Sex Gender Sexuality Sex, Gender and Sexuality Essay

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Sex Gender Sexuality

Sex, gender and sexuality are issues that have been thoroughly explored in various field including criminology, psychology and sociology. The research has revealed important facts related to how sex, gender and sexuality are viewed in society. The purpose of this discussion is to explore Sex, gender and sexuality from a sociological perspective and evaluate the implications for criminology.

Sex, gender and sexuality

According to an article entitled "Sex, Gender and Sexuality," "medical and scientific definitions of male and female are still incomplete. Interestingly, sex is still defined by the gonads. Stedman's Medical Dictionary (2001) defines female as "denoting the sex that bears the young or the ovum" and male as "denoting the sex to which those belong that produce spermatozoa." Women who have had oophorectomies are still considered female. Similarly, men with azoospermia are considered male because, according to the definition, they belong to the sex that normally does produce sperm." Although this is a standard definition related to defining both sexes that are a significant number of children born each year with ambigous genitalia. In such instances sex is often determined by hormonal levels as opposed to genitalia. On the other hand, gender is defined as the difference between masculine and feminine. Gender concerns itself with the psychological aspect of sex identity. Sexuality is defined as actions related to engaging in sexual acts. In addition sexuality is associated with gender organization. In fact McCabe et al. 2010 explain that

"Past research, conducted primarily in the United States, has highlighted the impact of gender on sexual behavior and socialization processes as well as the power of gender to organize social systems, including politics, work, law, education, and sex (Schwartz and Rutter 1998). In relation to sexuality, it is suggested that "gender centrally organizes almost all aspects of sexual behavior and crosscuts all the other social categories (McCabe et al. 2010, 253)."

The authors also explain that women and men often have different sexual behaviors and sexual practices.
Men and women also understand their action form differing normative stances (Laumann and Mahay 2002, p.43). The differences between men and women usually involve sex drive, number of partners importance of loss of virginity, and overall attitudes about sex. In addition research has revealed that the sexes differ as it pertains to the motivations for having sex. For instance men's motivation for sex tends to be pleasure/physical and social status. On the contrary women tend to be motivated by emotion. The authors also report that "individuals' self reports of their endorsement of gender norms have implications for aspects of sexuality, including overall sexual satisfaction (Sanchez et al. 2005) and condom use (Shearer et al. 2005). In sum, the social construction of gender contributes to the social construction of appropriate sexual behaviors which differ for men and women (McCabe et al. 2010, 253)."

The difference between men and women as it pertains to the manner in which sexuality is expressed also has implications in the field of criminology. More specifically differences in the manner in which sexuality is expressed impacts how men and women view rape. For instance, Honkatukia (2001) explains that women can view a sexual encounter as a violent rape while men would view the same encounter as nothing more than rough sex. This can be attributed to the aforementioned motivations for why men have sex and the manner in which these motivations differ from the motivations of women.

This creates real dilemmas in the area of criminology as it pertains to the rape.….....

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