Monday, August 12, 2019

Ommunicating sexuality Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 words

Ommunicating sexuality - Essay Example Until 1985, the definition of heterosexuality inferred that to be a heterosexual was natural. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary of 1970 defined heterosexual as â€Å"pertaining to or characterized by the normal relations of the sexes† (Sullivan 2003, p. 119). In its 1985 publication, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defined the term heterosexual as involving and relating to â€Å"or characterized by a sexual propensity for the opposite sex† (Sullivan, p. 119). All indications are that the roots of prejudice against bisexuals and homosexuals are tied to the presumption that heterosexuality by definition is normal. By implication, the definition of heterosexuality means that any sexual identity that is not heterosexual in nature is decidedly abnormal. Despite this modification of the definition of heterosexuality, Western society for the most part continues to adhere to the belief that heterosexuality is the â€Å"norm† with the result that â€Å"homosexual relations are stigmatized† (Caplan 1987, p. 2). Caplan explains: Nonconformity to the norms of heterosexuality threatens the dominant ideology’s view of sex as ‘innate’ and ‘natural’ (Caplan 1987, p. 2). Therefore both historically and culturally, we live in and are exposed to a heterosexually driven world which forms the basis of the popular understanding of human sexuality. ... ern society for the most part continues to adhere to the belief that heterosexuality is the â€Å"norm† with the result that â€Å"homosexual relations are stigmatized† (Caplan 1987, p. 2). Caplan explains: Nonconformity to the norms of heterosexuality threatens the dominant ideology’s view of sex as ‘innate’ and ‘natural’ (Caplan 1987, p. 2). Therefore both historically and culturally, we live in and are exposed to a heterosexually driven world which forms the basis of the popular understanding of human sexuality. Essentially, that understanding for the most part is that heterosexuality is the ideal sexual identity. The construction of this normative heterosexual world was tested by Kitzinger (2006, p. 169) who analysed a series of conversations harvested by conversation analysts over approximately twenty years. The result was that co-conversationalists took for granted that the world was predominantly heterosexual. Regardless of their own sexual preferences or sexual identity, the co-conversationalists reflected and reproduced â€Å"a profoundly heterosexual social order† (Kitzinger 2006, p. 169). It would therefore appear that even homosexuals and bisexuals have resolved that heterosexuality is the norm. As a dominant norm, heterosexuality is â€Å"ageless† (Katz 2007, p. 8). In other words, historically, heterosexuality marked the underpinnings of sexual identity. Essentially, the male dominated institutions previously functioned to align heterosexuality with masculinity. This heterosexual masculinity is hegemonic and functioned to perpetuate an ideology which not only defines, but also sets standards for the sexuality of both young women and men (Holland, Ramazanoglu, Sharpe and Thompson 1998, p. 13). This historical and cultural background accounts for the

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