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Construction of gender and sexual identities - Essay Example

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It has aptly been observed that every culture of the world maintains some specific characteristics and traits, which distinguishes it with the rest of the cultural groups and communities at large prevailing within the same natural and physical phenomena…
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Construction of gender and sexual identities
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Download file to see previous pages It has aptly been observed that every culture of the world maintains some specific characteristics and traits, which distinguishes it with the rest of the cultural groups and communities at large prevailing within the same natural and physical phenomena. This distinction is generally dependent of several sub-cultures existing under one culture, which not only divide the individuals into factions and groups, but also provide them with identification on the basis of their likes and dislikes, and priorities and aversions as well. Consequently, the sub-cultures of society work in an active and effective way by not only uniting the like-minded people under one platform, but also helping them in respect of winning their rights and privileges particularly at the time when the majority of the population appears to be standing at the opposite side, censuring and condemning the minority group in one way or the other. It is especially the case with the homosexuals, which have established their specific sub-culture, and have invented and introduced particular terms and jargons in order to convey their messages to their community members on one hand, and conceal it from the members of outer groups on the other (Warren 1998). The present paper aims to concentrate upon the gender and sexual identities with reference to the homosexuals in order to get acquainted with their sub-culture and mode of communication while living in the societies, an imperative majority of which still regard same-sex relations as perversion and deviant behavior (Macionis 2007). Sexual identity and the terms related to it, according to Ponse (1978), are applied in quite a different way in gay and lesbian environment to the dominant mainstream social set up. In addition, there also exists a sub-culture within the gay environment, which could only be comprehended with by the members of homosexual community, as well as the individuals interested in the same. As a result, an imperative proportion of the majority population remains almost unaware of the terms to be applied in order to express some specific action, performance or identity in general. For instance, the term gay had frequently been applied in order to demonstrate the individuals carrying jolly and care-free disposition in past; though, the same adjective has become entirely confined to defining homosexual males and females, and the previous usage of the word focusing jovial people has ceased to exist in main culture and homosexual sub-culture as well (Sherwin 2006). However, some of the terms are exclusively applied to identify homosexuality. Unger & Crawford (1993) argue that the feminists have articulated various terms in order to make division between sex and gender, determining the biological characteristics, and social traits and qualities of the homosexuals respectively. For instance, the notion lesbian explains a female engaged in a homosexual relationship, though in past it was donated to the individuals belonging to the Greek island Lesbos (248). Similarly, the notion active simply describes a vigorous and energetic person, though in homosexual acts, the same defines the person playing dominant part in homosexual relationships by penetrating into the recipient or passive partner; the terms dominant and top also define the penetrating partner, while submissive and bottom signify the receiver respectively. Hence, Ponse (246-47) appears to be justified in her claim that the terms used by the majority of the population are applied interchangeably in gay culture, and hence display the meanings that are quite different to the actual application of the same in their nature and scope. On the contrary, the essentialists strictly confine sexual behavior on the basis of the biological characteristics of males and females. As a result, males and females should always play dominant and submissive roles as per the demand of their sex organs and biological traits. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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