Cultural Anthropology ANT2410.002F16 Chapter 8 Highlight = Important Person Highlight = Key Concept Highlight = Key TermWhat Is “Natural” about Human Sexuality? Sexuality: The complete rang of desires, beliefs, and behaviors that are related to erotic physical contact and the cultural area within whichIf you want to learn more check out chem 135 umd
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people debate about what kinds of physical desires and behaviors are right, appropriate, and natural. The Intersection of Sexuality and Biology • Many people believe sexuality is the most natural thing because every species must reproduce but research revels human sexuality is an outlier. -Humans have developed a sex life that lies far outside the natural framework of mammal relatives. • Helen Fisher explores biological roots of human sexuality with 3 phases of falling in love -Finding right sexual partner -Building a relationship -Forming an emotional attachment that will last long enough to raise a child. • Genetic science as predictor of human sexual behavior still limited. -No evidence for straight or gay gene -Genes do not work in isolation from environment. • Biology plays role in human sexuality but how it manifest itself and how interacts with environment and culture is not clear. Sexuality and Culture • Culture guides and limits our sexual imaginations What Does a Global Perspective Tell Us about Human Sexuality? Same-Gender “Mati Work” in Suriname • Gloria Wekker challenges dominate thinking of sexual identity in Western society by describing more flexible and inclusive approach taken on by working class black Creole women in Suriname. • Mati——> women who form intimate spiritual, emotional and sexual relationships with other women. -3 out of 4 women engage in math work at one point in life -May engage in relationships with men and women simultaneously or consecutively. -Mati choose to have visiting relationship with mane instead of marriage so more independent. -Transfer of math work to Netherlands. (Suriname if former Dutch colony) • Western society believes in a person being either/or but they regard it as flexible behavior rather than fixed. Machismo and Sexuality in Nicaragua • Roger Lancaster studies machismo that can be defined as strong sometimes exaggerated performance of masculinity. • He found that men who passively receive anal are called gay but the penetrator is still considered a manly man under machismo rules. -It is penetrators role to achieve sexual conquest whenever possible with whoever available. -Enhances status by dominating weaker person. How Has Sexuality Been Constructed in the United States? Heterosexuality: Attraction to and sexual relations between individuals of the opposite sex. Homosexuality: Attraction to and sexual relations between individuals of the same sex. Bisexuality: Attraction to and sexual relations with members of both sexes. Asexuality: A lack of erotic attraction to others. Transgender: People whose gender identity or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The Invention of Heterosexuality • Jonathan Katz argues heterosexuality is fairly recent, as Osford dictionary didn't list it until 1862 because it was not a widespread cultural currency yet. • In 1892 was when heterosexuality was translated to mean erotic desire for opposite sex instead of simply procreation. Sexology • The scientific study of sexuality actively played a role in establishment of heterosexuality as dominant erotic ideal. • Sought to understand the essence of human sexuality as it was expressed naturally through sexual behavior. • Alfred Kinsey study revealed a continuum of sexual behavior instead of sharp division between heterosexuality and homosexuality. -Kinsey Scale plotted exclusively heterosexual behavior on one end of spectrum and exclusively homosexual behavior on the other with various points in between. -Sexuality marked by diversity, flexibility, and fluidity. • Scale still shows that heterosexuality and homosexuality is still polar opposites. “White Weddings” • Chrys Ingraham did a study about wedding culture and the wedding industry Constructing Heterosexuality • Wedding industry is a 80 billion dollar industry with items such as photographers, reception halls, flower arrangements, gifts and favors being pushed onto brides • Brides are no born but made, bombarded from birth of what a white wedding means. -Girls learn to wear makeup, wear high heels,, go on dates, pick prom dress and boys learn to buy flowers and corsages, wear tuxedos, buy engagement ring, etc • Ingraham believes weddings are public celebrations of love and key cultural institutions where we learn what it means to be heterosexual. Inequality and Unequal Access • Historically, marriage made women the economic and sexual property of their husbands, seen in contemporary US weddings by father giving away the bride to groom. An exchange between two men. • Ingraham highlights the issues of class and race within the wedding industry,. -Women sewing wedding gown, young men mining for diamonds, waiter on Caribbean honeymoon island cant afford a white wedding. -Most people cant even afford the average US wedding. Lesbian and Gay Commitment Ceremonies • Ellen Lewin explores both personal and political dynamics of these ceremonies. Rituals of Resistance and Acceptance • For some the ceremonies were a form of resistance against cultural norms that denied gays recognition of their lives. -Many also saw ceremonies as part of efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. • Others felt as if the ceremonies were rituals of acceptance, claiming place in society. Federal Law and Public Opinion • June 26th 2015, US Supreme Court ruling required all US states to issue marriage license regardless of sexual orientation because saw same sex marriage as fundamental right. How is Sexuality and Arena for Working Out Relations of Power? • Michel Foucault believes that in every culture, sexuality is also an arena in which appropriate behavior is defined, relation of power are worked out and inequality and stratification are created, enforced and contested. • Cultural institutions regulate many aspects of sexuality. -Who is allowed to do what with whom and when exposes intersections of sexuality and power in culture. Intersections of Race and Sexuality For Black Gay Women • Mignon Moore discovers that many middle class white lesbian couples experience sexually as the primary framework that shapes their identity, black lesbians find race to be their primary framework. • Moore notes that before 1980, gay sexuality in minority communities was rarely shown in public settings. • Recognition of same sex relationships and families have increased in the black community. • How do they live openly? By risking a particular version of respectability. Sexuality and Power on U.S. College Campuses Sexual Violence: Violence perpetuated through sexually related physical assaults such as rape. Antioch College: From “No Means No” to “Yes Means Yes” • Antioch College developed different policy that goes beyond no means no -Participants must receive an explicit yes at every step of the encounter, not just saying yes to “do you want to have sex with me?” • Policy was criticized for being excessively intrusive but Deborah Cameron found that instead of awk and uncertainty, students now more open to talking about sex. How Does Globalization Influence Local Expressions of Sexuality? • Time-space compression makes movement of people (men in particular) across national borders to search for sexual pleasure. • Disruptions of local eco are pushing women to find wage labor to support them and family. Sexuality, Language, and the Effects of Globalization in Nigeria • Rudolf Gaudio studies the language practices of ‘yan daudu——>femine men in northern Nigeria. -They are men that have sex with other men, act like women: cooking, serving food, sing, dance, work as prostitutes. • Role has publicly been recognized in northern Nigerian culture -But with introduction of Islamic sharia law which forbids same gender sexuality, many have received increased harassment and persecution. • They do not see homosexual behavior as incompatible with marrying women, forming fam, having children or Muslim faith. Globalizations Homogenizing Influence • Many Nigerians regard homosexuality as part of wave of western influences that have flooded their country and continent. • Most national gov in Africa do no consider homosexuality as authentically African.