California State University How Sexuality Is Socially Constructed Discussion Questions

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For this Discussion Board, please answer the following question by drawing upon at least ONE of the readings from this week. You may use supplemental materials from lecture slides and videos in addition to the reading.

Question: How is sexuality socially constructed? What are some of the stereotypes surrounding homosexuality/heterosexuality/bisexuality/asexuality, etc. that inform our understanding of sexuality? What happens when someone does not fit these norms? 

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I personally believe sexuality is socially constructed by anybody, regardless of sexual preference, coming into their own and figuring out what makes them comfortable in their own skin. Though, this happens in younger individuals because teens and young adults are typically more impressionable by nature. That being said, stereotypes regarding differing forms of sexuality, whether it be homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, or so on, the younger kids in society may view these stereotypes as gospel; they may view the actions of others around them with traits the identify with and may believe that to be the way they act, rather than thinking and acting on their own accord. When Katz says that “…the fight to pull heterosexuality, homosexuality, and all the sexualities out of the realm of nature and biology [and] into the realm of the social and historical”, he references the struggle to separate the idea of sexuality from being one that is inherently biological or natural (Katz, 1995). We often forget that sometimes, concepts such as sexuality can change. It all depends on different sociopolitical factors that all have their part to play in the influencing of one’s sexuality. Separating sexuality from its supposed inherent human nature and enforcing the idea that these things DO change as a direct result of the influences of stereotypes that society sets. This is the struggle that has plagued us since the idea of Adam and Eve, much like Katz mentions. The unfortunate part is when one does not “fit” into these societal norms. Strong social rejection can come as a result of not being accepted into a social circle because the standards set by society are not met. This has a large impact on those influenced by the sexual stereotypes in our society. As mentioned at the start of this post, sexuality as a social construct can only evolve once we’ve all discovered ourselves and how we can be comfortable in our own skin. This is how we can resist the social pressures set by sexual stereotypes.Katz, J. N., Duggan, L., & Vidal, G. (1995). The invention of heterosexuality. Plume

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