Sex has been proven to be a particularly strong tool in society. The extent to which sex impacts the individual, however, is something that may not be as clearly understood as people may think. In “Sexual Desire and Gender” written by Pepper Schwartz and Virginia E. Rutter, the notion of sexuality being an individualistic trait was raised.
In society, sexuality is something that is typically used to group people together. It is a label that makes things easier to understand. Imagine a world where if somebody were asked their sexuality, the response would be a long list of personal preferences and a resulting answer on a scale of one to ten. Lady Gaga would love a world like this, yet imagine the challenges that would be posed to the gender norms that we have all subconsciously adopted throughout life. For simplicity, lets just say that society would be a bit more complicated.
When I think about the notion of sexuality being individually defined, it is interesting to note the differences that there would be in politics. In the current political election, the notion of gay marriage would be a bit different. In “Sexuality in Marriage, Dating and Other Relationships” by F. Scott Christopher and Susan Sprecher, gay marriage was discussed and the social factors that are involved. In the other readings on gay marriage as well, there was a general acceptance of the notion that gay marriage is not widely accepted. In a society where sexuality was determined on a personal basis, marriage would be interpreted differently as well right? It would seem so since gay marriage is as taboo of a subject as is the rising number of different sexual identities.
Yet what is true about our society is the fact that gender brings with it a list of expectations regarding sexuality. As a male, it is funny to read about the expectations and mental processes that “men” experience. The idea that men have this fast twitch sexual drive while women have a more sustained desire is one that I’m sure we have all heard before. The belief that an orgasm is more difficult to reach for women than men is, in addition to unfortunate, thought provoking when bringing in to the picture the idea that sexuality is individually defined. If sexuality really is tailor made, then what role do the gender norms play?
A world without sexuality expectations and preconceived notions regarding gender and sex would be a very different world indeed. The example of politics becomes even more relevant. Although we often do not consider sex to be a huge factor in politics, it is crazy to think of just how much of a role sex plays in the way our country is run. Besides the easy to digest commercial world where sex sells, tougher topics such as marriage are actually the ones that define candidates in the eyes of citizens. All that is to say that if sexuality really was individualistic, things would be more complicated maybe, but there would be a lot more time to talk about more important things.