Theoretical Perspectives on Sex
Theoretical Perspectives on Sex
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This week, you read about the major theoretical perspectives in sociology (functionalist, conflict, feminist, queer, and symbolic interactionist).
Write an essay defining and interpreting each perspective. Paraphrase each perspective, using your textbook as a resource. Do not copy the definitions from the text, but rather paraphrase in your own words and provide citations in APA format where necessary. Additionally, briefly explain the importance of the perspectives to the field of sociology.
Your essay should be 1â€“2 pages in length. Compose your essay in APA format with a title page, introduction, conclusion, and references section. Cite at least one scholarly reference in APA format. An abstract is not necessary.
Sociological Perspectives on Sex and Sexuality
Sociologists representing all three major theoretical perspectives study the role sexuality plays in social life today. Scholars recognize that sexuality continues to be an important and defining social location and that the manner in which sexuality is constructed has a significant effect on perceptions, interactions, and outcomes.
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When it comes to sexuality, functionalists stress the importance of regulating sexual behavior to ensure marital cohesion and family stability. Since functionalists identify the family unit as the most integral component in society, they maintain a strict focus on it at all times and argue in favor of social arrangements that promote and ensure family preservation.
Functionalists such as Talcott Parsons (1955) have long argued that the regulation of sexual activity is an important function of the family. Social norms surrounding family life have, traditionally, encouraged sexual activity within the family unit (marriage) and have discouraged activity outside of it (premarital and extramarital sex). From a functionalist point of view, the purpose of encouraging sexual activity in the confines of marriage is to intensify the bond between spouses and to ensure that procreation occurs within a stable, legally recognized relationship. This structure gives offspring the best possible chance for appropriate socialization and the provision of basic resources.
From a functionalist standpoint, homosexuality cannot be promoted on a large-scale as an acceptable substitute for heterosexuality. If this occurred, procreation would eventually cease. Thus, homosexuality, if occurring predominantly within the population, is dysfunctional to society. This criticism does not take into account the increasing legal acceptance of same-sex marriage, or the rise in gay and lesbian couples who choose to bear and raise children through a variety of available resources.
From a conflict theory perspective, sexuality is another area in which power differentials are present and where dominant groups actively work to promote their worldview as well as their economic interests. Recently, we have seen the debate over the legalization of gay marriage intensify nationwide.
For conflict theorists, there are two key dimensions to the debate over same-sex marriage—one ideological and the other economic. Dominant groups (in this instance, heterosexuals) wish for their worldview—which embraces traditional marriage and the nuclear family—to win out over what they see as the intrusion of a secular, individually driven worldview. On the other hand, many gay and lesbian activists argue that legal marriage is a fundamental right that cannot be denied based on sexual orientation and that, historically, there already exists a precedent for changes to marriage laws: the 1960s legalization of formerly forbidden interracial marriages is one example.
From an economic perspective, activists in favor of same-sex marriage point out that legal marriage brings with it certain entitlements, many of which are financial in nature, like Social Security benefits and medical insurance (Solmonese 2008). Denial of these benefits to gay couples is wrong, they argue. Conflict theory suggests that as long as heterosexuals and homosexuals struggle over these social and financial resources, there will be some degree of conflict.
According to my own worldview opinion, spirituality would be a higher functioning and intentional and intelligent energy in the metaphysical that has a connection to the origin of creativity and theoretical function of life in time space for a specified period. “Spirituality offers a worldview that suggests there is more to life than just what people experience on a sensory and physical level” (Scott PhD, 2022, paragraph 2). I feel there is social pressure to align with different worldviews to have a sense of belonging or to be accepted by certain groups. I think everyone could be wrong and right. Perhaps it is plausible that the collective ideas and theories may all have a little bit of truth in each one. What is truth, relatively speaking, when each of us experience reality in a way that is unlike any other person? I think I do not know enough or have not developed enough about personal spirituality to have a fixed idea about it. What I believe right now is subject to change with the influx of new information, however it may come. My conception of spirituality is more fluid, curious and one of open-mindedness. I think this will help me in rendering nonbiased care that is free of judgement. Staying curious is a self-teaching aid to help me digest things that may or may not make sense to me logically on a personal level. What I can understand about patients and their belief is there is a correlation between religious beliefs or spirituality and positive health outcomes. So, it is very important to respect a patient’s preferences and incorporate them into their care. Sometimes the difference between positive and negative health outcomes is a patients belief system when medical professionals have done and are doing everything to provide the highest quality of care available. “The question of whether truth, ethics and morality transcends individual, cultural and historical boundaries never gets satisfactorily answered (KUMAR, 2004, page 2).
KUMAR, K. (2004). SPIRITUAL CARE. Journal of Christian Nursing, 21(1), 24–28. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.cnj.0000262275.10582.66
Scott PhD, E. (2022, August 19). Spirituality Can Improve Many Aspects of Your Life and Health. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-spirituality-can-benefit-mental-and-physical-health-3144807#:~:text=Spirituality%20offers%20a%20worldview%20that