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The pursuit of sexuality - Essay Example

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Sexuality, often defined by both biological and physiological traits, has conventionally been a dominant aspect in many cultures around the world, especially because it has been a basis for gender discrimination in societies. …
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Download file to see previous pages Sexual objectification, the act of treating a person as a mere instrument of sexual gratification, is perhaps the single most dominant and recurring theme in gender studies; in this regard, sexual objectification entails disregarding a person’s dignity, or personality, and often takes place at the societal level. Feminists have always regarded the concept of sexual objectification, especially women objectification, not only as intolerable, but also as a significant cause of gender inequalities in society (Papadaki, 2007 p.330). The concept of sexual objectification has always been a contentious issue that has fascinated critics over the years, especially in areas such as sexual ethics and philosophies of sex, leading to varied views regarding the origins of sexual objectification. Social commentators have recently observed that many women in contemporary societies often objectify themselves as a sign of their found freedoms and empowerment over their male counterparts. Other social commentators have also argued that men too, have fallen victims of objectification in contemporary societies due to the increased freedom for women, gay and bisexual men in society. However, social commentators also agree that sexual objectification, particularly of women, has origins in the intricate relationship between the genders in society; in this case, because gender roles are social constructs, gender plays a very significant role in the sexual objectification of women. Women have been the unfortunate victims of objectification over the years because society has often looked down upon their personal and intellectual abilities and capabilities of females. Many societies have unintentionally reduced the worth or role of women to that of a mere object or instrument of sexual pleasure to be used for the entertainment of the men. Pervasive sexual images of women have often dominated the mainstream media such as advertising, and art in general (Harper & Tiggemann 2008, p.649), and the sexually oriented depictions of the female gender have enforced the gendered objectification of the women even further. The role of gender in the objectification of women debate stems from the fact that women have often perceived themselves based on what labels they have been given in society; in that respect, women have often been judged based on their gendered social roles, which are typically feminine in nature, and based on their sexual attractiveness. Conventionally, looks or beauty in women have always been glorified over everything else because gender roles assigned to women are heavily dependent on their sexual attractiveness; beauty pageants or contests have focused on aesthetics as a bottom line for judging the worth of women. In this regard, the conventional gender roles assigned to females by virtue of their sexuality have led to the pervasive objectification of women in society. For this reason, women have traditionally been judged and valued based on their physical attributes; women’s understanding of the importance of their sexuality has pushed them to seek further enhancements of their sexual attractiveness through a variety of methods. By disregarding women’s capabilities and achievements in fields where men dominate because they are perceived to be exclusively masculine, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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