Social Problems Test #2

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Human Sexual Behavior
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Prostitution Pornography Sexual Orientation
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Sexual Behavior Sociologically
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issues often considered moral and personal issues, however sexual behavior is not just personal. These issues are shaped by and controlled by societies
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Biological Issue
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Sex refers to the biological distinctions between males and females
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Cultural Issue
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cultural norms define who can have sex with whom
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Sexual Attitudes
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How people think about sex—as well as sexual practices themselves—has changed over the course of this nation’s history. During the colonial era, the European settlers’ lack of effective birth control methods resulted in most communities holding strict norms that treated sexuality simply as a matter of reproduction.
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Sexual Attitudes cont.
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he \”sexual revolution\” embraced a culture of freedom following the introduction of the birth control pill in 1960. By the 1970s, a \”sexual counterrevolution\” was underway with conservatives calling for a return to traditional \”family values.\”
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Prostitution
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Prostitution is the selling of sexual services. \”The world’s oldest profession\” About 16% of adult men say they have paid someone for sex or have been paid for sex at least once. Prostitution, as well as soliciting the services of a prostitute, is against the law everywhere in the United States, except in parts of Nevada. Researchers estimate that there are: 23 prostitutes per 100,000 Americans Approximately 69,000 prostitutes in the U.S. Average prostitute serves 694 customers annually Although prostitution is against the law almost everywhere in the United States, law enforcement is selective.
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Prostitution cont.
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Prostitutes are a diverse category, with better or worse working conditions depending on their physical attractiveness, age, and level of education. Simplest answer to why someone becomes a prostitute is money Abused as children, most often by men, these women become locked into a way of life in which they continue to be victimized.
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Sex Tourism
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In a global perspective, prostitution is most common in low-income nations. Worldwide, \”sex tourism\” is on the rise, with the fastest increases in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. In the areas where \”sex tourism\” occurs, as many as 100 million children live on the streets and sell sex to survive.
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Pornography
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Pornography refers to words or images that cause sexual arousal: Writings, pictures, objects \”Soft-core\” vs. \”Hard-core\” Determining what is and what is not pornographic is difficult Defining what is pornographic is subjective On one matter, almost everyone agrees: Pornography, whatever it is, should be restricted 94% of Americans in favor of legal restrictions
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Pornography and Violence
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Does pornography promote violence? Research shows that pornography affects some people more than others. Researchers have been able to document only correlations and have been unable to settle this question. Exposure to pornography causes sexual arousal and increases sexual activity, it does not cause violent behavior. Pornography containing violence makes people more accepting of violent acts. Desensitizes people to images of sexual violence Safety valve theory vs. Trigger theory
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Sexual Orientation
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Variance from the societal norm of heterosexuality is not a social problem, but the societal response is a problem. Sexual Orientation refers to a person’s romantic and emotional attraction to another person. Homosexuality Heterosexuality Bisexuality Asexuality
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Sexual Orientation cont.
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What determines Sexual Orientation? The majority of research shows that biology is the key to understanding sexual orientation. It is important to remember, however, that many people not fit into simple categories of \”gay\” or \”straight.\” Sexual Orientation is either framed as a moral issue or a civil rights issue.
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Sexual Orientation and Public Policy
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The term \”homophobia\” was introduced in late 1960s. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association declared that it no longer considered homosexuality to be a mental disorder. The Defense of Marriage Act In 1996, the DOMA was passed, which allows any state to ignore a same-sex marriage performed in another state. Sodomy Laws In 2003 the Supreme Court overruled the sodomy laws
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Recent Progress of SO
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Prominent athletes have announced they are gay. Television shows incorporate gay characters. Court decisions: The Repeal of \”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell\” The legal tide is turning in favor of same-sex marriage In 2004, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts ruled that gay men and lesbian women had the right to marry
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Safe Zone
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The Safe Zone Program is based on the commitment of Coastal Carolina University faculty, staff, and students to the value of cultural diversity and the needs of (LGBTQ) students, faculty, and staff.
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Sociology of Health
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The public sees healthcare as one of the most pressing social problems in today’s society. Most of us think of illness in biological terms, but much more is involved. There are many social factors that affect health. Health and Illness as a social construct: Definitions of \”disease\” are not fixed
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Defining and Measuring Health
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Health: a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Life Expectancy at Birth: the number of years, on average, people in a society can expect to live. Infant Mortality Rate: the number of babies who die within a year of their birth per 1,000 babies born.
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Life Expectancy
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In the United States, our life expectancy is increasing and our infant mortality rate is decreasing.
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Physical Health as a Social Problem
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A major reflection of social inequality in the U.S is the differences in physical health among various social groups.
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Mental Health as a Social Problem
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Mental disorder: A condition involving thinking, mood, or behavior that causes and reduces a person’s ability to function in everyday life. About half of adult Americans suffer from some form of problem during their lifetime.
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Health Care in the US
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Two of the most pressing issues related to health are soaring costs and access to health care. The Cost Problem The spread of private insurance Advancements in technology A lack of preventative care The Coverage Problem Medical insurance does not cover all costs About 17% of the population has no medical coverage at all Should a person’s ability to pay determine the quality of health care available? Much of the controversy over healthcare reform revolves around whether or not healthcare should be a \”right.\”
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Conservatives MH
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Conservatives What’s the problem? The health of the U.S population has steadily improved and is very good by global standards. Individuals need to take greater responsibility for their own health. What’s the solution? Encouraging responsible behavior is key to illness prevention. Programs to extent health care coverage can help, but should be provided by employers or paid for by individuals in a free-market system.
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Liberals MH
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Liberals What’s the problem? The average health of the U.S population is good, but some disadvantaged groups are less healthy. Millions of people are under-insured or have no health insurance at all. What’s the solution? Government should extend access to healthcare so appropriate medical treatment is available to all, regardless of their ability to pay.
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What is a Drug?
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A drug is any chemical substance other than food or water that affects the mind or body Types of Drugs: Stimulants, Depressants, Hallucinogens, Cannabis, Steroids Drug Abuse—using drugs in such a way that they harm one’s health, impair one’s physical or mental functioning, or interfere with one’s social life.
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Drugs Sociologically
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No drug is good or bad in and of itself. When drug use interferes with someone’s health or how that person gets along in life, we consider this a personal problem. If large numbers of people become upset about a drug, and want something done, then that drug becomes part of a social problem.
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Drugs Sociologically cont.
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Definitions of drugs vary from society to society Alcohol part of western culture Peyote use as a religious ritual among Native Americans Definitions of drugs vary over time Attitudes toward various drugs are related to which racial/ethnic groups are perceived as using Attitudes toward cocaine Attitudes toward opium Attitudes toward alcohol U.S. Congress and the Harrison Act of 1914 Alcohol Prohibition 1920-1933
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Extent of Drug Use
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Most everyone uses some type of drug, legal or illegal. In the U.S: Alcohol 50% Tobacco 30% Marijuana 5% Cocaine, LSD, Heroin 1%
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Alcohol
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Alcohol is the most widely used depressant in the United States: ~10 million Americans are considered alcoholics. Each year 700,000 Americans are treated in substance abuse centers. Alcoholism costs billions of dollars per year in reduced productivity and alcohol-related accidents
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Alcohol as a Social Problem
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Alcohol is more dangerous than its broad social acceptability would imply: Binge Drinking/Alcohol Poisoning Unprotected Sex Date Rape Motor Vehicle Deaths
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Nicotine
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Scientific evidence on the health effects of smoking and second-hand smoke is solid. Nicotine is the second most popular recreational drug in the United States. Smoking is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Who smokes? A new study confirms that fewer American kids are smoking.
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Nicotine as a Social Problem
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In the early 1970’s, people around the United States began to talk about the annoyance and potential health hazards of secondhand smoke. In 1988, the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) was established. ANR staff, members, and board have contributed to the incredible shift in the social norm toward smoke-free environments. Progress has been made recently in reducing involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke in workplaces, restaurants, and other public places in the United States and abroad. E-cigarettes: An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, is a cylindrical device made of stainless steel or plastic that mimics a cigarette in terms of its appearance and use and sometimes taste, but with a critical distinction—it does not contain tobacco.
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Vaccinations
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There are no federal laws mandating vaccination exist, but all 50 states require certain vaccinations (exemptions allowed) for children entering public schools. According to a 2003 report by researchers at the Pediatric Academic Society, childhood vaccinations in the US prevent about 10.5 million cases of infectious illness and 33,000 deaths per year. Proponents argue that vaccination is safe and one of the greatest health developments of the 20th century. No individual should have the right to risk the health of the public solely for the purpose of satisfying their personal moral, philosophical, or religious views. Opponents argue that there is \”vaccine overload,\” that children’s immune systems can deal with most infections naturally, and that the possible side effects of vaccination are not worth the risk of safeguarding against non-life threatening illnesses. Governments should not have the right to intervene in the health decisions parents make for their children.
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Vaccinations as a Social Problem
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Vaccines and Autism : Although child vaccination rates remain high, some parental concern persists that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine might cause autism. Opponents: Some additives in vaccines have been associated with an increased risk of disorders, such as autism, ADD/ADHD. This risk is not worth taking, especially considering most diseases vaccinated against are not necessarily life threatening. Proponents: The claim that vaccines cause autism is not supported by science. The risks of not being vaccinated far outweigh the small risks associated with vaccination. Human Papilloma Virus Opponents: Although these adverse reactions may be rare, they are not worth the risk since the vaccine only protects against two of the 15 strains of HPV that may cause cancer of the cervix (20-40 years after an individual is infected). Proponents: Girls between the ages of 11 and 12 should be required to get the HPV vaccine because it protects against cervical cancer—the second leading cancer killer of women. The HPV vaccine can stop these deaths and should be given to all girls before they become sexually active and have the potential to contract HPV.
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Social Policy
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Strategies to Control Drugs Interdiction Prosecution Education Treatment Decriminalization? Removing the current criminal penalties that punish drug users
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Conservatives Drugs
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Lack of family and religion at the heart of the problem Drug use as a function of self-centered pleasure seeking Drugs cause crime and the erosion of morality Get tough on drug dealers and users
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Liberals Drugs
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Personal choice and freedom Treatment and education approach Tolerant view of \”soft drugs\” Legalization of marijuana Support law enforcement for \”hard drugs\”
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Radical Views Drugs
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Radical Right: Favor the greatest individual freedom possible Oppose government efforts to regulate drugs Drug use should be left up to the individual Radical Left: Also oppose current drug laws, but for different reasons. Drug laws reflect the interests of those in power Completely restructure society

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