sex_identities

sex_identities - history of modern sexual identities were...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
history of modern sexual identities we’re shifting our focus from how people learn and make use of gendered attributes, and both participate in and resist gender-based forms of power, to think about sexuality how sexuality is, and isn’t, part of the making of manhood and womanhood Jonathan Ned Katz: “heterosexuality is a modern invention, dating to the late nineteenth century” did this strike you as a surprising statement? If so, why? SO, what IS “heterosexuality” that we can say is a recent invention? an identity based on the object of one’s desire , as classified by gender in contemporary understanding, one can “be” a heterosexual and not actually have “had” sex with anyone same with “a” homosexual heterosexuality is also the “norm” against which homo sexuality defined as deviant this is a RECENT and culturally specific way to think about persons, and about sexuality to recognize this is not to say it’s right/wrong, good/bad way of thinking — simply that it’s a cultural construction there are have been and are many different ways in which people have viewed sexuality, attached “it’ — doing various kinds of sex — to identity, various kinds of people e.g.: ancient Greeks (Socrates and co.) categorized as active/passive sexual subjects what was important was whether one took active or passive position — penetrator/penetrated obviously gender is relevant, but not in same way as homo/heterosexual orientation men could be either active/passive (lust was roving); women only passive the Sambia of Papua New Guinea (read about soon) practice ritualized fellatio (oral sex) — young male initiates ingest semen of older men as a “rite of passage” to adult manhood — they recognize pleasure afforded older men, but view the act of fellatio in terms of younger men ingesting semen, “making men” in a rather literalist reading — here “homosexuality” isn’t at all what we imagine it be heterosexuality and, corollary, homosexuality , are recent: an identity based on the gender of the generalized object of one’s desire . origin story begins in 19th C, with — again — rise of industrial capitalism; Katz joins Collier and Ehrenreich & English in his theoretical framework: new political-economic systems create new categories of person and claims to hierarchical status positions, and the ideologies to justify them 1
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
SO, according to Katz, where, and when, are we, historically, on the eve of heterosexuality? Early Victorian era, of first half of 19 th C — early capitalist economies emerging out of household production the reigning sexual ideology is “True Love” in which sexual desire is domesticated; proper womanhood and manhood are based on “purity,” meaning that desire is channeled into proper (marital) procreation in pre -capitalist society, having children meant gaining “extra hands” to help around house and fields; sex was valued b/c it led to more children, increased household stability
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2.158 taught by Professor Ericajames during the Spring '03 term at MIT.

Page1 / 9

sex_identities - history of modern sexual identities were...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online