gender
answer

Almost same between women (55%) and men (53%)
question

Support for abortion: Government
answer

Greater among Democrats (63%) then Republicans (35%)
question

Support for abortion: Ethnicity
answer

Less widely supported among people of Arab and Italian decent (29%)
question

Support for abortion: Religion
answer

More widely supported by Jewish Americans (89%)
question

Sexually Transmitted Diseases
answer

Disease spread by sexual conduct
question

How many kinds of STDs?
answer

More than 50 including gonorrhea, syphilis, an genital herpes
question

How many people are affected by STDs each year?
answer

20 million -Half under 25
question

Cost of treatment for STDs per year
answer

about 16 billion
question

AIDS
answer

Caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, which destroys the body’s immune system
question

AIDS trends
answer

Cases and deaths decreasing -15k deaths in 2010 -32k new cases in 2011
question

AIDS total
answer

1.2 million contracted AIDS and 636k have died
question

AIDS globally
answer

35 milllion infected 3.2 million are children
question

Who counts for 71% of AIDS cases?
answer

Sub-Saharan Africa
question

What gender is at higher risk for AIDS?
answer

Girls
question

Behaviors that put people at risk
answer

-anal sex -sharing needles when using drugs -drug or alcohol use because it impairs one’s judgment
question

AIDS and U.S. history
answer

U.S. government was slow to respond to the AIDS crisis -AIDS wasn’t given serious attention until the epidemic spread into heterosexual population
question

Antiretroviral therapy
answer

Improves the health of people with HIV and reduces transmission
question

Structural-Functional Analysis
answer

Emphasizes society’s need to control sexuality
question

Structural-Functional Analysis: Controlling Sexuality
answer

Emphasizes the importance of cultural norms guiding sexuality
question

What does Structural-Functional Analysis explain
answer

Why societies have always paid attention to who reproduces with whom
question

What does the Structural-Functional Analysis state?
answer

-All societies observe incest taboo
question

What does Structural-Functional Analysis say about norms?
answer

Traditional norms favor legitimate offspring
question

Structural-Functional Analysis: Criticism
answer

Ignores gender, diversity of sexual norms, and changing patterns of sexual behavior
question

What does Structural-Functional Analysis say about sexual patterns?
answer

Some sexual patterns that are widely regarded as deviant, such as prostitution, may also have positive functions, at least for men
question

Symbolic-Interaction Theory
answer

Highlights the fact that members of a society socially construct sexuality just as they create all reality
question

Symbolic-Interaction Theory: Defining Sexuality
answer

Highlights the variable meanings people attach to sexuality -The meaning of virginity -Learning sexual roles -People socially construct sexuality just as they create the rest of the reality they experience
question

Symbolic-Interaction Theory: Criticism
answer

Some patterns are very consistent
question

Social-Conflict Theory
answer

Focuses on social inequality
question

Social-Conflict Theory: Feminist Theory
answer

Points out the many aspects of sexuality reflect men’s social dominance over women -Women as sexual objects -Violence as manifestation of male dominance
question

Social-Conflict Theory: Queer theory
answer

Claims that the heterosexist bias in U.S. culture stigmatizes gay men and lesbians, bisexual people, asexual people, and transgender individuals
question

What does the queer theory challenge?
answer

The heterosexual bias in U.S. societies
question

Heterosexism
answer

Bias that treats heterosexuality as the norm while stigmatizing anyone who violates this norm as queer
question

Social-Conflict Theory: Criticism
answer

Most people find that sexuality strengthens a relationship to another person; not as a power issue
question

Conservatives: The value of traditional morality
answer

Support conventional norms -Overall the conservative answer to sexual social problems is a strong family life
question

Conservatives: Premarital and Extramarital sex
answer

View them as social problems that lead to teenage pregnancy and STDs
question

Conservatives: Prostitution and Pornography
answer

Condemn it and states that it violates traditional standards of decency and threaten marriages
question

Conservatives: Abortion
answer

Opposes it on demand and that it gives one person the power to end the life of another
question

Liberals: Sex and Individual Choice
answer

All people should have considerable choice in how they express their sexuality -Attitude is one of tolerance -Limits of liberal tolerance come when someone is threatened with harm
question

Liberals: Who do they look for to address social problems
answer

Government
question

Liberals: Abortion
answer

Support abortion available to all, leaving the decision up to the woman involved
question

Radical Left: Go to the Root of the Problem
answer

Sexual problems are a dimension of social inequality -come about because one category of people has power over another
question

Radical Left: Women
answer

Encourage women to work together to achieve political aims and to avoid dependency on men
question

Radial Feminism and Queer Theory
answer

Argue the need for basic changes in U.S society in pursuit of equality for all, female and male, gay and straight

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member