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Sexuality Paper - Abby Elconin Section 315 Annie Kaatz...

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Abby Elconin Section 315 Annie Kaatz Women and Sexuality Paper Negative Effects of the Emphasis on Reproductive Sex In American culture normative sex is commonly understood to be heterosexual, reproductive intercourse. Though this model leaves out much, it is the predominant model taught in primary sex- education courses. What is most problematic about the continued teaching of this model is how it limits women's sex roles as well as women's knowledge about their bodies and sex organs. Complicating this is the resistance in American culture to discuss sex, especially sex where women have a dominant or equal role. To understand the effects of such a repressive cultural attitude concerning women's sexuality I have conducted three interviews with young women. From their interviews it is clear that the way women learn about sex, especially if the reproductive model is emphasized, results in limited knowledge about themselves and the reinforcement of cultural stereotypes concerning women's limited interest and limited participation in sex. The three interviews were with Amber See a sophomore in high school from Minneapolis, Tanya Pashko a freshman in college born in the Ukraine and moved to the United States when she was eleven, and Mara Lazer a freshman in college from Chicago. One commonality the interviewees share is that none of them are able to remember specifically when they first learned about sex. All they knew was that they somehow already knew what sex was before they learned about it in school for the first time. Amber was first officially taught about sex in fifth grade. However, she said that she knew what sex was before fifth grade but couldn’t remember exactly how she learned about it. All she was sure of was that sex was not specifically explained to her by anyone, not even her parents. Amber said that her parents have always assumed that she has learned everything about sex in school and therefore they have never talked to her about sex. Tanya’s first memory specifically learning about sex was when she was eight years old and walked in on her mom having sex. However, Tanya said that when she walked in on her mom she knew what was going on even though no one had ever explained sex to her before this
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incident. Mara also did not remember the very first time she became informed about sex. However, Mara’s sex education was different in that her mother tried to teach her about sex when she was seven years old by giving her a book called “Where Did I From?” Despite this book though, Mara’s mother never talked to her about sex. Because the interviewees have no specific remembrance of learning about sex, this shows that many people learn about sex on their own, already making sex an uncomfortable topic and setting the stage for society’s limited knowledge about girls’ sexuality.
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