Hooking Up

Since when did people start using the term “hooking up”? For as long as I can remember, people have used the phrase “hooking up” to refer to having a sexual encounter with another person. On the other hand, neither of my parents had heard of it before my generation. Where did the word even come from? To start, I think the term may have been developed to give people the luxury of being vague about a sexual experience. As younger and younger people started having some type of sexual experience earlier and earlier in life, a maturity issue must have been developing. These boys or girls are not at the age where they are comfortable talking about the actions that they are performing. This lack of maturity was the reason the word hooking up was even made.

The word eventually blew up into a term used on a daily bases. It would be hard for a sentence to be said without using the word hooking up. Nowadays, hooking up is one of the most talked about things on college campuses. The consequences however are what needs to be talked about. Hooking up made definitions and sexual acts so vague that interpretations can be made from extreme to boring. False rumors get spread that can make a girl regret trusting anyone. The world hooking up is dangerous to the mental health of teens.

To further understand hooking up, I think who we “hook up” with needs to be talked about. In most cases, heteronormative stances occupy the social aspect that is hooking up. Thus, shaming and diminishing the queer movement. Homophobic tendencies controlled the means in which hooking up was used, turning it into a danger. Hooking up never meant to be a word that sparked controversy into the gay community. Although people knew this, the LGBTQI community felt disrespected.

How Shonda Rhimes is Changing Television for the Better

Over the past decade, Shonda Rhimes has changed how women and minorities are perceived on television, and as a result, in society as a whole. She continuously tackles the concepts of power and sexuality through steamy and intimate scenes in her show “Scandal” demonstrating that it is no longer a heternormative, white man’s world.

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Final Reflection: A Post on Society & Sex

Upon being asked the question of what the most important and influential concept to understanding the relationship between sex and society covered in this semester, I began to think about all the different concepts talked and read about in class. When thinking about everything, I began to see connections between different terms that came up throughout the semester that were discussed that I had never seen before. The concepts are all fairly different, yet are all still related in some ways because of the manner that society has been formed over the years. Agents of socialization, sex education, social constructions, and heteronormativity have all become interconnected, creating an environment of hostility towards people who do not identify as heterosexual.

The agents of socialization people are exposed to impact their views on everything in life. However, their views on sex are affected more so than some other aspects of life are. The socialization of sex and sex education has a more prevalent impact on how a person forms their ideas and views on sex. The environment a person was raised in, their religion, schooling experience, family, friends, and the media all heavily influence the formation of what sex means and should mean to a person. But, this can be dangerous- with the amount of societal constructions (such as what “good” or “normal” sex is, gender, etc.)  that exist today, it is easy for the manner in which a person was socialized to negatively affect their views on sex or gender. For example, many religions do not condone homosexuality, so if someone is raised in that environment, it is likely they would judge and discriminate anyone who is homosexual.

SInce gender is a social construction, it easy to stereotype and discriminate against those who do not fit into the gender binaries that exist today (boy and girl). So, those who appear as  lesbian, gay, queer, bisexual, or transgender are easily stereotypes and judged. The heteronormative ideals that are held by the majority of the people in this country also lead to stigmas and discrimination. When people who have other sexual orientations other than heterosexual, they are often mistreated by society and can even be susceptible to violence, sexual violence in particular (as seen in the video of the transgender man who used the bathroom of a New York McDonald and was beat for it by the manager, yet was charged for a misdemeanor when in actuality he was the victim ).

Over the years, this problem has perpetuated. It has become easier for discrimination and violence to occur without any repercussion on the perpetrator. The connections between these terms and these societal constructions and manifestations all lend to why society is as it is today and why people discriminate, act violently toward, and outcast nonheterosexual people. Having a good understanding of all these terms allows for a person too see the interconnectedness and understand why these horrible things occur. It allows for people to be aware of  the problem and not lend to it or be an enabler.

The (Grande) Finale

At this point, it’s no big secret. We’ve covered enough material for us all to know how sex and society are very much related and feed off of each other in the world we live in. We’ve learned how gender norms and identities limit and sometimes alienate certain groups or factions in society. It only takes one person in a group to do something wrong for society to turn its back on the entire group.

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What’s sex got to do with…Labels?

Can you remember a time before you were who you are now? A time when society was not telling you who you are, innocuously, through seemingly inconsequential labels? Think about who you are, how you introduce yourself. For most of us, we say something like “Hi my name is X I am a girl/boy, I am gay/straight, I am a student/professor/parent” the list goes on and on, but there is almost always a qualifying label. The great, “I am,” phrase implies that your essence is inextricably tied up with that identity. However, this thinking can be very dangerous because, most often, individuals are not choosing their own labels, but rather are being labeled and then internalizing those labels.

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What’s Sex Got To Do With…My Final Thought?

Before taking this class; Sex and Society, I never really thought about sexual assault, how common it was, or understanding it from an academic stand point. I now know so much information that really has shifted my thinking in the best way possible. I feel like I have the knowledge to pass on to others and would be able to help anyone with questions in understanding various topics we have discussed such as; the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, intersex, asexual community, BDSM, sexual assault, the hookup culture, and how society influences sexuality. However, in my opinion, the most influential and most important topics that we discussed are LGBTQIA communities and the hookup culture. The reason why I believe these were the most influential is because of how prevalent they are in the college scene and within society.

Learning about LGBTQIA was incredibly influential because I wasn’t very familiar with what really goes on in the community and what everything exactly meant. I had no clue what asexual meant before this class, I didn’t fully understand the process of a transgendered person, I didn’t understand the difference between queer and gay or lesbian, and finally, I didn’t fully grasp the impact that legislation plays in a person’s life that falls into one of the LGBTQIA categories. I also think one of the most helpful and impacting parts of this topic was when the LGBTQIA group came to our class to share their stories and answer any questions that we had. It was great to hear first hand accounts about what their experiences were like when they came out and what motivated them to be in this organization. After listening to them speak, I quickly learned how important it is for these organizations to be on college campuses all around the country because it is the best resource for someone that needs guidance in trying to figure out who they truly are. Also, learning about this topic has made me more sensitive about what I talk about and how I phrase my words because I realize how easily I could offend someone if I’m not careful.

The other topic I felt was most beneficial and influential was discussing the role of hooking up, whether it is on campus or after college. Within this topic, I felt it was necessary to discuss the battle against sexual violence and how much of a role it plays on campuses. I had no idea that one out of five women would be sexually assaulted. That statistic shocked me and still shocks me to this day. Discussing how frequent sexual assault is was important for me so that I can be more aware of the people around me. I have also used this to be safer on campus and to watch out for my friends around me if we go out. We discussed the role alcohol plays in hooking up and how dangerous it can be. Learning about this is beneficial for every college student to learn, especially before they enter their freshman year. Overall, this class has been incredibly important and helpful in learning about sex and society. I have learned so much about the topics that really matter and really impact our society.

Final Concept Analysis: Heteronormative Culture

 

The most important concept that I learned this year is the theories of our heteronormative culture. According to Webster’s dictionary, heteronormativity is defined as, “The belief that people fall into distinct and complementary genders (man and woman) with natural roles in life. It asserts that heterosexuality is the only orientation or only norm, and states that sexual and marital relations are most (or only) fitting between people of opposite sexes.” From all that I have learned this semester (so much I never knew before), it may seem somewhat lame that I picked heternormativity but I believe that it is imperative to understanding all the other theories we learned. Additionally, it is this heteronormative mindset that leads to the LGBTQI? community having to fight for inherent rights that they should already have, because sexuality should not define ones identity.

During the first half of this class, we read Introducing the New Sexuality Studies, and discussed many terms and theories within it such as BDSM, adolescent girls sexuality, gay and lesbian sexuality, anal sex, lives of immigrants and migrant workers, porn, fag discourse, femininity, domestic violence, medicalization of desire, sexual socialization, gender roles, and much, much more. However, as our knowledge of these concepts and identities exponentially increased, I kept facing the fact that in our heteronormative culture today, any forms of sexual relationships that is not between a man and a woman are considered wrong. This should not be the case because last time I checked it was 2014. Putting things in perspective, we have smart phones that can talk and are merely years away from self-driving cars, yet society cannot handle the fact that some men like men and some women like women.

Though I found all of this to be interesting, the second half of the semester so far is my favorite. We read Katherine Bogle’s Hooking up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus, and are focusing on applying these concepts to the hook-up culture seen on college campuses. Though we shifted to the hook-up scene, the heteronormative culture that we have here is still applicable. Though students often think that since there are no parents on campus, they can do whatever they want strings free, this is not true. There is a shift to hooking up instead of dating, but through interviews conducted in Bogle’s book show, there is a double standard between males and females that is also part of our heteronormative culture. For a male to have slept with a triple digit number of girls is extreme but okay, but for girls to even hit the low double digits, there is a stigma and they are considered “whores” and “sluts”. How does this seem fair? Our heteronormative culture is accepted widely, but shouldn’t be. This is not the 1800s, men and women should be equal in all facets.

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Before this course, I would have accepted the heteronormative culture that our society holds us to without a doubt, but now that I am enlightened to its discrimination, say we should all take a stance and be equal as human beings where sexual stance has no say in ones identity.

What’s Sex Got to do with… Awkward

 

MTV’s relatively new TV show, Awkward, aims at educating and talking to teens about sex in a realistic and relatable way. Awkward producer, Lauren Lungerich created this show based on her drama filled hometown of Palos Verdes, California, which, coincidentally, is where I am from. To get ideas for this show, the cast and producers came to my high school once a year and talked to students about what goes on in a typical day, so the daily struggles of my school are reflected on the show, making it more believable in terms of sexual education to teenagers.

In this TV show, the producers go beyond the heteronormative culture of straight couples, and have characters that are gay, lesbian, and confused as well. I believe this is beneficial because teenagers that live in a very uniform area, consisting prominently of white heterosexual individuals, need to be exposed to other types of people as well. The idea that ‘different is not bad’ is one that I think a lot of people need to get used to in our ever-changing society; what is the “norm” today will not necessarily be the same in a couple of years. Also, because the plot is based on a real high school, a lot of the story line is easily relatable to teenagers everywhere, and therefore ironically makes it not awkward to talk about sex.

In today’s world, a lot of teenage education about sex comes from TV or the Internet, so it is crucial that we fill the two with good information that helps teenagers feel more knowledgeable and keeps them safe. Similarly, we need to expose teenagers to the real world by not only including information and media about straight couples, but expanding it to all couples and not promoting a right or wrong way to love.

We have come a long way from hating all gays, to “ask don’t tell,” to now where gay marriage is allowed in some states. Because of this progression, I don’t understand why some people are scared to become accepting of gays and lesbians and the LGBQT community in general? Just because they are accepting and open of other’s sexualities does not mean it is contagious.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers: business woman, fashion icon, comedy legend. Aside from being the poster child for plastic surgery, Joan was probably most notable for her crude and hilarious comedy. As we’ve discovered throughout the semester, there are certain aspects of society that get little to no notoriety. Some acts, such as anal sex, gay marriage, and other sexual and/or moral discourses are often swept under the rug or kept out of the spotlight. Not for Joan. In her standup comedy, she left nothing on the table. Anything and everything was fair game, often times even discussing her own (Jewish) people in jokes regarding the Holocaust. Joan, always being criticized, banned, or boycotted, showed how important comedy and laughing can be. “Life is tough. If you don’t laugh, it’s tough,” she once said. Throughout her legendary comedy, however, Joan not only proved to be funny, but along with her jokes, she often uncovered more real, social aspects of the culture.

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