Essay Instructions Sexuality Studies 400/Psychology 450/Sociology 400:
Due Date and Submission Requirements
Friday, May 7
in class at 11:10.
We do not accept late work.
Please turn in the paper to your teaching assistant.
One may not submit the paper to TAs via
The TA must receive a hard copy.
The electronic copy must also be submitted to ILearn by Friday, May 7th by 5 pm.
and the electronic versions must be
the same or we will not consider any points for
Essay Topic/Content Expectations:
Carefully read the following two essays:
Davies, “Sexual Taboos and Social Boundaries” from
The American Journal of Sociology
available at the SFSU Electronic Library Reserve.
Greenberg, “Sexual Asceticism in the Ancient World” from
The Construction of
Rubin, “Thinking Sex:
Notes on a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality,” from
Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Sexuality.
In order to understand why different societies in different historical periods respond to certain
sexual behaviors among certain kinds of people the way they do, one needs to understand the
social, economic, ecological and political order of these societies.
In light of the three essays
above (i.e., Davies, Greenberg and Rubin), provide a social scientific explanation that helps us
understand the societal responses to one of the following sexual variations*:
work, homosexuality, bisexuality, cross-dressing, oral and anal sex, group sex, the integration of
technology (e.g., vibrators, internet, film) into sexual activities or age-discordant sex.
only one sexual variation, but use concepts and evidence from each of the three articles.
*I use an asterisk when using the term “variations” to suggest that for some societies in some
historical periods, the societies might not have conceived of these sexual behaviors as variations but
rather as normative.
Write the review as if you were writing to someone who had never heard the question or read the
articles and you want to explain how the concepts/evidence help us to explain why people
respond to and think about sexual variations the way they do.