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Social Construction of Sexuality: Sex in Consumer Culture Essay

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Updated: Apr 18th, 2021

Introduction

Human sexuality is an important element of society. Even though human feelings of sexuality appear more artificial, sexual emotions and activities are naturally classified alongside other significant ways of expression in the social units such as family.

Christian values relate sexuality to wrongdoing; hence it can only be accepted if the act is for procreation. This notion renders obsolete all aspects of sexual feelings and activities between members of the same sex. Further, the majority of religious people have a soft spot for heterosexual relationships regardless of the purpose, which may not necessarily mean procreation. Symbolically, sexuality among heterosexuals results in the formation of a strong bond between the two parties. The paper explores the negative content of the social construction of sexuality.

This sociological notion about sexuality is itself a major inconsistency, especially in terms of what children should know about sexual activity and the making of babies (Edwards, 2003). Children are often taught to become responsible as they grow up in order to become people of high integrity in society. They are warned not to engage in any kind of sexual activity until they are mature enough to take care of a baby. But when they reach the pubertal stage, and the social aspects around them prompt sexual encounters with the opposite sex, they are enlightened on how to practice it safely, their readiness for the act or consequences notwithstanding.

Negative effects of sexuality

Despite the enlightenment that adolescents receive from instructors, they are prone to misbehavior and lack of discipline. This condition triggers unwanted pregnancies and arbitrary termination of pregnancies. Teenage fathers also fail to own up to the impacts of their sexual actions or take responsibility for their babies, despite an incessant cry for support from their young partners (Zhang, 2011). Eventually, society forgets about the misleading information that is passed to teenagers.

In most societies, sexuality and making babies are two distinct issues (Walther, 2008). Nonetheless, teenagers are expected to remain sexually active during their lifetime but to shun procreation until they are economically self-reliant and able to take care of the babies, probably when they are married. Although functionalism theory connotes an effective family that is lean enough to live decently and peacefully, procreation expediency results in large families that cannot hold due to scarce resources. Such social units disintegrate due to conflict between family members (Reichert, & Lambiase, 2005).

Generally, societies have based the theory of Freud, that a minor is sexual from childhood and that people incorporate the unique sexuality of children into traditional ways. Still, children are expected to exercise their asexuality. Children of both genders are today brought up in a more uniform manner, yet the society morals hold that it is unethical of them to try out sexual feelings and or actions. Walther (2008) argued that the genesis of sexual problems is the refusal to grant teenagers freedom. Proper enlightenment of adolescents on the pros and cons of exploring their own sexuality and that of their friends might lead them to appreciate their sexuality.

This probably may expose them to what they expect future parental roles would encompass and lead them away from ‘unknowingly’ contracting venereal diseases. If there is a lack of humiliation that may be triggered by lack of information or suppressed sexual desires, preventive mechanisms for pregnancy and or sexually transmitted diseases, as well as homosexual and love issues, would easier to raise and contain (Walther, 2008).

The free model of sexuality

The social construction of sexuality leads to a non-deterministic approach to the phenomenon. In view of this, some members of society may be homosexual, others straight. This condition is based on individual feelings of what he or she believes is appropriate for them.

Homosexuals would feel an irresistible attraction to members of the same gender, a development that often leads to failure to fulfill the procreating role of families. As a result, the social unit homosexuals refer to as their family fails to fulfill the functionalist perspective of making babies. Bennett (2010) indicates that women who are in sexual relationships with men experienced strong heterosexual feelings and intimate ties to females while still young. Therefore, any urge, for example, adverts or written materials related to lesbianism, might easily alter their thinking to embrace homosexuality or push them into thinking that same sex erotic relationships are ‘weird.’

Social exclusion

According to Bennett (2010), sexuality based on social construction results in some sort of exclusion of ‘inadequate’ persons of the sex preferred by an individual. Reichert and Lambiase (2005) aver that even within the desired sex, the majority still feel more attracted to individuals with certain unique qualities. Though not any individual regardless of gender will do, there is scanty research about the selective urge in individuals on sexuality matters (Walther, 2008). The urge appears to be more complex than mere chemical substances within the body. The selective urge towards a sexual partner can partly be traced to strong and functional families made of parents who have similar feelings of sexuality and partly to other experiences to that effect (Reichert, & Lambiase, 2005).

Sexuality appears innate, and this is manifest in recent historical and political developments that have led to a more egalitarian social environment where every person opts for his or her preferred sexuality (Edwards, 2003). Many developed countries such as the United States are slowly removing the hurdles that once impeded open expression of sexuality, especially if one was deemed to be ‘different.’ In view of this, many heterosexual and mature females who have recalled their earlier escapades while married to men and have had babies usually ‘backtrack’ to their old habits when they find a leeway to remember, refeel and reorganize their social lives to fulfill their unsatisfied resurfacing desires. Such an opportunity can be triggered by conflict in their families.

Conclusion

Generally, the societal culture which people adopt inspires, channels, and restricts human understanding of sexuality and other social issues such as social coexistence as well. The issue of choosing and or engaging in the practices of the ‘right’ sexuality continues to be contentious. Chances that the solution will be found by mere analysis of the chemical composition of the body may be inadequate. So is the attempt to examine the individual intimate ties of ‘different’ feelings during their early days of development. Men and women alike do not have a mindset that is cast in stone. As human beings become more mature, they open up on their individual sexual experiences.

This exposes them to a variety of information that they can use to reevaluate and change them. Open discussions and a plethora of materials on sexuality, which can be accessed through various media outlets, strengthen the need for social exploration of sexuality issues. Today, more women recognize their ‘bisexuality’ status, a condition that forces them to engage in love affairs with both genders. In a nutshell, sex is an imperative issue in sexuality issues in order to avoid the pitfalls of social construction on sexuality.

References

Bennett, D. (2010). Libidinal economy, prostitution and consumer culture. Textual Practice, 24(1), 93-121.

Edwards, T. (2003). Sex, booze and fags: masculinity, style and men’s magazines. Sociological Review Monograph, 51, 132-146.

Reichert, T., & Lambiase, J. (2005). Sex in consumer culture: the erotic content of media and marketing. New York, NY: Routledge.

Walther, L. (2008). Automatic Lover: Linking Consumer Practice to Cultural Texts about the Vibrator. Advances in Consumer Research – Latin American Conference Proceedings, 2, 221-224.

Zhang, N. (2011). Modern Consumption under Consumer Culture Context and Its Social Function. Sino-US English Teaching, 8(3), 206-210.

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IvyPanda. (2021, April 18). Social Construction of Sexuality: Sex in Consumer Culture. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-construction-of-sexuality-sex-in-consumer-culture/

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1. IvyPanda. "Social Construction of Sexuality: Sex in Consumer Culture." April 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-construction-of-sexuality-sex-in-consumer-culture/.


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IvyPanda. "Social Construction of Sexuality: Sex in Consumer Culture." April 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-construction-of-sexuality-sex-in-consumer-culture/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Social Construction of Sexuality: Sex in Consumer Culture." April 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-construction-of-sexuality-sex-in-consumer-culture/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Social Construction of Sexuality: Sex in Consumer Culture'. 18 April.

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