Sexual Education Essay

Pages: 5 (1556 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

¶ … sexual variation, many individuals throughout the world would deem the study of homosexuality as the examination of sexual deviance. As a result of seeing homosexuality as deviant, it leads many individuals around the globe to treat homosexuals with inhumanity and outright abusive behavior. According to a recent study by Amnesty International, homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender individuals are the victims of routine abuse by the very entities which are supposed to be protecting its citizens. Young gay men and advocates in Chicago reported to Amnesty International that it was commonplace for a Chicago police officer to "remove his badge, gun and belt and then beat you unless you give him a blowjob, after which he'll just leave you there" ("Amnesty International report reveals alarming and widespread police mistreatment of gays in USA," 2005). Homosexuals are even treated with inhumanity by their own family as noted by a young Armenian who faced familial exile for his sexuality: "When my parents learned that I was homosexual, they first beat me and then kicked me out," Armen, a 22-year-old Yerevan resident who works as a teacher (Grigoryan, 2010). Furthermore, in the United States, many people believe that homosexuals are child molesters: "…(in) a 1999 national poll, the belief that most gay men are likely to molest or abuse children was endorsed by…19% of heterosexual men and 10% of heterosexual women" (Herek, 2009).Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on Sexual Education Assignment

As a promoter of human rights, including the rights of gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals, I could easily just conclude that these people whom discriminate, mistreat, and abuse others on the basis of a person's sexuality or even perceived sexuality are the deviant ones. However, a more reflective approach calls for an understanding of the articles reviewed herein. Through education and intelligent discourse with those whom see homosexuality as deviant, we can use the truth of sexual variation to move toward a modern and human approach to sexuality wherein homosexuals do not have to fear the police, do not fear telling his or her parents of his or her sexual orientation, or fear being mislabeled as criminals solely upon his or her sexual identity.

In the book the Construction of Homosexuality by David F. Greenberg, the author explores the evolution of sexual asceticism in the ancient world and, specifically, provides a thorough examination of how homosexuality went from being widely accepted and practiced in the ancient world to being treated with absolute intolerance. In the latter part of the second Century, homosexuality was not deemed illegal (Greenberg, 1998, p.228). However, Greenberg explains that in the third and fourth centuries, the spread of asceticism revealed itself in an overall hostility toward sexual pleasure (Greenberg, 1988, p.215). Greenberg sets forth several reasons for the spread of hostility toward sexual pleasure and homosexuality: (1) a decrease in polytheistic religions which accepted "sexual magic," (2) an increase in wealth disparity which lead the poor to be upset by the hedonism of the richer classes, (3) the disengagement of the people with politics lead to an overall disengagement with regard to pleasure, and (4) catastrophic wars during this period lead to a decrease in focus upon human pleasure altogether. As a result of the foregoing events, political leaders, many of whom were also leaders in the Christian faith, began expressing disdain toward prostitution, pedastry, and homosexuality or, in other words, any type of sex for reasons other than procreation (215).

In leading the masses to disavow his or her sexuality, Christian leaders did not use scripture like scripture is used today to denounce sexuality. Rather, the denouncement of homosexuality derived more from the Greek philosophies of Stoicism and Neo-platonism wherein procreation between a man and woman as husband and wife constituted the only legitimate form of sexuality (219). The masses bought into much of which their leaders promulgated because they were in the midst of economic crisis and sexual posterity and purity provided a means by which they might be able to improve his or her world (220). This overall disdain toward homosexuality culminated in the ancient world in 529 a.D. with Justinian's Code wherein homosexuals were actually executed upon a repeat offense for sexuality (229). Thus, it appears that the modern world is not unlike the ancient world because they both treat homosexuals like deviants and criminals. Perhaps, the strongest message we can take from this information is that we must be suspicious of leaders whom possess intolerance and misunderstanding of sexual variance. If the history of the ancient world tells us anything, it tells us that people will readily buy into governmental dictates, even when said dictates treat an entire population with anything less than a perspective of love and not judgment.

In "Sexual Taboos and Social Boundaries" by Christie Davies, she moves from an historical analysis to a socio-political analysis of the reasoning behind the maltreatment of homosexuality. Davies asserts that societies have placed severe penalties upon sexual variations such as homosexuality due to that society's need to confirm established boundaries (Davis, 1982, pp.1035-1036). For instance, the Jews set severe penalties for homosexuals due to the Jews desire to confirm its own boundaries and identities and to set forth the Jews as the other, more advanced civilization (1035, 1038).

Accordingly Davies asserts that there are instances wherein sexual variance does not comply with that society's particular values. If this is the case, then the sexual variance may readily be deemed illegal by those individuals whom seek to maintain the status quo. In applying Davies' theory to homosexuality today, we can see instances wherein different political groups persecute gays; and, it very well may be as a result society's failure to see that legalization of such behavior will not lead to social breakdown as we know it.

While the first article focuses upon an historical perspective and the second article focuses upon a sociopolitical origin of hatred and misunderstanding toward homosexuality, the final article reviewed, "Thinking Sex: Notes on a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality" by Gloria Rubin, sets forth several meaningful yet controversial propositions relating to the politics of homosexuality. Rubin explains that sex is utilized as a political agent as a means of implementing repression as well as to create dominance in today's western society. By closely examining sexuality in the modern era, she demonstrates and exposes the hypocrisy and subjugation which demeans and, moreover, victimizes those who possess sexual variation (Rubin, 1992, pp.275-276). Rubin explains that each time period has social norms. In Western society, sexuality has predominantly been seen as a monogamous activity done for the purposes of reproduction. Hence, anything that goes outside this is going against the societal norm. When sex is defined this way, sexuality becomes an essentially "human product" (Rubin, 1992, 227). However, Rubin promulgates the theory referred to as "sexual essentialism" which provides that sex is "a natural force that exists prior to social life and shapes institutions" (275). Rubin's theory of sexual essentialism is a powerful one since it is important for people to see that homosexuality is normal, not deviant and it is natural, not learned behavior. For instance, if sex then is a "natural force," then we must think of homosexuality as something that occurs naturally. To do this would contradict much of the underlying stereotypes of homosexuality such as, "Homosexuality is a learned behavior and can therefore be fixed."

Ultimately, Rubin uses her analysis of the treatment of homosexuality and other sexual variations to contend that sexual variation is a political issue, much like gender is a political concern. This is because with regard to sexuality, political systems and societies organize themselves into systems of power wherein some individuals and activities thrive while others are punished and suppressed. Rubin claims that members of sexually variant groups have struggled with obtaining power in societies across the globe. Indeed, I… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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