Even Men Get Raped

Talks with S


Today, society is well versed with the notion that women all over the world can be, and are, sexually assaulted or raped. Over the last few years, the idea that “even men can be raped” has come to surface; however, it is a fairly new and untapped ideology. The questions that may arise in the minds of people are, “who rapes men?” or “how can a man be raped in the first place? aren’t men strong enough to protect themselves?” In addition, society is still not well equipped- socially, medically nor legislatively- to “handle” men getting raped. The women’s resource center of Georgia College, defines “rape” from the Georgia Law Book as a situation when a “male” forcibly penetrates a “female’s” sex organ. According to this Georgia Law Book,

“A person commits the offense of rape when he has carnal knowledge of:
(1) A female forcibly and against her will; or
(2) A female who is less than ten years of age.
Carnal knowledge in rape occurs when there is any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ. The fact that the person allegedly raped is the wife of the defendant shall not be a defense to a charge of rape.”

This definition of rape stems from the traditional view of a heterosexual relationship- where men were having sexual intercourse with women only, and vice versa. Since “manhood” has always identified men to be physically stronger than women, it was always assumed that only men could rape women. The concept of women raping men, although is not rare, has very seldom been reported. Even though the concept of homosexuality is not new, society has not fully integrated this “new model” in society. Thus men, sexually assaulting other men is a relatively new concept that can be fully addressed only once society fully acknowledges (comes to “positive” terms with it) the existence of homosexual or bisexual relationships. Archer, Davies and Walker, in Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis, talk about men getting raped by other men, and the negative effects the victims suffer as a consequence.

I wanted to take a moment to provide the definition of terms such as “aggravated sodomy” and “sexual battery” to then better explain how the concept of “men getting raped or sexually assualted by other men,” has been made space for in the legal system in the U.S.

With effect from 2001, “Aggravated Sodomy” is a concept that addresses men getting sexually assaulted. The ‘Lectric Law Library, in Georgia Sexual Offences, states,

“A person commits the offense of sodomy when he performs or submits to any sexual act involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. A person commits the offense of aggravated sodomy when he commits sodomy with force and against the will of the other person.”

Furthermore, the term “sexual battery” also addresses both “males” and “females” getting sexually assaulted. The Georgia Law Book states,

“A person commits the offense of sexual battery when he or she intentionally makes physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of another person without the consent of that person. The term “intimate parts” means the primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female.”

As of January 2012, the Obama Administration expanded the definition of sex crimes. The revised FBI definition states,

“rape is ‘the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object,’ without the consent of the victim. Also constituting rape under the new definition is ‘oral penetration by a sex organ of another person’ without consent.”

This definition uses the term “another individual” or “victim” that can refer to both men and women.

Although the legal system may have extended it’s definition to include men as potential victims of sexual assault, this wasn’t the case at the time of the research study published by Archer, Davies and Walker, in Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis. At that time (though it may still occur today as well), the police or the judicial system looked down upon men who got raped. This research study mentioned in Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis, draws out such instances of male victims. Archer, Davies and Walker state, “Very few male rape victims report their assault to the police because they think that they will experience negative treatment, be disbelieved, or blamed for their assault” (495). Several victims found the police to be unsympathetic, disinterested, and homophobic. They found the police not to take their complaint seriously, and therefore many victims regretted informing the police of the sexual assault (Archer, Davies and Walker 500). One victim who responded to the study by Archer, Davies and Walker, was able to bring himself to justice convicting his penetrator of the crime he had committed. Despite this, the victim described his experience in court as distressful, and even as “leaving a worse effect on him than the rape itself” (Archer, Davies and Walker 500).

Archer, Davies and Walker state,

“As majority of male rape victims cannot fight back, self blame for not doing so may contribute to the victim failing to seek medical help from the police, medical sources or friends and family.” (503).

Raped- male victims suffer various negative effects as a result of their “experience”.This includes self-blame for “allowing” this to happen to themselves, as they believed to have put themselves in such situations where they may have trusted a stranger or acquaintance, or for inability to fight back, or for punishment for being homosexual, etc. (Archer, Davies and Walker 502). The long-term effects of being assaulted also include, but may not be limited to: suffering from severe depression, anxiety in interactions with other men, increased sense of vulnerability, lowered dignity and pride, lowered self-worth, erection failure and lack of libido, confusion about sexual orientation- say now engaging in homosexual activity, bulimia and excessive alcoholic consumption, attempted suicide, etc. (Archer, Davies and Walker 496, 500, 501 & 502).

These long-term effects result from two main aspects of the victim’s sexual assault- the reactions of the victim “during” the assault, and “immediately after” reactions of the society after the assault. While some men were able to put up a fight, majority of the men who participated in the study stated that they were unable to put up a fight. The reactions of these men “during” the assault included feelings of fear and helplessness. Archer, Davies and Walker, in Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis stated, “ these men reported that the sense of helplessness and loss of control during the assault was worse than the sexual aspects of the encounter” (499). The “immediately after” reactions pertain to the societal reactions that these men believed themselves to have faced. These men fall victim to the personal and societal “secondary victimization”, as they were expected to have been “manly” enough to have saved themselves (Archer, Davies and Walker 503). In addition to the various long-term effects mentioned above, various victims may even begin to question whether they can protect their families or loved ones.

The results of the study conducted in “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis”, concluded that only one man considered himself to have fully recovered from the assault, and 8 out of the 40 participants defined themselves as having not recovered at all since the assault. This recovery, if at all, was largely due to passing-of time, psychological treatment, prescribed medication, support from medical staff and other persons who actually believed their story (Archer, Davies and Walker 500 & 502). Archer, Davies and Walker state, “In general, the most helpful aspects of the treatments included being told it was not their fault, having someone to talk to, and someone to listen and express care and concern” (500).

The American College Health Association Guidelines on Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence on college campuses that we read for this class last week was from the viewpoint of protection of females from sexual assault. Prevention methods to avoid sexual assault, and support groups for raped victims were traditionally addressed only towards women’s safety and health. It is estimated that the help and support for male victims of rape is more than 20 years behind that of female victims (Archer, Davies and Walker 495). The participants of the study in “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis”, knew that the public is not well aware about male rape victims. Archer, Davies and Walker state,

“When asked why they had participated in the study, responses focused on promoting informed publicity about male rape. For example, men said that they responded to the advertisement [about participation in this study] to try to help professionals understand male rape and what victims experience, to bring male rape to the attention of the public, to help future victims, and to establish support for male victims…” (500).

Currently, women have several 24- hour help lines, rape crisis centers, and support groups available to them. The same needs to be opened for men as well. Currently men can call RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline 24/7 for help, find a therapist or participate in discussion forums organized by “male survivor” and can even seek help from “1in6” online help support for men. Several other such forums need to be opened for male survivors. Furthermore, the police and other professionals need to be more empathetic and less homophobic towards male victims, the laws should fully incorporate punishment for sexual misconduct of a man by one (or more) other man, the American College Health Association should have a guideline outlining primary prevention methods for sexual violence against men, and loved ones need to be explained how to react to male victim’s when they confide their experience in them. The first step required here is education of society. Only once society is aware that both men and women are potential victims of rape can male victims be open about having been raped. This will help the victims to avoid long- term “post- rape trauma”, allow them to freely get themselves testing for STD’s that they may have contracted during their rape, be upfront with others about their “experience”, and press legal charges against perpetrators without fear of being judged by society.





1in6.  “Get Help”

American College Health Association (ACHA Guidelines). “Shifting the Paradigm: Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence”

Archer, John. Davies, Michelle. Walker, Jayne. “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis”

Georgia College. Women’s Resource Centre. “Sexual Assault” http://www.gcsu.edu/womenscenter/projectcare/sexualassault.htm

Huff Post. “Men As Rape Victims: Obama Administration Expands Definition Of Sex Crime”

Male Survivor. “Overcoming Male Victimization of Boys and Men”

RAINN. “Male Sexual Assault”

The ‘Lectric Law Library. “Georgia Sexual Offences”



Ending Sexual Assault on Campus

Talks with S


The discussion that I wish to delve in today’s blog is something that although I do not have first hand experience on, is nevertheless very close to my heart. Anything I comment hereafter is my personal opinion, and I do not intend to hurt or disrespect anyone’s feelings.

The Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault, in About Sexual Assault, states, “Sexual assault is any sexual activity that is against another person’s will including: rape (attempted rape), sodomy/aggravated sodomy, child molestation, fondling, sexual harassment, indecent exposure, stalking, peeping toms, sexual battery.” This issue of sexual assault or sexual violence is a serious campus and public health issue (ACHA Guidelines 5). The ACHA in Shifting the Paradigm: Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence talks about how student’s academic success and health can be impacted, and how victimized students can feel disempowered and alienated, if college campuses are unable to provide an atmosphere where students can feel safe (5).

When I came to the U.S from India to attend college, I was unfortunately very well versed with the notion of rape. Every morning when I would open the newspapers in India, there were at least a few articles on how girls were raped in the city the day or night before. My hometown- Delhi, the national capital of India, is known to be an unsafe city for women. Often students from other cities of India studying at Emory joke, “you come from the city of rape”, when I mention which city I am from. Since this was reality, and nothing concrete was being done about it, women all over Delhi took personal precautions to safeguard themselves. We all lived life as normal as any other individual in any other city, however, additionally took certain steps to ensure our safety. This included girls returning to their homes before it got too dark, girls wearing clothing that was considered “appropriate” and not something that would expose too much skin, and also never to take public transport alone, etc. The government’s take on such issues was that girls should follow the above steps, as they should “respect” themselves and avoid situations to tempt men. Women were victimized and it was taken for granted that “men will be men,” and thus we as women took the appropriate steps to take care of ourselves. Therefore, prevention never included the involvement of men back home. Traditionally, even in the U.S, men were never included in the efforts to combat the problems of sexual assault. The ACHA Guidelines encourage the involvement of men in every step to combat the issue of sexual assault. “Most guys don’t commit rape, but every guy can play a role in ending sexual and dating violence” (ACHA Guidelines 14). It encourages men to define their own “manhood” and thereby build a strong character that respects women. This guideline also encourages men to “speak up” and not let their peers joke about rape. It is believed that this can change male’s perception of social norms of “masculinity”, as “men [are said to] have powerful influences on male peers” (ACHA Guidelines 14 & 16).

There is a traditional myth that women are mostly raped by strangers or unknown individuals. The ACHA in Shifting the Paradigm: Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence, states, “friends and acquaintances commit between 80[%] and 90% of the sexual assaults against women on college campuses” (16).  Thus, the involvement of not only women, but also men can have a significant impact in reduction of friend (or acquaintance) rape by encouraging both women and men to attend primary prevention education sessions. These education programs aim to “prevent first-time perpetration or victimization by improving knowledge and attitudes that correspond to the origins of sexual violence (such as adherence to social norms, male superiority, male sexual entitlement), build skills for respectful interactions, and empower participants to become agents of change (ACHA Guidelines 7 & 8).

Although when back home in India, I had heard of women and children getting raped, I had never heard of men getting raped. When I came to Emory, my perception of rape and sexual assault (and all the notions surrounding it) gradually changed. The mandatory PE 101 Health class that I had to take as a freshman, and then joining SAPA- Sexual Assault Peer Advocates, to support it’s founder and president Anushka Kapoor, were instrumental in the inclusion of the ideology that “men also get raped.” Ms. Kapoor in her interview with Her Campus Emory, states, “National statistics tell us that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 33 men are sexually assaulted by the end of their college careers.” Other statistics state,“10-20 percent of all males will be sexually violated at some point in their lifetimes” (MSCASA). The question then that came to my mind was that why did I never hear of a male getting assaulted in India, and why have I heard of extremely rare cases of males getting assaulted in the U.S as well? According to Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault,

“They [male victims of sexual assault] fear being ignored, laughed at, disbelieved, shamed, accused of weakness, or questioned about being gay. Perhaps worst of all, men fear being blamed for the assault because they were not “man enough” to protect themselves in the face of an attack. For all these reasons, many male survivors remain silent and alone rather than risk further violation by those around them.”

 I then begin to wonder why this extremely comprehensive and useful guide by the American College Health Association is written only from the point of view of a “heterosexual” sexual assault scenario -a male assaulting a female- in college. What about males assaulting other males, females assaulting males, and females assaulting other females? Guidelines need to be specifically designed to include different actions that can be taken for different scenarios.

At the end of the day, any kind of sexual activity- involving any individual of any sexual identity, gender or sexual orientation- requires “consent” and at every level of sexual intimacy. Consent is a “voluntary, sober, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest, and verbal agreement. Consent is an active agreement; Consent cannot be coerced” (ACHA Guidelines 15).  This consent needs to be “acquired” from one’s sexual partner before every sexual action, even if the sexual act has been performed before. In addition, this “approval” needs to be attained without incapacitation of alcohol or other drugs, pressure, force, threat or intimidation, and an “implied yes” is not acceptable (ACHA Guidelines 5 & 15). The ACHA in Shifting the Paradigm: Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence, states, “Approximately 50-70% of all sexual assaults involve alcohol” (19). Friends (or acquaintances) and “assaulters” blame the act of sexual assault on alcohol. While friends may blame the victim as “having asked for it”, offenders use it as a justification. This has lead to the occurrence of the “unwanted”, “pressured” and “regretted” type of sexual activities to exist on campus (ACHA Guidelines 19). To avoid such unintended scenarios, the domains of influence of potential victims, perpetrators and bystanders should be included in sexual violence prevention activities (ACHA Guidelines 5).

The ACHA Guideline is an essential tool kit that should be a required reading material for every entering freshman at college. This guideline talks about several recommended actions that can be taken by the faculty, staff, administrators, and students in the creation of a safe campus culture (ACHA Guidelines 5). It also talks about bystanders who act as catalysts to address, prevent and intervene in the fight to end sexual violence on college campuses. The Emory Student Health Department officials, Ms. Lauren Bernstein (Coordinator of Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention Education and Response at Emory), SAPA trained peer advocates, and ASAP students, provide useful on- campus support  services to victims and friends or acquaintances of victims. These resources should be availed if needed. Spread the word.




American College Health Association (ACHA Guidelines). “Shifting the Paradigm: Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence”

Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault (GNESA). “About Sexual Assault”http://gnesa.org/about-sexual-assault

Her Campus Emory. “Anushka Kapoor’13 SAPA President” 14th November 2012. http://www.hercampus.com/school/emory/anushka-kapoor-13-sapa-president

Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MSCASA) “Male Sexual Assault” http://www.mscasa.org/what-we-do/male-sexual-assault/

Student Health Emory. “Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention”  http://studenthealth.emory.edu/hp/get_involved/asap.html

Student Health Emory. “Sexual Assault Peer Advocates” http://studenthealth.emory.edu/hp/get_involved/sapa.html

One World One Hope

Talks with S


AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease that has been visible in official records since the 1980’s.This disease has provided a constant threat to mitigate the existence of mankind ever since the establishment of its fatal consequences, thereby creating a national epidemic. Researchers, scientists, doctors, and the like, have put in constructive efforts over the years to find a solution to put an end to this epidemic. Having been unsuccessful to find a cure, the next steps they attempted include finding ways to “control” or dampen the spread of this disease. Various constructive efforts have been put in by several international humanitarian organizations, such as UNAIDS, World Health Organization, International AIDS Society, etc. to find ways to control the spread of this disease.

Questions such as- how the disease continues to spread despite complete and transparent information available to the public about reasons for its occurrence, what groups of individuals (caste/race/religion etc.) are mostly impacted by this disease, and who (gender) is the active agent in spreading this disease- have been under constant debate all over the world. In the 1980’s, when the first cases of AIDS were reported, this disease was assumed to affect the male bodies, particularly that of gay men (Richardson 127). It was associated to appear among individuals who chose the “homosexual lifestyle.” At that time, women were almost invisible in the identification of AIDS as a deadly disease. AIDS is now seen as a disease prevalent even among those who lead the “heterosexual lifestyle,” and thereby impacting those who are “straight” as well. Over the years, the face of women in this active struggle against AIDS has changed, from invisibility to “stigmatized vectors” of the virus (Dworkin, Higgins & Hoffman 435). Dworkin, Higgins and Hoffman, in Rethinking Gender, Heterosexual Men, and Women’s Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS state, “the primary face of AIDS is a woman” (435). Furthermore, Richardson states, “Although AIDS has been firmly constructed as a ‘male disease’, at least in the west, the heterosexual male is largely the invisible in AIDS discourse” (138). This discourse of AIDS in the world has greatly been based upon the paradigm that women are the “disadvantaged victims” of society, while the men are the active agents that have caused this epidemic.

It is believed that men are the prime carriers of the HIV infection, who have imparted this deadly virus on the women they have had sexual intercourse with. The vulnerability model that blames men is based upon the theory that, “the socially disadvantaged, monogamous, and unsuspecting woman is infected not through her own behaviors but as a consequence of her partner’s wrongdoing” (Dworkin, Higgins &.Hoffman 436). Men are blamed for widespread dispersion of this disease, because they are said to have sexual intercourse with multiple partners, believed not to use condoms for the lack of sexual sensation or arousal, and on several occasions are regarded as being unfaithful towards their partners. Despite these conditions, all the attention is focused on ways to educate women, and not men, on combating the AIDS epidemic. Men are giving leeway here under the impression that, “[the] male sex drive is unstoppable”, “boys will be boys”, and “[their] behavior is unchangeable and uncontrollable” (Dworkin, Higgins &.Hoffman 440). Statistics shows that, “for every sex act, an HIV- negative woman is at least twice as likely to become infected by an HIV-positive man, than an HIV-negative man is to become infected from an HIV-positive woman” (Mukherjee 380). It is believed that woman are biologically, epidemiologically, socio-culturally, and structurally more susceptible to contracting HIV than men (Dworkin, Higgins &.Hoffman 441). Thus, it is assumed that women are solely responsible to protect themselves from AIDS, and as a result, ultimately controlling the AIDS epidemic.

Dworkin, Higgins &.Hoffman, in Rethinking Gender, Heterosexual Men, and Women’s Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, state:

“This paradigm rests upon the following assumptions about gender inequality: (1) women want to prevent HIV when having sexual intercourse with a potentially infected man, but lack the power to do so, and (2) men are more likely than women to bring HIV into the partnership because they engage in more sexual and drug use risk behavior” (438).

This theory takes into account the social concept of “masculinity,” where, women are unable to tell their male sex partner’s to use a condom during sexual intercourse. It also stems from the notion that males do not want to use condoms as they may not get sexual satisfaction with its usage. It does not take into account that, perhaps women may not get the sexual sensation they desire, if their male sex partner does in fact use a condom. Furthermore, it assumes that men are “careless” and “carefree,” while all women are “conscious” of getting inflicted with the HIV infection. This may not always hold true. In some cases, women may indeed be the “carefree” sexual partners, while the men may be the “conscious” and “faithful” partners.

If heterosexual men are the active and prime carriers of the disease because they have multiple sex partners, or are unfaithful towards their partners, then the question that comes to mind is whom did these men contract the disease from? Assuming that these males are heterosexual and not involved in any homosexual activity, then the argument can be stirred the other way around. We can also argue that, in reality “heterosexual females” are the prime carriers of this disease, as these males are having sexual intercourse with “other females.” Dworkin, Higgins & Hoffman, in Rethinking Gender, Heterosexual Men, and Women’s Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS state, “Emerging data show that in many settings women are almost as likely as men to bring HIV into the partnership” (439).

Currently, all the programs and policies aimed towards mitigating the HIV infection focus on female education and empowerment. Inclusion of men is necessary in this movement to combat the AIDS epidemic. Today, women all over the world are recommended to follow the ABC commandments of remaining abstinent until marriage, being faithful to a single partner, and using condoms (Dworkin, Higgins & Hoffman 436). The same can, and should be applied towards education of men. For example, women should continue to be given education or skills on how to speak up and ask their male sex partners about using condoms during intercourse. At the same time, men should also be educated on the benefits of wearing a contraceptive during sexual intercourse, talking to their sexual partners about their “sexual scripts,” and how to react to a sexual partners request to him to wear (or not wear) a condom.

Even though woman are considered more susceptible than men to contract an HIV infection, if certain myths are proven to be true, then men are at equal risk of contracting an HIV infection. These myths include notions that more men have multiple sex partners than women, more men are unfaithful in relationships, all men do not like to wear condoms while all women would want their sexual partners to wear one, and men are “carefree” and enjoy partaking in risky sexual behavior. These myths lead the society to believe that only women deserve protection from AIDS (Dworkin, Higgins & Hoffman 437). While these myths can hold true for some men, they can also be some women who partake in risky sexual behaviors while their male partner may not do so.

Both men and women should be responsible for their own “sexual health”. Men should also have the right to partake in AIDS prevention and treatment programs. While gender inequalities do exist in society, policies and interventions should aim at empowerment of both women and men. Educating men about safe sex practices will not only benefit all these men, but will also benefit women (say the male sex partner now always wears a condom during sexual intercourse), who under other circumstances, may not have been able to tell their partners to wear a condom before sexual intercourse.




Dworkin, Shari L. Higgins, Jenny A. Hoffman, Susie. “Rethinking Gender, Heterosexual Men, and Women’s Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS”

Mukherjee, Joia S. “Structural Violence, Poverty and the AIDS Pandemic”

Richardson, Diane. “In/Visible Women and Dis/Appearing Men”

Problems of Chronic Illnesses to Self and Identity

Talks with S


Sexually Transmitted Diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, HPV, Genital Herpes and the like, are infections that once contracted can never be fully cured. Contracting such a disease can be a testament of involvement in a sexual activity, promiscuity, irresponsibility, or culpability, and its consequences have been tagged as “life altering”. Having “safe sex” is attributed as always “using a condom” when engaging in sexual intercourse, however, this may not always safeguard one from contracting an STD. Furthermore, STD’s present a threat to an individual’s “sexual self”. Nack in Damaged Goods, writes about, “transformation of their [infected individuals] “sexual-selves”- how they see themselves as sexual beings- and how they understood and made choices about sexual health issues” after contracting such an infection (498).

Wearing a condom does not 100% protect us from infections such as HIV/ AIDS, however, wearing protection can adversely reduce the risk of contracting this virus. Nevertheless, one may contract another STD even after using a contraceptive. Thus the question that comes to my mind is the possibility of contracting an STD under circumstances beyond ones control. What if one has done “everything right” or in other words, has taken all the necessary precautions (wearing a condom, asking their partner about their “sexual script” etc.) before involvement in a sexual activity, and despite that has contracted an STD? Many of us may think: “Can this actually happen?” The answer to which is yes, it can. One such infection is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). This virus is unfortunately not always visible on an individual, thereby limiting our capabilities to avoid its contraction from a sex partner, and making it one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the U.S (Nack 487). Often individuals think that since they always wear a condom during sexual intercourse, there are never at risk of contracting an STD. While contraception can safeguard us from numerous STD’s, their potential is not limitless, and we are still susceptible to a number of STD’s.

An individual, who has contracted an STD, has to undergo severe ramifications. Nack in Damaged Goods, creates a “6-stage model” that attempts to include the different stages an individual may undergo before and after contracting a STD. This can be seen as: “self invincibility, self anxiety, immoral patient, damaged goods, sexual healing and reintegration” (498 & 499). These infected individuals may undergo an “identity dilemma” after contracting an STD. The virus enters our body and brings with it physical risk and discomfort, psychological repercussions and societal stigma. It changes or alters, an individuals “sexual-self”- a private self-shaped by emotions, cognitions, and memories of sexual experience (Nack 491).

Therefore, steps need to be taken to minimize the negative consequences of those already infected with the virus, as well as those who are at “high-risk” usually identified as : gay men, haitian immigrants, intravenous drug users and their sex partners and babies (Levine 624). Levine in Community, talks about successful AIDS prevention to include, “the recognition of the urgency of the problem of HIV and the exigencies, both personal and structural, of the people it is targeting; and respecting their social norms, identities, values and desires, expressed in the relationships between individuals and within communities” (621). He further adds,

“In AIDS prevention, the challenge is to find people where they affiliate and speak to their sense of belonging for the purpose of instilling and reinforcing safe-sex values and habits” (620).

There is no luck in the process of finding a cure for HIV/ AIDS. This is mainly because the HIV virus doesn’t kill its host, but in fact reduces ones immunity to such lows that the host contracts every virus or infection out there. He or she ultimately dies due to one of the deadly viruses he or she may have contracted. Furthermore, no accurate screening test is available for making sure that one does in fact have the HPV (Nack 487). Although an HPV vaccine does exist in the market today, it’s ultimate impact remains to be witnessed. In regards to HSV (herpes),“Medical researches are not sure whether a safe and effective one [vaccine] will be developed” (Nack 490).

Every year billions and billions of dollars are spent on conducting research, however, no cure has been found yet. The average sexually active human can only continue to take necessary precautions before involvement in sexual intercourse, and do all in his or her power to look after his or her “sexual health”. The rest has to be pinned down on mere hope that researchers will ultimately find a cure for such “life altering”, and sometimes even fatal viruses.




Levine, Judith. “Community: Risk, Identity, and Love in the Ages of AIDS”

Nack, Adina. “Damaged Goods: Mixing Morality with Medicine”



Safe Sex is Great Sex

Talks with S



The discussion that I wish to delve in today’s blog is the relationship of safe sex practices among men and women with that of variables such as family background, culture, personality traits, self-efficacy, and consumption of alcohol and other mind-altering drugs. The central question that I plan to answer is why college students may partake in risky sexual behavior knowing that it can have adverse negative affects. Some college students may indulge in sexual acts with other known or unknown persons without prior knowledge of their sexual partners “sexual script” or sexual history, and at the contingency of getting pregnant or contracting a Sexually Transmitted Disease.

All persons that have entered their lives phase characterized as the “adulthood” phase, are said to have a “sexual script” (Davidson Sr. and Moore 171). Even with the widespread awareness that all adults (exceptions: such as a-sexuals and the like) do in fact have a “sexual script”, most individuals (referring to college students in this discussion) fail to ask their partners about their sexual history. Thus, they may engage in sexual acts with a known or unknown person without knowing if they have good “sexual health” or in other words do not have a STD. This risky behavior of engaging in sex without knowledge of their partner’s sexual script is further elevated by several factors such as “[a woman’s] decreased age at first sexual intercourse, low sexual self-esteem [of an individual], 2 or more sexual partners within the past year, and consumption of alcohol beverages prior to sexual intercourse” (Davidson Sr. and Moore 173). Other reasons may include self- efficacy (confidence or morals associated with it), being caught up in the moment and “indestructible” or the feeling of being above the ability to contract any harmful counter-reaction.

Even though nobody wishes to contract an STD or be stuck with an unintended pregnancy, many individuals do not use a contraceptive while engaging in sexual intercourse. If one does not know their sex partners “sexual script”, he or she should be vary and should always use protection. One may fail to ask their sex partner about their “sexual script” due to the “the lack of an acceptable cultural language with which to negotiate disclosure of sexual histories” (Davidson Sr. and Moore 172). Until the early 1970’s the topic of sex was one that was not deemed as something concrete to be discussed openly. Such discussions were almost taboo. An example of this taboo can in some ways be witnessed in the Emory Archives at the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) located on the 10th floor of Emory University’s Woodruff Library. While going through Emory’s collection of yearly reports (Campus Report) and newspaper journals (Emory Wheel) from 1920 to present, I have noticed these differences. We can see no mention of the term “sex” in any context what so ever in 1920s till 1950’s. Then gradually terms such as “sex education”, “condom”, “ AIDS” etc. surfaced in conjunction to students practicing safe sex. Most individuals did not even receive sex education in high school or at the college level. Although this is noticeable even today in some cultures, its taboo as an acceptable societal topic was harsher back then. Even though we consider ourselves to be living in a modern society today, most individuals are still anxious to bring up this topic of past sexual encounters with their current sex partners. Then again, when is the right time to bring up this topic? Should one bring up this topic in the middle of sexual intercourse? Should one have this discussion on the first date itself? Unfortunately, there isn’t one “correct” time. This is variable and subject to the circumstance of each individual, however, a necessity.

It has been proven that college men have more lifetime sex partners than most college women (Davidson Sr. and Moore 171). This implies that women are at a greater risk of contracting a Sexually Transmitted Disease in addition to being at the constant risk of an unintended pregnancy. Women still shy away from asking their sex partners about their previous sexual histories. Davidson Sr. and Moore in Communicating with New Sex Partners, talk about society condemning women who engage in casual sexual intercourse, and society impairing the ability of women to effectively engage in rational decision making about involvement in sexual activity. Then it is only natural that a woman’s fear may overshadow her desire to know about her partner’s sexual history. It is often believed that having sex without a condom is a gesture of faith and trust in a relationship. A woman may be considered to distrust her male sex counterpart if she asks him to wear a condom. This further adds to her distress.

The reason why one may be fearful to ask another persons sexual script is apparent through various reasons mentioned above, yet I consider all the reasons to be inexcusable. I use the term “inexcusable” as I believe it to be wrong to engage in an activity that one knows can have adverse negative consequences. If there is a better way of performing a task or activity, we should adopt that method. If using a contraceptive such as a condom can possibly nullify those negative consequences, then wearing one is advisable.

Even though the knowledge to use a contraceptive for intercourse is out there, most individuals do not follow it. School children may not have access to a condom, may not have the means (money, transport etc.) to buy one or some may not even know that they should buy one or where to get one. Some individuals, particularly college students, may feel that sex is not enjoyable with a condom. Some sex partners may feel that a birth control pill is sufficient to prevent pregnancy and they may not worry about STD’s, and some may get caught up in the moment and forget to put one on. Another group of individuals could include those who may feel that wearing a condom is against gods will or against their religion as this is a way of playing against natures “side-effect” of engaging in sexual intercourse.

Statistics show us that “approximately 19 million STD infections are diagnosed annually in the United States, and almost half occur among individuals between the ages of 15 and 24” (Abbey, Buck and Parkhill and Saenz 469). This data further strengthens my point that using a contraceptive such as a condom is necessary, and perhaps should be highly encouraged or even mandated by the government; although its progress can never be monitored. Sex education should be imparted to all children in middle school, and should include strong emphasis on the use of condoms without shying away from the idea of truthfully telling their partners that, “Using a Condom is Always a Good Idea.” Abbey, Buck and Parkhill and Saenz in Condom Use with a Casual Partner talk about “the importance of feeling confident about [their] partner’s acceptance of condoms and the ability to be assertive about expressing the desire to use a condom” (470).

If one previously knows their sexual partner or not, or if it is their first sexual intercourse or not, using a contraceptive to protect oneself from STD’s is always advisable. One should take it as a necessary step in the process of engaging in sexual intercourse. Knowing their partners sexual history is an added and much- needed bonus here. One should not shy away from this question and should ask their sexual partners about their previous sexual activities. Ones safety is of utmost importance and its priority shouldn’t be negated. Furthermore, this “sexual script” is said to be “a process that dynamic, continuing to evolve throughout life in relationship with others” (Davidson Sr. and Moore 171). Therefore, it is important that we are aware of our sexual script, and are open about it with our sex partners. Davidson Sr. and Moore state,

“A heightened awareness of your own sexual script can enhance your role as director in the drama of your own development trajectory in life” (171).

One’s “sexual health” is an infusion of good physical health, stable emotions and knowledge of the means to have safe sex. This infusion can then lead to healthier sexual satisfaction, as safe sex is great sex!





Abbey, Antonia. Buck, Philip O. Parkhill, Michele R. Saenz, Christopher. “Condom Use with a Casual Partner: What Distinguishes College Students’ Use When Intoxicated?”

Davidson Sr., J. Kenneth. Moore, Nelwyn B. “Communicating with New Sex Partners: College Women and Questions That Make a Difference”

DeLamater, John D. and Friedrich, William N. “Human Sexual Development”

Factors that Shape One’s Sexuality

 Talks with S


We have been discussing about giving one the “freedom” or “choice” to choose ones own sexuality. The question that I plan to answer in today’s blog is: How does one choose this sexuality? What were the experiences that one may have encountered that ultimately formed or shaped their sexuality?

An individual’s gender and sexual identity, the attributes related to it, and their behavior are shaped by experiences encountered by them their entire life. The phrase “entire life” includes their childhood, pre-adolescence, adolescence, later-adolescence,
adulthood, and even their later life. This includes their interactions with their families, friends and intimate relationships with their partners (DeLamater and Friedrich 63). It is believed that ones sexual interests and desires begin the moment one is born into the world, and continue to formulate until we die. DeLamater and Friedrich in Human Sexual Development, talk about “childhood” as the time in ones life where one establishes certain kind of preferences for certain kind of stimulations, which then persist throughout ones lifetime. The simple act of a child sucking on his or her toes and fingers is seen as a “natural form of sexual expression” (DeLamater and Friedrich 64).

An essential element of any kind of mature relationship with a partner is based on “attachment” -emotional and physical. This attribute is said to blossom during ones childhood. The physical contact of a child with his or her parents that brings out warmth, security, and a comforting feeling helps shape this attachment in a positive spectrum. If this physical contact is negative, it leads to insecurities with oneself, discomfort at the idea or actual sensation of someone else’s touch and even identifying others as always having bad motives. Sometimes these all possibilities may be valid, if a child has encountered a traumatic experience of being raped or assaulted as a child. This “childhood” phase of ones life is often regarded as a stage when one is not sexual or has no quantitative idea of what sexuality really is. This has been therefore proven as a myth in Human Sexual Development. 


The next stage in an individual’s life is the pre- adolescence phase when he or she gains experiences with masturbation, and experiences sexual attractions with other individuals. When an individual reaches the actual adolescence stage, he or she is deemed as having become “sexually mature” in terms of sexual interest, emotional compatibility and physical viability. In the later stages of adolescence, between ages 16 to 19 years, an individual establishes his or her gender identity. Establishing this gender identity is an essential component of establishing their identity as a whole. DeLamater and Friedrich state,

Early childhood is also [in addition to several other important experiences that a child may witness during this stage] a period during which each child forms a gender identity, a sense of maleness or femaleness (64).

In today’s society, a parent or a guardian will expect, or rather want a child (set to be in his or her “childhood” stage) to be inclined towards playing with dolls as a symbolism of her “femaleness” or play with gun toys or ninja figures as a symbolism of his “maleness”. It is, however, in the “later adolescence” stage that ones sexual identity truly emerges. Individuals entering this “later adolescence” stage may choose their identity as either homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual or the like. In my opinion, this is the most critical stage in ones lifetime. This is so because- at this “later adolescence” stage one chooses his or her identity, after which only can he or she move towards establishing a stable lifestyle with self-confidence and maturity.

When one enters the “adulthood” stage he or she is regarded as having the full emotional and physical maturity to “make informed decisions about reproduction and prevention of sexually transmitted infection, including HIV infection” (DeLamater and Friedrich 66). It is in the “adulthood” stage when concepts such as “marriage”, “living together” and “getting pregnant” are common notions. DeLamater and Friedrich state,

Some adults engage in sexual activities that involve risks to their physical health, such as STI’s ad HIV infection. Examples of such activities include engaging in vaginal or anal intercourse without using condoms, engaging in sexual activity with casual partners and engaging in sex with multiple partners (67).

The use of condoms and other contraceptives is now witnessed as coherent with “sexual health”. Many believe that these measures are ideal; and can be viewed an integral step towards protection of oneself against unwanted diseases, that one may get from an unknown or unfaithful partner. In some peoples view, mainly the individuals belonging to a societal group that call themselves “pro-life”, “to be prepared” equates being “loose” (Simonds 428).

Having sex before marriage is one concept, however, having sex before marriage and getting pregnant with or without use of contraceptives is another ball game all together. It is only recently, since the late 20th century that the use of “contraception has not shared the social stigma as abortion” (Simonds 428). Based on the decisions one makes during “adulthood”, one may or may not use contraceptives to avoid getting pregnant. The “pro- choice” deem it their right to abort a baby after getting pregnant had they used a contraceptive measure or not. They wish to regard this process only as a “chosen activity” (Simonds 428). On the other hand, “pro-life” or anti-abortionists state, “the aborting woman is selfish and self indulgent” (Simonds 428) and regard these aborting women, profit-making doctors and clinic workers as “baby killers” (Simonds 427 & 428). They even predict the collapse of patriarchal heterosexual family unit as a result of continued abortions. This typical “heterosexual family unit” includes a man and woman married with a child. Even DeLamater and Friedrich state,

Marriage is the most common sexual lifestyle in the United States. Marriage is the social context in which sexual expression is thought to be most legitimate (66).

The question that then comes to mind is: What about a woman getting pregnant when she isn’t married? Is she now required to get married, because she is pregnant, or should she be allowed to abort the child because she isn’t and doesn’t want to get married? According to the poll data mentioned in From Contraception to Abortion: A Moral Continuum, “a large majority [public data collected] supports abortion when a pregnant woman’s life is endangered by the pregnancy, when her pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, or when the fetus is ‘defective’ (Simonds 428). This data is said to have smaller support if the woman may want to abort the child due to reasons such as interference with work or education or affordability. The entire article talks about a “woman” not wanting or aborting a baby. The question that arises to my mind is what about “men” wanting the woman to abort the baby? What about the woman wanting to keep the baby but not being able to keep the baby as she alone cannot after to raise a child without financial support from the biological father of the child? What about a situation where the husband is now deceased and the woman not wanting to raise a child that reminds her of her deceased husband? There are so many situations that need to be considered before taking a stance.

The “pro-choice” identify motherhood as a choice that is personal to them, and since its their body that will have to bare the child, they should have the “choice” to abort the fetus if they consider themselves unworthy of being a mother. Although this seemed justifiable to me at first, I soon changed my thoughts when I related it to another concept all together: suicide. If we are “not allowed” by law to harm our own bodies even though it is ultimately our own body, then the government is right in a way to make the practice of abortion “illegal” in some aspects.

Issues of having sex before marriage, the elderly having sex, abortion, assault, etc. are topics that do not have one single justifiable answer, as each individual’s story pertaining to each one of these topics is different and cannot be pinned down to one correct solution. Various “cultural attitudes” (Simonds 429) suffice in society that may diverge one to take a particular decision. These decisions that one may take as an adult (most countries acknowledging this as 18 years and older) and the experiences one may encounter throughout ones lifetime- covering all phases of life from birth to death- help to shape ones sexuality. Since “human beings are sexual beings throughout their entire lives” (DeLamater and Friedrich 64), changes in ones sexuality during the course of their lives may also occur after “developing greater understanding of oneself or [their] partner” (DeLamater and Friedrich 67).




DeLamater, John D. and Friedrich, William N. “Human Sexual Development”

Simonds Wendy. “From Contraception to Abortion: A Moral Continuum”


Queer Identity in the South

 Talks with S


The question I wish to address is: Can one be categorized as gay (or lesbian) only when one is able to come out? Some may agree to this, explaining that only after “coming out” can one enjoy the so- called advantages or LGBT led- community privileges of being gay. One benefit is the formation of a community that can together experience the difficulties that one may have to face within our society, thereby minimizing the impact of such stress on oneself. The overall advantage that the entire LGBT community may encounter is its visibility, since an increasing number of individuals are able to find their niche in the new “inclusive model.” “Coming out has been used as an effective political tool, based on the logic that until gays and lesbians are ‘seen’ as a significant minority voting group, we will not have access to civil or human rights. One has to be visible to ‘have’ an identity” (Smith 374).“The act of coming out and the coming-out narrative have been considered foundational to the development of a lesbian/ gay group consciousness” (Smith 373). Back in the 1940’s and 1950’s “coming out” was about acknowledging “ones feelings.” This process only included admitting to oneself and other trusted friends or family members that one had same-sex desires (Smith, 374). Now it seems as though “coming out” is a process where one is required to literally “come out” of ones comfort zone and address their sexual preference to the entire human population. In my opinion, “coming out” to oneself is essential as this leads to one respecting themselves, and giving due credit to ones own desires. This is required to attain mental, physical and physiological peace. Although there may be advantages of “coming out” to society as well, it can lead both ways, leaving the individual in deep distress. This decision should be personal after weighting all pros and cons; however, acknowledging ones sexual desires to themselves should be of utmost importance. One should have enough admiration for themselves to “come out” of their own closet with themself.

While there can be severe drawbacks of “coming out” anywhere in America, the shortcomings can be worse in the South. This is so because some may consider the South to be more racist, more sexist, more violent, more heterosexist, and more violent that the North (Smith 378). In general, the terms “southern” and “queer” do not go hand-in-hand. This is because Southerners are also considered “more passionate, more religious, more polite, and more generous than the rest of the nation” (Smith 378). It is viewed that Southerners hold high significance for family values, and this is their utmost priority in life. On the other hand, queer individuals are looked as individuals who are “inimical to the nuclear family” and they prioritize their same-sex desires before their family values (Smith 379). Thus, it may seem difficult for one to be a Southern gay. Donna Jo Smith states,

What could be more apparent, this [it’s harder to be queer in the South than in the rest of the nation] myth assumes, than that queers in the South not only would want to leave home but literally would be ‘required’ to leave home, as a matter of survival? And of course, like all myths, this one contains its grain of truth, reflecting some southern queer realities (381).

While this may hold true for “some” Southern queers, it may not do so for all. Some southerners actually want to stay in the South because they love the south and would deal with all the nuances they may have to face because of their love for the south. “They [white southern queers] are from the South, they like the South, and they will fly the Confederate flag proudly if they feel like it” (Smith 380).

As a particular example, Southern gay black men, like everyone else, “wish to be desired and are on the lookout for companionship, in spite of the difficulties they face [d] in society, within their families, and with each other” (Johnson 430 & 431). In the various stories on love and relationships presented by E. Patrick Johnson, in Sweet Magnolias, we encounter various such real life encounters. Many stories had people claim that they received great support from the Southern families of their same-sex partners. Statements such as “friendly treatment by immediate family of their partners” (Johnson 459) and “a lot of warmth from family” (Johnson 460) were used in this essay. Other stories mentioned it to be very difficult to express their sexuality in the South if you were black and gay (Johnson 464). In my view, “Southerners” accepting people having same-sex desires are conditional to ones culture and upbringing, as combinations of diverse opinions are found everywhere. After all being from the South or North are just “state of minds” (Smith 377).




Johnson, E. Patrick. “Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South”

Smith, Donna Jo. “Queering the South: Constructions of Southern/Queer Identity”


Classification of Sexual Identities outside the LG Community

Talks with S


The main focus of the topic in debate is usually about accepting the gay and lesbian community into our society. In this discussion, the bisexual and asexual community is although somewhat touched upon, the struggle seems to be of the acknowledgement of the LG community only. While some may disagree or somewhat agree with my view, I personally believe that this holds true for most of us. After the readings for this class, I am embarressed to say, that I myself did not know the basic classification of Asexuality. I knew it existed, however, I had never thought about it. Last week in class, we talked about broadening our thinking and not asking a child to choose his or her sexual identity at an early age. We discussed about not asking a girl who her “boyfriend” was and hoping that in the future one may ask a girl “ If she was dating someone?” with the open-mindedness of the answer referring to a girl or a guys name. Now, I feel that this question shouldn’t be asked at all!

Talking specifically about Asexuality and Bisexuality, the main issue is their acknowledgement as “real” sexual identities and then their full-fledged acceptance into society. According to Angelides, “Bisexuality has been persistently refused the title of legitimate sexual identity.” Till today, some regard it as a sexual identity invented by others for fun, for a popularity stunt or because of an imbalance of ones hormonal state. Similarly, Asexuality isn’t acknowledged as a “real” sexual identity either. According to Prause and Graham,  “We live in a world that assumes that everyone experiences sexual desires.” Thus, the first step for society should be to acknowledge the existence of bisexuality and asexuality as legitimate sexual identities.

My research on various random online databases helped me conclude that: some think that asexuality and bisexuality shouldn’t be dignified as sexual identities because bisexuality promotes sexually transmitted diseases, while asexuality leads to various ‘personal disorders’. According to Prause and Graham, asexuality can lead to hypoactive sexual desire disorder. In 2000, the American Psychiatric Association stated that, “absence of sexual fantasies and desires for sexual activity, leads to marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.” The association also states that this could potentially lead to extreme stress and then depression.

Although I feel that bisexuals have not been given the same acceptance into society as gays, and lesbians, I do not disregard the inclusion of “bisexuals” as the letter “B” to have been included in the LGBT Group.  However, this LGBT Group or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual Group that was formed a few decades ago, doesn’t traditionally acknowledge asexuality as a sexual identity. Around 1996, the letter “Q” referring to “queer” was added to LGBT, thereby making it the LGBTQ Group. This new letter “Q” stands for all sexual identities outside the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual identities, and was no longer based on gender but rather sexuality. This included: gender-queer, pansexual, auto-sexual, asexual and other identities. In some societies, the LGBT Community may be referred to as LGBTI where the “I” refers to Intersex, or LGBTHI where the letter “H” refers to a ‘new’ third or ‘some other’ gender known as “hijras” that do not identify themselves as a gender that is already known to society.

A few weeks ago in class, we talked about “how far we had progressed towards acceptance and acknowledgment of the inclusive model.” As many students mentioned in class, we have progressed somewhat, after all we are able to have this conversation in an academic format among young adults. However, we may not even be aware of all the sexual identities people may associate themselves with. My suggestion would be educating the youth about this. When I asked several of my friends to define asexuality, they could not. They were unable to define it in even loose words. The concept of not feeling sexually aroused by another human is something that exists, however, many of us, are not even unaware of it.




A. Graham Cynthia and Prause, Nicole. Asexulaity: Classification and Characterization.

Angelides, Steven. Introducing Bisexuality.

Sexual Identity: Desire, Dating and Marriage

Talks with S 


We can describe desire as something or someone that one may want, dating as an activity that two persons engage themselves in together as a couple, and marriage as an institution that includes the legal acknowledgement of a commitment made by this couple. The traditional model of sexuality included a man desiring a woman and visa versa. The inclusive model now acknowledges men desiring other men, women desiring other women, men desiring both men and women and so on. Our global society has although now acknowledged this new inclusive model, it hasn’t wholeheartedly accepted this new trend. It is believed that our desires occur from certain hormones and other bodily fluids that are secreted by our brain and body glands. When one is attracted to another individual, it isn’t under our control. The terms such as “love is blind” and “love at first sight” aren’t just cheesy lines created by the romanticists, but actually hold scientific proof of attraction among human beings. Although the topics of men loving other men, women loving other women and so on, have surfaced only in recent years, this actually wouldn’t have been the real case. I believe that this would have been experienced ever since the existence of human civilization. The first male may have desired the first female, and thus as eventually societies settled and grew, this must have become the norm. If a female would have desired another female, she would have thought of it as just “caring” for the other female and distracted herself by getting attracted to another man. However, now, that the subject of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc. is out in the open, the global society needs to understand that this is the real case. Desires are beyond a female wanting a man’s biological organ and a man wanting a female’s biological organ. Desires include emotions, feelings and wants. Such qualities can also be accomplished by one after being with someone of the same sex.

As I mentioned before, society has at least acknowledged the fact that some individuals may desire someone belonging to the same sex. Now after desiring someone, the next step comes to dating. When couples of different genders show their affection publically, it may be viewed as “the norm”, however, when couples of the same sex show the same kind of affection, one may look away out of disgust. This, again pointing out that society hasn’t accepted the inclusive sexuality model. If a “straight” female is allowed to date a male, then why is a gay male not allowed to date another gay male? And then why are they not allowed to get married? Today in modern society, we view marriage as an activity that a couple partakes in to legally prove their love towards each other, thereby giving them a legal title and also health, social, pension and other such benefits. Our Human Rights give us the legal right to choose our own lifestyle, choose our dating mate and our own life partner. Since the law cannot command a white- 6 feet tall- male to only date or marry a 5 feet 10 inches tall –white- female, it shouldn’t be allowed to define what a people belonging to the queer group should be allowed to do. If he or she desires, wants to date or marry someone of the same sex, he or she should be allowed to do so. At the end of the day, it has been proven by scientists, psychologist, doctors, and other such professionals that one does not “choose” their sexuality, it is what one is “born with.”

This process of gaining societal and legal acceptance, along with acknowledgement of same-sex marriages will take several years to accomplish as this issue is fairly new. The first step should be to re-define marriage as the union of two individuals of any sexual orientation and sexual identity, and not just as the union of a male with a female.

Early History of Emory and Sexuality

Talks with S


The word “Sexuality” broadly encompasses a jargon that includes terms such as biological sex, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. Traditionally, this model expected a male having masculine-like features, to be attracted to women and a woman having feminine-like features to be attracted to a man. The foundation of this old model was questioned in the last few hundred years when males and females alike got attracted to members of their own gender. In addition, there existed individuals who got attracted to both men and women. These developments now lead to what some call “queer” trends and have resulted in birth of further jargon such as bisexual, transgender, cisgender, cissexual and more. This new and all-inclusive model came to light only in the 1800’s. As the entire world is yet to be developed, so are the thoughts of mankind yet to be synced as one. Thus this difference of opinion in accepting this new inclusive model is justified in some ways, as changing the traditional sexuality model that has been engraved in mankinds brain will take time. This does not however deny the fact that those who have synced their views to the modern inclusive model showed suffer consequences from others who have yet to admit and then accept this changed reality. What worsens the situation is that one’s race, ethnicity, religion and education level are involved in this scenario.

The two articles mentioned in the citations at the end, demonstrated this reality witnessed by the two lead characters, Kitty from “Kitty’s Cottage and the Methodist Civil War” and Yun Ch’i-ho from “Romance and Race in the Jim Crow South: Yun Ch’i-ho and the Personal Politics of Christian Reform.” The demeaning views and expressions of various characters in both the real-life stories, showed the existence of the traditional model co-existent with race and culture. In both the scripts respectively, Kitty and Yun underwent inferior treatment, due to religion, color, caste or sex. Several years later even today, we can see judgemental treatment of people towards one another. This can be broadly characterorized as insignificant treatment in the forms of racisim, inferior treatment towards women, not accepting and upholding fair treatment towards others who may be regarded as belonging to the queer group, etc.

Present day Emory does not experience such inferior treatment towards anyone; as today we can see students from all across the globe coming from diverse locations, cultures and heritages. This is not limited to just the students, but faculty and staff at emory is equally diverse and the concept of the white male being the most dominant specie is not witnessed. Well, atleast not in the wide open. Belonging to the Indian origin I can comment that the Indian society is distinctively divided, into what is regarded as the higher and lower strata, depending on caste, religion, race and even color of the skin. What further negatively adds fuel to this situation is the reluctance to accept the existence of an inclusive model. One example I personally consider a huge underdevelopment in the path towards accepting the inclusive model in India are the views of the most famous Indian Guru, Baba Ramdev. He states, “It can be treated like any other cogenital defect. Such tendencies can be treated by yoga, pranayam and other meditation techniques,”in reference to India’s High Court legalizing gay sex. A leading Bollywood actress, Celina Jaitely opposes Baba Ramdev’s opinion that “homosexuality is a disease” by “With all due respects to Baba Ramdev he may have the so called ‘cure’ but the point is LGBT community does NOT see homosexuality as a disease. People should not be judged on basis of what they do in their bedroom because if it was only about that… some of our taxes would have to be deployed into a special bedroom vigilance force, which I am sure these babas would love to lead.”

While one is entitled to their own opinions, one should also be considerate towards the sensibilities of others around them. One can only hope that as the times change, all of mankind is able to broaden their minds to accept different sexualities as the new and evolved truth of today.






Urban, Andrew. “Romance and Race in the Jim Crow South: Yun Ch’i-ho and the Personal Politics of Christian Reform.”

Adams, Allison. “Kitty’s Cottage and the Methodist Civil War.”

The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality: United States of America

Zee News. “Baba Ramdev to challenge HC verdict legalising gay sex”

Bollywood Mantra. “Celina Jaitley hits back at Baba Ramdev”