Whats Sex Got To With… Final Concept Analysis

Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victimWhat does sex have to do with the understanding and knowledge of sexual assault and rape on college campuses, especially here at Vanderbilt. Many people claim they know what sexual assault, sexual battery and rape are,but in reality, not many people know exactly what they all are. As incoming students we are required to do both Alcohol Edu and the PETSA module, but they are often seen as stupid things that get in the way of our last few days of summer vacation before going off to school. To add to this, if you do your PETSA module early enough, you may forget all about it by the time school even starts!

According to the FBI, the definition of rape is: penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. Not many people could give you this exact answer when they are asked, and I think that could probably be a red flag. Also, this definition is somewhat geared towards male dominance- the definition could always be tweaked and loopholes can always be found. As we watched and listened to our classmates give their final group presentations, we saw definitions of rape and sexual assault that were more extensive than the one shown above from the FBI. When representatives of Project Safe came and spoke to our class, Kara beamed with pride as she spoke about the 23 page definition of rape she worked to come up with among other colleagues. No one is really going to read a 23 page definition of rape, as it most likely will be far too in depth and intricate for a reader of our age to sustain his or her attention.

I think that the topic of sexual assault and rape was one of the important topics we covered this semester because it is the topic we encounter most, especially in college, and it is a topic that frankly students know almost nothing about. Here at Vanderbilt, we have a program called Freshman Visions, and to be completely honest, I learned almost nothing by sitting in that class.  No one spoke about the real thing everyone was concerned and had questions about: sex, rape, and nightlife. We spoke about classes every week, and the same answers were repeated every time. Not once did we talk about rape or anything regarding sexual education and safety… not once! For the future, I think it should be that all freshman must go through a class similar to Visions, but instead have it be regarding the topics of sex, rape and sexual assault awareness, and night/ weekend life safety. I feel that people here need to be more educated about such serious and relevant topics, and a program like I just brought up would serve a much greater purpose and would resonate a lot better than visions would.

What’s Sex Got to Do With Cards?

We all know everything there is to know about straight people. They’re everywhere. Gay men and lesbian women … we know a little about them. Enough to get by, or at least not to horribly offend someone. Queer people… (is that term not offensive anymore???). Bisexual women are hot, obviously. Threesomes, am I right? But what if the person who is bisexual is… a MAN!?

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Being a Stud vs. Being a Slut……

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One of the most important takeaways from this article is the use of people centered language. I find it really interesting that the people don’t see the differences in language that demonize women for their sexuality. Woman a forced into a condition of either being a virgin or a prude or they are considered slutty for having sex. Meanwhile, men have a really opposite experience. Men who don’t have sex are seen as inadequate or undesired but when they do they are praised for their cunning, charm and more. The double standard is more favorable towards men because men at least have an option for positive regard while woman are, metaphorically speaking, in between “a rock and a hard place”.  Because of these ideas, it creates a situation for women where they feel they need to rationalize every sexual act they participate in or they internalize the double standard and begin to identify themselves as sluts. It’s very sad to see how the double standard affects the women’s own perception of their sexuality.

Another problem that I gauged from the double standard is that women are generally thought as to be a docile, submissive, “prey”. I this belief emerges from the Bible and other similar religions. In Christianity, the bible says that men are the head of the household and that women should follow the orders of their husbands. Although many of these ideas may seem outdates, remnants of these ideas exist in the way we behave. Our attitudes in society have a narrative that girls are need to be led astray by a man to let go of her values and have sex when in actuality a girl is acting on her sexual impulses just as much as a man would. This also eliminates the narrative that women can prey on men or be dominant of their sexual acts.

The double standard is very dangerous because it also eliminates the narrative of male rape. If men are always preying on women, the idea that men can be raped by women is impossible. However, we know that male rape is something that happens in our society. This is very dangerous because rape has been a crime that has been thought as only being a crime against women. In recent years, this idea has changed but it’s very alarming to think that it’s only been in recent years that this mentality that women were incapable of rape still existed. Having a double standard that paints a group as weaker than the other can really limit the protections afforded to the dominant group.

An interesting point that the article made was about woman’s bodies being constantly under a state of “conquest”. This statement was pretty profound, however, it resonated with me because it’s true. Woman are constantly at odds with different groups in society who are trying to colonize their bodies for their individual interests. All of these acts by these different interest groups are groups trying to exert their power against women as if women are not able to control what happens with their own bodies.  I find it very insulting that these double standards exist because it implies that women in my life like my mother and sisters do not know what to do with their bodies and I know that they do.

I also thought the commentary the author made about heterosexual sex was the only kind of real sex that existed is a sentiment that is really pervasive today. There is a very specific definition of “sex” in our society that is very heteronormative. If I could ask the author of this article a question it would be, “How can we define sex in a way that in gender neutral?” Defining sex as something that is gender neutral would be very beneficial because I think it may help with language around dominance and submission.  For example, if sex was defined as an exchange between two people rather than a man preying on a woman, then it would really remove the assumption of a gender power dynamic.

The purpose of this article was made clear in the final paragraph. Valenti wrote this article as a call to action. As a man, reading this article was very impactful. I was unaware of the impact my double standards could have on women and how they experience the world. There are a lot of changes I can make to ensure that I do not reinforce double standards with my language and actions.

I think it is very important for people to read articles like this because they can really enlighten people and change their perspectives. We are all human beings and deserve to be afforded the same rights regardless of people’s varying beliefs. Although this idea seems like common sense, there is going to have to be a lot of explicit education and changes in the representation of women in media. Woman need to be represented in media as positive, powerful icons rather than images that reinforce these sexist ideals.

If I had to ask some questions from this article, I would ask:

How can we remove the notion of “purity” around women since it is so deeply rooted in religion?

How does this affect women who want to uphold traditions of virginity until marriage?

What are ways that larger populations of people can be made aware of how these double standards affect women?

Resources

http://www.alternet.org/story/86736/he%27s_a_stud,_she%27s_a_slut%3A_the_sexual_double_standard

What’s Sex Got to Do With Intersectional Identities? Final Reflection

Throughout this semester, we have looked at several concepts that shape and help us to understand what is going on in our world regarding sex and how we view it. However, I believe the most important concept that we have studied to be intersectionality.

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What’s Sex Got to Do With Usher?

Usher has imparted many #1 hits unto the world. From “U Make Me Wanna” to “Confessions” to “OMG,” Usher has graced us with not only his voice, but also his softer, more emotional side. However, what happens when Usher switches gears and speaks about his relationship… with a stripper!?

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Proper Condom Use

What do you use condoms for?  Do you use them to prevent pregnant? Prevent STDs/STIs?  Do you ever think that condoms interfere with the pleasure of having sex?  Do they ruin the romance of sex?

Peter Chua’s article Condoms in the Global Economy help us understand condom use by focusing on the use of condom among different groups.  Especially town particular, at risk, groups, such as gay mean and young women.  Researchers have sought to understand the social factors that prevent condom use; this includes the study of the role that education and public information that is available.  With this public and private agencies can minimize unwanted pregnancies and disease (509).

Here’s an example of sex education being wanted because the adults of South Park don’t want their kids to learned about sex from the television:

http://southpark.cc.com/clips/152837/sex-education Continue reading

What’s Sex got to do with…. Marriage?

According to Erica Hunter marriage is a “legal and social contract, and an institution that includes romance and weddings that reinforce gender roles and heterosexuality” (Hunter 308).  Is that really the case now though? I think not.

Hunter explains that marriage provides a lot of couples with many personal benefits as well as a marker of transition to adulthood.  With that, marriage helps legitimate heterosexual relationships because the relationships between marriage and sexuality is created and maintained through gender expectations and roles.  Heterosexual marriage is celebrated in our society and is sitting at an outstanding 90% of population that will be married in their lives (Hunter 309).  This clearly shows how marriage is an institution that reinforces the idea that heterosexuality is the way to be.

Nonethess, over time marriage has drastically changed.  One of the main differences is that same-sex couples are now allowed to marry.  In 35 states: AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, ID, IA, IL, IN, KS, ME, MD, MA, MN, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV, WI, and WY, plus Washington, D.C. and St. Louis, Missouri – same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.  Below is a map that explain it in detail. Continue reading

What’s Sex Got to do With Hooking Up?

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Sex and hooking up are terms that are synonymous in many ways while at the same time meaning entirely different ideas. In today’s world, hookup culture is the standard, sex has taken the idea of allowing a person to be sexual without being in love, meaning sex has nothing to do with love or getting to know someone personally it’s all about the end results. In my earlier years of life I remember no one ever talked about having sex. If someone liked someone they would write love letters, talk on the phone for hours at night, put that person they liked first by either holding doors open, or even allowing their partner to meet their family. Today’s society has a completely different outlook on what it means to like someone. For example, hookup culture has become the approach of easy access to sex. Because hookup culture is so powerful in today’s society, many people would say that it has ruined the dating scene. Although, the idea of hookup culture is alive in the world, I believe that “hookup culture” isn’t real. Meaning that people use this term to protect themselves from being called other names, “it’s all a part of the hookup culture.”  Hook up culture is also a way that a lot of people commodotize their bodies in exchange for love. A lot of people feel like they are forced to hook up or they won’t be appealing to people who they are attracted to. For example, hook up culture at Vanderbilt has really dismantled the dating scene and it’s very seldom that one sees a couple on campus. On the other hand, frat parties are a breeding ground for hook ups and you can expect to see at least one couple hooking up at a party.

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How do we know if hook up culture is desired by students or if students want a stronger dating scene?

How can we combat hook up culture?

Does hook up culture create an environment conducive to sexual assault?