1. What is the evidence that what people find to be sexually arousing and sexually attractive is, in large part, culturally learned?
Culture indicates under what circumstances sexual acts should occur, what behavior are appropriate for each gender and what behaviors are sexually arousing. For instance, some cultures appreciate kissing while others find it repulsive. Since the Roman ages, the West has maintained strong opposition to homosexuality; sexual partners should be of the opposite gender. However, some cultures insist that same gender sex is a rite of passage for young boys into adulthood.
A person’s social identity is the largest determinant of his or her sex and sexuality. John Turner and Henry Tajfel in their social identity theory explain how people define themselves in regard to the social groups they belong (Pearson, n.d.). These groups include friends, families, racial and ethnic groups. From a collectivist culture point of view, people‘s identity depends on the relationships they hold, for instance, family name or religion. Therefore, their personal goals, self-concepts, sexual behavior, and sexual attitudes match those of the large society. Cultural factors such as religion, the media and sexuality education influence people’s sexuality choices.
Socioeconomic changes affected the views of sexuality in China. For instance, in 1949, after Communist victory, China’s government made an effort to eliminate the Western influence such as prostitution and pornography romantic gestures in public and sex outside marriage were offensive. However, this changed after the 1980s economic reform where the government loosened its control over individual’s life choices (Crooks, & Baur, 2011). Consequently, people’s sexual attitudes and behavior have changed; they are more open towards homosexuality, masturbation and pornography. In the U.S., acculturation has changed the immigrants’ sexual attitudes and behavior. For instance, often conflict in behaviors with their next generations who are more Americanized.
2. Discuss the origins of the idea that the only legitimate purpose for having sex is procreation.
The idea “the only legitimate purpose of having sex is procreation” originated from the church in the middle ages. Among the Catholics, the traditional Roman Catholic advocate for sex aimed at procreation; they highly condemn any sexual activity meant for pleasure only (Crooks & Baur, 2011). Christian writers including Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, and Paul of Tarsus viewed sex as sinful, an act that is “only justifiable in marriage for the purpose of procreation.” (Crooks & Baur, 2011). The works of Sigmud Freud, Alfred Kinsey, Henry Havelock and Masters and Johnson helped change the sexuality attitudes of people in their time. They portrayed sex as a necessity for pleasure unlike the Christians who thought it was a punishable sin.
3. Research Question
Is most of the teenagers’ knowledge about sex is from the unscientific behaviors they learn from their family or friends or their involvement in sexual relationships or taken education classes?
The questions I would be seeking answers at are: does sex education change the cultural views of people? Does involvement in relationships increase one’s knowledge about sex? The best research method for this question is survey method using questionnaires. The researcher would assure respondents that the information is for research purpose only; the information gathered would be handled with high confidentiality; the results would be used to improve the sexuality education in schools.