Why Studying Human Sexuality is Important
The topic of human sexuality and contraception plays great importance in the lives of people; many scholars have studied and presented their views. In this paper, I will be discussing why studying human sexuality is important. The paper will be divided into sections where each section will discuss a different perspective. The sections will be: (1) Theoretical Perspectives on Sexuality, (2) The Spectrum of Sexual Orientation, (3) The Biology of Sex, (4) Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors, and (5) Conclusion.
2. Theoretical Perspectives on Sexuality
Studying sexuality can be dated back to Plato’s Symposium, where the origins of gender and desire were discussed. However, the modern western study of sexuality as a formal intellectual discipline begins with the sexologists in the late nineteenth century. The modernists said that sexual experience was not in any way affecting the moral character (Ellis, Kinsey, Masters & Johnson, 1976). Instead, modernists viewed sexual experience in a positive light when properly managed.
However, there were also those who disagreed with the modernist perspective. These were the postmodernists who believed that sexual experience could have a negative effect on people’s lives (Foucault, 1990). They argued that sexual knowledge is used to control people’s behavior. For example, they said that knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases is used to scare people into being monogamous. Postmodernists also believed that gender is socially constructed and that there is no such thing as a “true” gender identity.
3. The Spectrum of Sexual Orientation
There is no one correct definition for sexual orientation; it is often described as a continuum or spectrum. Sexual orientation refers to a person’s emotional, physical, and/or sexual attraction to another person (American Psychological Association, n.d.). It is important to note that sexual orientation is different from behavior; a person’s sexual orientation does not necessarily dictate their behavior. For example, a person who is emotionally and physically attracted to men may not necessarily have sex with men.
There are many different types of attraction that people can feel; these are just a few of the most common:
– Heterosexual: feeling emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex
– Homosexual: feeling emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to people of the same sex
– Bisexual: feeling emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to both men and women
– Asexual: feeling no romantic attraction to any gender
– Pansexual: feeling emotionally, physical, and/or sexually attracted to all genders
– Polysexual: feeling emotionally, physical, and/or sexually attracted to more than one gender but not all genders
4. The Biology of Sex
The biological basis for sex is determined by an individual’s chromosomes; typically, people have 46 chromosomes arranged into 23 pairs. Of these pairs, 22 are autosomes which do not determine an individual’s sex; instead, they code for different traits like hair color or height. The final pair are called sex chromosomes which determine an individual’s sex; in humans there are two possibilities for this pair: XX (female) or XY (male). It should be noted that this is a simplification of the biology of sex; in reality, it is much more complicated. For example, some people are born with more than two sex chromosomes or with sex chromosomes that do not pair up correctly.
5. Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors
Sexual attitudes and behaviors vary widely across cultures and individuals. In the United States, there is a lot of focus on heterosexuality and monogamy; however, this is not the case in all cultures. For example, in some cultures polygamy (having more than one wife) is practiced and accepted. There are also cultures where homosexuality is accepted and even encouraged.
In terms of sexual behavior, again there is a lot of variation. In the United States, people typically have sex for the first time in their late teens or early twenties. However, in other cultures, people may have sex much earlier or much later in life. Additionally, the frequency of sex also varies; some people have sex multiple times a day while others may go months or even years without having sex. There is no correct or incorrect answer when it comes to sexual behavior; what matters is that people are comfortable with their own level of activity.
In conclusion, studying human sexuality is important because it helps us to understand the complexities of attraction and behavior. Additionally, it can help to debunk myths and stereotypes about different genders and orientations. Finally, understanding the biology of sex can be helpful in cases of medical emergencies or unforeseen circumstances.