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Running head: SOCIO-CULTURAL INFLUENCES 1 Socio-Cultural Influences on Sexuality Jodi Potts Baker College of Jackson Human Sexuality Theresa Cruz May 10, 2017
SOCIO-CULTURAL INFLUENCES 2 Socio-Cultural Influences on Sexuality Sexuality is something that all people have in common across all cultures. It is a piece of our personality on what we think or how we behave about sex. The attitudes and behaviors about sex is where each culture differs. A Socio-cultural influence is derived from society. These influences define the normal behavior in that culture. For example, the role of a man and woman is defined by social expectations (King & Reagan, 2014). Gender roles are stereotyped with beliefs that a particular sex has certain characteristics. For example, a woman is considered a caregiver and a homemaker. A man is expected to be strong and the head of the house. It first starts by being anatomically identified as boy or a girl. Then social factors play a part by influencing colors, toys, and behavior in a child’s environment. A rigid belief system at home can cause negative feelings towards others that do not follow the social norms (King & Reagan, 2014). Sexual behaviors are also subjected to socio-cultural influence. The definition of what is normal changes over time and the culture in which a person is part of. For example, a normal sexual behavior was between a man and woman in the Victorian era. These beliefs have also inspired laws to prevent abnormal sexual behavior. For example, fornication is illegal in several states. A single person can receive jail time for having consensual sex with another single person (King & Reagan, 2014). In society there are certain expectations when it comes to sexuality. These can have a psychological impact on an individual as they are growing up and trying to explore their own sexuality. The topics of sexual behavior, gender identity, roles and stereotypes and the expectation of society will be explored in this paper. The perceptions and influences of
SOCIO-CULTURAL INFLUENCES 3 commercialized sex will be integrated within the primary topics of this paper (King & Reagan, 2014). Literature Review and Application Society influences gender roles based on the culture beliefs. The sociocultural theory indicates that people will behave based on society’s expectations. For example, to be a man means you exhibit a lot of masculine characteristics and very low amount of feminine characteristics. This is the basis of gender role stereotypes. These types of limitations can be hard during child development because it inhibits the child from exploring who they are but instead they are molded based on their gender (King & Reagan, 2014). Pornography can influence a person’s beliefs about sexual behaviors and gender roles.

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