write 2 responds about the sample answer. Each of them at least 150words
1)I am so (!!!) excited for this online course. Naturally I feel like it’s one of those niche courses that would never be offered in a high school/primary education setting. My favorite part about attending a big liberal arts university is that I’m allowed to choose from classes that have nothing to do with my major or chosen career, but they’re just as interesting and aren’t taught in traditional settings. I feel like I don’t know enough about the legislative/political/cultural history behind my general understanding of sexuality and love. I am probably most looking forward to any topics focused on intimate relations/partner selection/social constructs of romance and sexuality/matched pairs theories (if discussed). As a Psychological and Brain Sciences major here at UCSB, we learn all about the evolutionary and anthropological foundations of mate selection and codependency. We learn about why humans choose to invest in certain relationships/partners and why they stray from others (for instance, from an evolutionary perspective, women typically seek partners with financial resources, protective qualities like tall height and broad shoulders, and loyalty; whereas men typically seek partners with “attractive” features that they want passed onto their offspring, and a strong maternal investment in their offspring’s survival). All of this is typically perceived from a very scientific, evolutionary, and archaic lens – everything relates back to our origins, or our DNA, or our ancestor’s reproductive failures and successes. I feel like this class will take a much more modern approach to the understanding of sexuality, desire, mate selection, and love. I truthfully don’t know much about the legislative history and political conflicts that surround sexuality. I also don’t know much about the economic and social disparities that certain groups, genders, races, or communities have faced for years as a result of their identities trying to be oppressed. I think this all will be super interesting and informative and am really excited to be learning from y’all. Also! I saw we’d be watching Janelle Monaé’s Dirty Computer at the end of this course and she is literally one of my favorite artists ever (Crazy, Classic, Life is SO good and must be listened to) so I’m excited for that! 🙂
So far, this week’s readings have already been really informative on a lot of the history behind the different political, social, and economic conflicts that certain groups faced solely based on their sexual or gender identity. It was interesting to hear about how the anti-pornography movement came to be and how the AIDS epidemic made widespread homophobia acceptable. I also found it interesting how many authors echoed the same argument: sexuality is constructed on a hierarchy of power and oppression, in which certain groups and activities (monogamous, uni-generational, heterosexual, post-marital sex) are seen as pure and acceptable, while other groups and activities (casual, cross-generational, pre-marital sex) are suppressed. These issues are systemic and have prevailed with years of tolerance and neglect in the legal and social spheres. I feel like this concept is going to echo a lot throughout this course and be very enlightening, so I’m excited to learn more!
2)I take this course for upper-division requirements. I also interest in the topic of sex, love, romance, and the relationship between those and sociality.
Sexuality is the reason for the existence of life on earth – in both highly civilized and tribal cultures. It is probably why this topic attracts so much attention and gives rise to so many discussions. Sexuality can be perceived from different sides, including sex, race, sexual and gender identity.
In a civilized society, there are two primary standards for the perception of sexuality – social construction and essentialism approaches. According to Social Construction Theory, sexuality is “the product of human action and history rather than the invariant result of the innate sex drive” (Vance, 1989, p. 160). Unlike the axiom of sexual essentialism, this approach makes it possible to ask questions about sexuality and is not dogmatic. Scientists note that quite often, proponents of this approach mistakenly believe that “sexual identity is easily changeable, much like a new outfit plucked from the closet at whim” (Vance, 1989, p. 161). Another erroneous assumption is that individuals have conscious control over sexual identity or that large scale cultural formations regarding sexuality are easily changed (Vance, 1989). In general, the social construction approach assumes that the same sexual behavior can be interpreted differently in various cultures, which were formed under the influence of distinct historical circumstances. On the other hand, people can change and adapt their sexual behavior and perceptions, including those related to the culture in which they were raised.
Ideas of sexual essentialism are common in modern society and are not always defined by their carriers. An analog of this lack of self-identification is the lack of self-determination in heterosexual people as such. The approach is based on the idea that “sex is a natural force that exists before social life and shapes institutions” (Rubin, 1984, p. 109). Therefore, sexuality is perceived as eternally unchanging, asocial, and transhistorical phenomena. Sexual essentialism reflects traditional views of sexuality, as opposed to the approach presented above, which recognizes the diversity of sexual behavior, expression, and experience.
Sexual and gender identity and sexual behavior can be recognized in society as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ ‘Good’ identity and sexuality remain inside a charmed circle that ensures benefits and privileges (Rubin, 1984). Interestingly, due to the historical dominance of the white race and the perception of masculinity as dominant sexuality, a unique phenomenon emerged in the US. White men who preferred sex with men considered themselves heterosexual for this reason (Ward, 2008). At the same time, men of other races who preferred sex with men were deemed to be gay. In this way, these men used their racial identity as a bridge from heterosexual identity.
Thus, sexuality was discussed in terms of feminist, social construction, and essentialism approaches, and the context of marginalization. The social construction approach assumes that social, cultural, and historical trends shape sexuality. At the same time, the essentialism approach implies that sexuality is something natural, natural, and unchanging. Both approaches are partly fair and mutually complementary and create a space for a more profound and controversial discussion.