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M Nichols Academic Research Presentation-Regulating Marriage and Sexual Behavior

Examining how and why society tried to regulate marriage and sexual behavior.

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M Nichols Academic Research Presentation-Regulating Marriage and Sexual Behavior

  1. 1. Why Does Society CareAbout Regulating Marriage and Sexual Behavior? By Milena Nichols WRTG 3020 Spring 2011
  2. 2. Introduction• I wrote this presentation to examine why society cares so much about regulating marriage and sexual behavior.• The larger goal of this presentation is to expand upon what we know about gender and sexual orientation and how we know this.
  3. 3. Outline Why regulate sexual behavior and marriage?• How society regulates sexual behavior and marriage: • Look at boundaries of sex and marriage. • What are the social mechanisms of control.• Why society regulates: • Examine social and cultural constructs of “normalcy”. • Find the hierarchy & categorization of sexual behavior.• Will society ever stop caring about regulating sexual behavior?• How does this tie into what we know about gender and sexual orientation?
  4. 4. Academic Sources Used: • Jane Ussher’s Sexual Science and the Law: Regulating Sex--Reifying the Power of the Heterosexual Man from the 1997 book Fantasies of Femininity: Reframing the Boundaries of Sex. • Michael Warner’s 1999 book The Trouble with Normal: Sex Politics and the Ethics of Queer Life.
  5. 5. Before we can look at whysociety regulates marriage and sexual behavior, we must first understand how society regulates sexual behavior and marriage.
  6. 6. What is Sex?How do you define sex?
  7. 7. Definitions of Sex:• Penetration in vaginal intercourse.• Engaging in sexual relations or sexual coupling.• Coitus (another word for sex).• What about masturbation, rubbing together, oral stimulation, and anal stimulation?
  8. 8. What is legal, in terms of sex, within the United States?
  9. 9. • The only form of sex that is legal within all 50 states in the United States is:• “The placement of the penis in the vagina in wedlock.”
  10. 10. How is marriage defined?
  11. 11. Marriage• Within the US: • The legal and/or religious ceremony between a man and a woman that formalizes their relationship in the eyes of the law.• Common Law: • A marriage or legal ceremony for any “others” than man and woman.
  12. 12. “The law frames heterosexualintercourse as normal and legal... [therefore] marriage, the bedrock of social order, is a relationship that can take place only between a man and a woman.” -Ussher
  13. 13. • Both sexual laws and marriage are gendered around the idea of the powerful male phallus and the passive sexuality of the woman.• If marriage between a man and a woman is “normal” then anything else is “abnormal” or “other”.• Turns “other” behavior into social or sexual deviancy.
  14. 14. Why is this important?• If people are involved in a relationship in a place where it is a crime to live together and have a sexual relationship outside of marriage: child custody laws, tax laws, healthcare, benefits, jobs and property laws can exclude you for doing something illegal.
  15. 15. Here’s an example:
  16. 16. Using definitions of sex and marriage asmechanisms of control:
  17. 17. Social Control•Classifying some sexualbehavior as criminal.•Shame and stigmatization.•Trying to regulate others.•Trying to prove thathomosexuality is genetic.•Not giving all people thesame laws.•Denying sexual freedom.
  18. 18. “Normal” vs. “Other”
  19. 19. If only sex between men and women is legal --anything else is abnormal if it does not fit within approved standards. • Normal sex is also know as “Vanilla Sex”: between a male and a female, only vaginal penetration and in the missionary position.
  20. 20. Who gave the power to those who are “normal”?
  21. 21. Who gave the power to those who are “normal”? We Did.
  22. 22. Through our...
  23. 23. Through our... • Religious background: • Biblical authority prohibits: autoeroticism, sodomy, extramarital sex and birth control. • “Moralism”: • When sexual practices are mandated for everyone. Classifies people who disobey as sexual dissidents who are immoral, criminal or pathological. • Genetics: • When searching for gay gene, means only genetic sexuality is legitimate.
  24. 24. • What happens to people who are told that they are doing something “abnormal”? • Shame • Stigmas • Hierarchies
  25. 25. • What happens to people who are told that they are doing something “abnormal”? • Shame • Stigmas Are Created • Hierarchies
  26. 26. • What happens to people who are told that they are doing something “abnormal”? • Shame • Stigmas Are Created • Hierarchies
  27. 27. • What happens to people who are told that they are doing something “abnormal”? • Shame • Stigmas Are Created • Hierarchies
  28. 28. • What happens to people who are told that they are doing something “abnormal”? • Shame • Stigmas Are Created • Hierarchies
  29. 29. Power of Shame• Leads to isolation.• Concept of being “closeted” as a homosexual.• Stigmatization and separation within society.• Fear.
  30. 30. It’s not just the US...
  31. 31. It’s not just the US...• Athenian philosopher Diogenes found that the sexual shame around masturbation was hypocritical and a denial of human nature...
  32. 32. It’s not just the US...• Athenian philosopher Diogenes found that the sexual shame around masturbation was hypocritical and a denial of human nature...• Therefore “to dramatize the problem: he masturbated in the marketplace.” -Warner
  33. 33. It’s not just the US...• Athenian philosopher Diogenes found that the sexual shame around masturbation was hypocritical and a denial of human nature...• Therefore “to dramatize the problem: he masturbated in the marketplace.” -Warner• While this is funny, it illustrates an ongoing problem surrounding shame in our world.
  34. 34. Shame takes the power away from thedisadvantaged group andgives it to the “normal”...
  35. 35. Shame takes the power away from thedisadvantaged group andgives it to the “normal”...Power to impose more standards on others: Hetero-Domination
  36. 36. Hetero-Domination and Power Create Social Hierarchies:
  37. 37. Hetero-Domination and Power Create Social Hierarchies:
  38. 38. Hetero-Domination and Power Create Social Hierarchies:POWER:
  39. 39. Hetero-Domination and Power Create Social Hierarchies:POWER:
  40. 40. Hetero-Domination and Power Create Social Hierarchies: HeterosexualPOWER:
  41. 41. Hetero-Domination and Power Create Social Hierarchies: HeterosexualPOWER: Homosexual
  42. 42. Hetero-Domination and Power Create Social Hierarchies: HeterosexualPOWER: Homosexual Bi-sexual
  43. 43. Hetero-Domination and Power Create Social Hierarchies: HeterosexualPOWER: Homosexual Bi-sexual Trans-sexual
  44. 44. Hetero-Domination and Power Create Social Hierarchies: HeterosexualPOWER: Homosexual Bi-sexual Trans-sexual Other...
  45. 45. Hierarchy:
  46. 46. Good, Normal, Natural:
  47. 47. Good, Normal, Natural: Bad, Abnormal, Unnatural:
  48. 48. Good, Normal, Natural: Bad, Abnormal, Unnatural: Heterosexual Married Monogamous Procreative Noncommerical In Pairs In a Relationship Same Generation In Private No Pornography Bodies Only Vanilla Sex
  49. 49. Good, Normal, Natural: Bad, Abnormal, Unnatural: Heterosexual Homosexual Married Unmarried Monogamous Promiscuous Procreative Nonprocreative Noncommerical Commerical In Pairs Alone/In Groups In a Relationship Casual Same Generation Cross-Generational In Private In Public No Pornography Pornography Bodies Only With Manufactured Objects Vanilla Sex Sadomasochistic
  50. 50. So we have thesehierarchies, but why regulate others?
  51. 51. • Some want identity norms.• The idea of other sexual interactions make some people uncomfortable.• “[Same-sex marriage] demeans the institution...” -Hyde, Republican Congressman
  52. 52. Why Regulate?• Personal comfort.• Religious background.• Believe that marriage is “sacred” as is.• Place stigmas on “others”.• Would like to repress sexual deviancy.
  53. 53. vs.
  54. 54. andvs.
  55. 55. Will society ever stoptrying to regulate sexuality and marriage?
  56. 56. What do you think?
  57. 57. What do you think? Who will decide?
  58. 58. us?
  59. 59. us? them?
  60. 60. us? them?
  61. 61. What does socialregulation tell us about what we know about gender and sexual behavior?
  62. 62. What we know about gender and sexual orientation... • Comes from religious background. • Is hierarchical based upon categorization of “normal” and “other”. • Is defended by out-dated laws. • Lives on through fear.
  63. 63. The question is...What do you think isnormal, acceptable, moral?
  64. 64. Am I?
  65. 65. Am I? Are you?
  66. 66. Am I? Are you? Are they?
  67. 67. Am I? Are you? Are they?
  68. 68. Am I? Are you? Are they?
  69. 69. Am I? Are you? Are they?
  70. 70. Thank You.All images are from public searches on Google.com

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