Gender and sexuality has always been a hot topic of discussion among the people in the society in the present times. Gender basically indicates towards both the men and the women in the society who possess different kinds of characteristics and expectations (Beasley, 2005). Sex is usually concerned with the biological and physiological characteristic features that define a particular man and a woman. With relevance to the gender specification, the sex appeal and the behaviour of the men and the women differ from each other. It is generally accepted that the men and the women to develop some kind of feelings and emotions towards the opposite gender as they grow up gradually.
The principle aim of this entire essay is to focus on the arguments highlighted by several theorists or researchers regarding the evaluation of the actual concept of sexuality and gender and how the society perceive the men and the women. It is being believed by the society that the men are not meant to be monogamous and they need several women to fulfil their desires and sexual needs. As a result many women become the victim of cruel practices such as rape, molestation, sexual violence, etc. due to such men (Elliot, 2010). Hence this essay shares the viewpoints of many historians about how sex is being perceived by both men and women in the society.
In the society it is believed that a man cannot live without a woman. Their expectations are not fixed but they get reinforced or linked up through the social relationships and the political dynamics. As per the opinions of many historians or researchers, men do not have the nature of being monogamous. It is just against the basic nature of the men (Baron and Kotthoff, 2001). Thus the notion of normal masculinity is tied to both the psychological and biological characteristics of rationality.
Sometimes it is the genetic construction that men feel pleased being surrounded by numerous women. The behaviour of being polygamous indeed reflects the lack of normal masculinity characteristics. As the individuals transform into the adults, the people tend to develop certain adult desires of having sex. While gender is divided into masculine and feminine ones, the sex is being segmented into male and female. In the opinion of Baron (2001), sex as female or male is a true biological fact as it refers to the hormonal profiles, human behaviours towards opposite sexes, internal and external sex organs, chromosomes, etc.
This actually has the similar significance in every culture. But in case of gender, it is a sociological concept that refers to the roles and characteristic features of either of the genders which are actually attributed by the culture to their respective sexes. There are other researchers who have explored the true relationship between the gender and sexuality and have argued that the it is not worthy to consider both the facts distinctive as they are intimately related (Joffe and Neil, 2012). Men and women develop a sense of sexuality and they tend to possess distinctive feelings and attraction on each other.
As opined by Kotthoff, (2001), the societies thereby construct the right and wrong processes to behave as men and women and they are characterised by virtue of the right and wrong sexual practices, behaviours and cultures. Psychologists have thereby argued that the fundamental natural function of sex is the reproduction and the activity which cannot encourage reproduction will not be considered as sexual activity.
Due to the differences in the races or culture of the people, the individuals carry certain psychological or physiological characteristics in the blood and as such the cultural differences are carried through (Locke, 1963). Various analogies have been drawn between the men and the women. The genetic similarities within the individuals have been considered to determine the physical similarities among their peers and relatives so as to describe the recurrence of certain illness in the families. The division between the male and the female sexes have been considered into the natural kinds. Various models and experiments have been done by the researchers where the underlying biological facts about the sex are being widely evaluated. The principle issue regarding the distinctive traits of the femininity and masculinity has been examined to be unstable.
It has been witnessed as the individuals step into adolescence, they specially prefer listening to love songs and also sing them to impress or express love to the opposite sexes. Men generally show this kind of attitude quite frequently. From the academic source “Theorizing gender” by Alsop, Fitzsimons and Lennon, (2002), it has been hereby proclaimed that the differences in sex might be natural and it can be considered as a result of early relationship of the individuals with their family or imbibed through the constant interaction with the prevailing society (Joffe and Neil, 2012).
In the view of Coward, (1983), during the last phase of the 19th century, gender and sexuality has become the most discussed debating topic which has tended numerous historians, researchers or theorists to study, analyse and review the actual concept of sexuality in the gender oriented society. On the verge of the book “Sexuality” written by Weeks, (2003), it has been understood that there has always been a constant argument in the society among the theorists regarding “the evolution and development of the various patterns of sexual life”. Hence a question is likely to arise in this respect of whether monogamy as a biological necessity and fact was associated with the lives of the ancestors.
It is opined by Katz, (1995) that heterosexuality is sometimes regarded as the most common urge among the people and the adolescent boys and girls are very much fascinated to it. The inherited chemistry between both the genders has evolved the action of sex or love making as they call it (Gilman, 1998). One of the most predominant philosophers John Locke (1690), has put forward his opinion regarding two ways in which the population of the world can be classified. The men and women are two different natural categories and they have their own significant characteristics and behaviours towards the society. Their ways of interacting with the world is different from each other. In the words of Lloyd, (1984), broad discussion should be made regarding what is actually involved in the male or female.
It has been overviewed that the men of the society are mainly reflected as an autonomous and rational agent who have their significant characteristic features to mark off all the human beings from the “animal world”. In contrast to this, the women possess a definite characteristic where they tend to be more closely oriented with the physical part of the existence. They play an extensive important role of reproducing which the men do not have. This indicates the supreme responsibility of the females to develop the mankind of the society.
According to Lloyd, (2002), sexual attitude and behaviour of the males pose a threat to most of the females nowadays and as a result rate of the rape, sexual violence has increased. It has been quite predominant in the world where both the genders, owing to their hormonal development and sexual attitudes towards each other, engage in sexual relationship with many individuals. A single man tends to have sex with numerous women and vice versa. In the West, however, reproduction is considered as one of the principle customs of the sex in the relationship.
In case of the Christian dominated society, reproduction is the only most important justification of the sexual relationship. In context with the other cultures people sometimes fail to evaluate any connection or link between the procreation and copulation. They do not believe that sexual intercourse is necessary to reproduce. They think that without making babies, sexual relationship can be encouraged. For instance as the Trobriand Islanders has been investigate, it has been assumed that there is no such connection between the intercourse and reproduction. After the entry of the spirit child into the womb of the women, sexual intercourse will be considered as viable and significant. On the other hand, even the blood relationships as mentioned in the book “Sexuality” written by Weeks, (2003) has been recognised as the reason for evolving a desire of sexual relationship with the opposite sexes.
As overviewed in the book “Theorizing gender”, Lennon,(2002) has described that with the advancement of technology and science, the sexual task of maleness and femaleness have been increasingly predominant and is viewed as a “scientific rather than a philosophical one”. For the last two hundred years, various research studies have been made about the sex differences. There have been significant difference between the male and the female in the society. Although the body parts of the men and the women or their characteristic features define actual men and women, it has been reflected in the study that if the male sex organ is removed from the men body, they continue to be men and similarly in case of females if their wombs or breasts are being removed, they will be considered as women.
Hence the differences between them mainly lie on the basis of their psychological and behavioural dispositions that are acknowledged as the constitution of the femininity and masculinity. Restrictions on the men and the women are much common in the society. As argued by Beasley, (2005), there are certain specific restrictions imposed on the females of the society than the males. While men are not restricted or obstructed to have an extra-marital affair or polygamy sex, women are abandoned to commit such stuffs.
Every culture has a different way of accepting males and females in the society. While one culture highlights the importance of sexual relationship by means of reproduction, the other cultures, on the contrary consider sexual relationship as the medium of personal satisfaction and fulfilment of desires (Alsop, Fitzsimons and Lennon, 2002). On the basis of the reproductive roles, the male and female bodies are being distinguished and determined to have a biological base, it was very difficult to make out the differences between the psychological and attitudinal characteristics within the males and the females.
It has been reflected by many potential researchers that sexuality is not generally conceptualised by the mode of the making babies but it is determined by the rhythms of the economic life that showcase the preliminary conditions and also the final limitations for the organizations of the sexual lives of the people. As perceived in the studies, the rate of women getting involved into the married relationships in the paid workforce has increased considerably during the years 1950s and 1960s (Weeks, 2003).
This has extensively affected the domestic life patterns of those women. Sex has become a medium of profession and the women as customers tend to attract the men for having sexual intimacy (Johansson, 2007). In the due course of time, these women face several problems regarding their reproduction or any other health related issues. It also hampers the lifestyle and attitudes of the women consumers.
As opined by Lloyd, (1984), the actual form of the regulation of sexuality rests upon the autonomy. Based on the religion, castes, the sexual lives of the people are being regulated\. Sex is not something that the individuals are born with. It is something that the parents and the doctors assign the individuals during their birth. It is a much common topic to confuse people regarding the true concepts of gender and biological sex. Gender is mainly concerned with the social, biological, economic and legal status through which men and women can be justified or identified. As opined by Beasley, (2005) people consider their gender identity as their innermost feeling that they develop about their individual sex and gender. The people who conflict with their biological sex, in spite of having their own gender identity are termed as the transgender (Elliot, 2010).
Over the past years, debates have been raised based on the sexual issue of feminism (Lloyd, 2002). As per the opinion of Goldberg, (1974), men always tend to dominate the women than the women do. It is quite broadly mentioned in the book “The Inevitability of Patriarchy” that the higher tendency among the men to dominate the women is the cause of their male hormones. Testosterone, as it is called, is the most significant reason which controls the internal hormonal mechanism within the body of the males. Thus it can be said that all the societies need to make certain specific arrangements for evaluating the erotic lives of the people. sexuality is a moral concern and needs to be perceived distinctively to the gender (Baron and Kotthoff, 2001).
Though it is true that gender and sexuality are two different concepts, yet it can be said that gender is the social construct but sex is the biological reality that actually is inherited by the individuals during their birth time. As the men and women grow and attain maturity, they develop some kind of feelings or desires of having close or intimate with the opposite sexes. The choices and preferences of the male and the females also are perceived to change as they grow up. From the overall study it has been broadly evaluated that gender can be changed but sex cannot be changed (Alsop, Fitzsimons and Lennon, 2002).
Even after the sex organs are removed from the body of the male and female, they are considered to be the same. People in the society need to develop their concepts and widen their ideas about what sex really is. The concept of biology must not be ignored or misunderstood. The biological sex actually identifies the individuals whether they are males, females or intersex. The individuals’ anatomy, hormones and the chromosomes signify the biological sex. As reviewed in the study, each culture has certain standards or ethical norms to acknowledge that people must perceive their culture or behave on the basis of their gender.
Alsop, R., Fitzsimons, A. and Lennon, K. (2002). Theorizing gender. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Baron, B. and Kotthoff, H. (2001). Gender in interaction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Pub.
Beasley, C. (2005). Gender & sexuality. London: SAGE.
Coward, R. (1983). Patriarchal precedents. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Dixon, W. (2003). Straight. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Elliot, P. (2010). Debates in transgender, queer, and feminist theory. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
Gilman, S. (1998). Love+marriage=death. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
Goldberg, S. (1974). The inevitability of patriarchy. New York: W. Morrow.
Hannam, J. (2007). Feminism. Harlow, England: Pearson/Longman.
Joffe, L. and Neil, S. (2012). Gender, religion, and family law. Waltham, Mass.: Brandeis University Press.
Johansson, T. (2007). The transformation of sexuality. Aldershot, England: Ashgate.
Katz, J. (1995). The invention of heterosexuality. New York: Dutton.
Lloyd, G. (1984). The man of reason. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Lloyd, G. (2002). Feminism and history of philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Locke, J. (1963). The works of John Locke. Darmstadt, Germany: Scientia Verlag.
Masters, W., Johnson, V. and Kolodny, R. (1994). Heterosexuality. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Stein, M. (2004). Encyclopedia of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history in America. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons/Thomson/Gale.
Weeks, J. (2003). Sexuality. London: Routledge.
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