Discussion: Gender, Culture, and Sexuality
Sexual behavior is a highly controversial topic. Different cultural groups have varying beliefs on the appropriateness and morality of various sexual behaviors, when these behaviors should occur and with whom, the age at which sexual behavior should occur, and so forth. Sexual behavior is a common topic in religion, politics, and education, and is also based on cultural and religious belief systems where accepting differences in others’ sexual behavior is typically difficult, if not impossible, for some.
Not only are there differing religious and cultural views on sexuality but there are different views and perceptions on gender-related aspects of sexuality within almost all religious and cultural groups. For example, in some cultures, prepubescent, same-sex experimentation is expected and encouraged prior to adulthood, whereas this behavior is perceived as abnormal and condemned in most Western societies. In some cultures, women are perceived as having a much lower sex drive than men and older adults may be perceived as having no sex drive at all. As with any perception, when society acts on an assumption, people are impacted. As a simple example, if you assume that older adults do not have sex and construct barriers for sexual activity in assisted living facilities, the mental well-being of the residents in that facility may be affected. Understanding the differences in sexuality in different cultural groups is an important aspect of understanding the whole person.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review Chapter 10 in the course text, Gender: Psychological Perspectives. Focus on what the various studies and assessment results say about gender differences related to sexuality.
- Select a culture that is not your own. Remember that culture includes age, religion, sexual orientation, etc., as well as race and ethnicity. Find at least one article that describes a gender-related aspect of sexuality in this culture and compare it to your own culture. That is, think about what is similar and what is different between this culture and your own when considering gender differences and sexuality.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 3
Post a brief description of the culture you have selected, and briefly describe your own culture. Then, compare (similarities and differences) a gender-related difference in these two cultures related to an aspect of sexuality. What does the research have to say about gender differences related to sexuality? What did you find surprising about the research and why?
Note: Put the cultures you are comparing in the first line of your post. You will be asked to respond to a colleague who compared at least one culture that is different from the ones you did.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.