answered: 1) Gender and sexuality As Disch states in the Introduction to Part V on Sexuality, the social co

1) Gender and sexuality
As Disch states in the Introduction to Part V on Sexuality, the social construction of gender has a lot of
influence on human sexuality, and she goes on to assert that “[w]ithout the constraints put upon sexuality
by gender, expressions of human sexuality would probably look very different than they currently do”
(262). The hegemonic ideology that dominates US culture is that sex and gender should match (i.e.
cisgender is the norm), even though findings from our society itself show that the “combinations and
permutations of biological sex, gender, and sexual orientation are many” (Disch 262). Disch’s introduction
identifies various issues that comprise the study of gender and sexuality today, including:

● Sexual behavior, sexual orientation, and gender do not always align in a predictable pattern. For
instance, some people who identify as heterosexual may actually engage in sex acts and
relationships with same-sex partners. Moreover, some people’s sexualities can change over time
(e.g. someone can identify has heterosexual at one point and then later on in life get involved in
heterosexual relationships).

● Debates continue over the origins of sexual orientations—what roles do genetic makeup and
cultural factors play in sexual identity and expression (a.k.a. the “nature vs. nurture” debate).

● Pornography and the extent of its influence on sexual behavior. For instance, does the
prevalence of the dynamic of male domination and female subordination in pornography affect
how men and women relate to one another? Does pornography contribute to the objectification
and degradation of women?

● Similarities and differences between male and female sexuality. The advent of Viagra (a drug for
enhancing male sexual potency) has led to a push for an equivalent female drug—leading in turn
to debates concerning the existence of female sexual dysfunction and whether or not women’s
sexual arousal can be compared to men’s.

● The intersections between racial and cultural affiliations and sexuality. For example, the relative
lack of tolerance of homosexuality in certain ethnic groups and the racism or color-blindness of
some LGBT communities make life particularly difficult for non-heteronormative individuals.

2) “The Myth of the Sexual Athlete” by Don Sabo
2) “The Myth of the Sexual Athlete” by Don Sabo

In “The Myth of the Sexual Athlete,” Don Sabo discusses how dominant standards of masculinity,
especially regarding that of the “sexual athlete,” conflict with intimate, loving relationships. As he defines
it, the sexual athlete refers to “male heterosexual virtuosity in the bedroom” that comes with images of
potency, agility, technical expertise, and an ability to attract and satisfy women” (278). Many men in the
US have been socialized to believe in the ethos of the sexual athlete, in which dating and sex are treated
much like a sport, women are objectified as targets for sexual conquests, and honest discussions about
love and intimacy are taboo. Think here of the popular sports metaphors we have in our culture for male
sexuality: the baseball metaphor for how many bases one can get to on a date, sexual intercourse with a
new partner as “scoring,” and scoring as much as possible with different women. As Sabo writes, “[t]o be
manly in sports, traditionally, means to be competitive, successful, dominating, aggressive, stoical,
goal-directed, and physically strong. Many athletes accept this definition of masculinity and apply it in their
relationships with women” (279).

The truth, according to Sabo, is that men and women both desire love and intimacy in relationships, but
men tend to lack a “vocabulary of intimacy” with which to discuss relationships with others and better
understand the nature of women’s sexuality. Since sexual relations in Western nations are forged within
patriarchal social structures, male dominance and the physical aspects of the sex act are emphasized at

the expense of alternative conceptions of sexuality that value personalization, love, commitment, and
emotional intimacy.

It is promising though that today’s young men and male athletes seem to be less influenced by the
hypermasculine “sexual athlete” ethos than their predecessors, especially since more sports are co-ed
and women have gained entry into traditionally male preserves like politics and the professions. The
women’s liberation and feminist movements have also contributed to the ascendancy of egalitarian values
that stress love and are critical of social forces that sexually objectify women and depersonalize
relationships. Sabo suggests that perhaps our changed contemporary conditions will eventually lead to
the widespread adoption of more humane models of sexuality.

Despite Sabo’s hope that our young people are moving away from traditional hypermasculine ideologies,
a particularly insidious phenomenon called “PUA” or pick-up artist has recently had much media
coverage, partially in response to the tragic shootings of multiple students at the University of California
Santa Barbara by self-identified “PUA” Elliott Rodger. PUA refers to a movement made up of men who
through networks of online forums, blogs, workshops, and social groups, advocate for and participate in a
culture wherein women are viewed as targets for seduction and sexual conquest. The movement arose,
ironically, as a response by men to the growing equality of women in Western society as well as today’s
“chaotic” dating scene.

3) “Supersexualize Me!” by Rosalind Gill
3) “Supersexualize Me!” by Rosalind Gill

Some cultural critics argue that we have transitioned from a culture defined by the objectification of
women to one of subjectification. Prior to the 1980s, advertising targeting and containing women were
primarily objectified in that they were either passive objects designed to appeal to the heterosexual male
gaze or they were associated with commodities (e.g. kitchen appliances were usually accompanied by
beaming women). Since the 1980s, women increasingly took active roles in what used to be considered
their own objectification by displaying a “sexy body” (wearing scant clothing, striking sexually provocative
poses)—this process is called “subjectification.” The emphasis here is on individual choice, pleasure, and
fun instead of external pressures to conform to dominant standards of femininity. Instead of free choice,
however, subjectification can also be viewed as the transformation of the work of disciplining and
self-monitoring of one’s own body into something done to please, indulge, and pamper the self. She sees
this kind of self discipline as even more insidious than external pressures.

In “Supersexualize Me! Advertising and ‘the midriffs,’” Rosalind Gill identifies a style of female dress
showcasing the abdomen or “midriff” between the mid-90s and mid-00s, which was made popular in part
by Madonna and Britney Spears. The style typically involves low-slung jeans with a “whale back” (visible
G-string). Gill says that this style evinces a particular sensibility—a specific cluster of attitudes towards
the female body and sexual expression that involves:

● An emphasis on the body as the primary source of women’s capital—it is a source of power to be
used on men

● Shift from objectification to subjectification
● Individual choice and autonomy
● Female empowerment

This is a sensibility characterized by constructions of femininity that, while based in traditional templates
of femininity (i.e. that cater to heterosexual male fantasies and pornography), are understood as deriving
from women themselves who “own” it.

Gill asserts that midriff ads actually objectify women while employing the guise of a feisty, empowered
feminist sensibility which is difficult to critique. She asks why the midriff look is so homogeneous, involving
a slim, toned, hairless female body, even though it professes to be couched in discourses of autonomy,
choice, and pleasure. Women with “bodies out of place,” i.e. lesbians, older women, women who are not
slender, toned, and groomed, and who dress unconventionally are not accorded the status of sexual
subjects and deemed unattractive by mainstream media culture. In order to context this exclusionary
sensibility, Gill proposes that we need a cultural politics of resistance to midriff advertising, a rethinking of
agency and choice, and the creation of more diverse representations of gender and sexuality.

QUESTIONS

1

: Gender and sexuality
As Estelle Disch states in the Introduction to Part V on Sexuality, the social construction of gender has a
lot of influence on human sexuality, and she goes on to assert that “[w]ithout the constraints put upon
sexuality by gender, expressions of human sexuality would probably look very different than they currently
do” (262). The hegemonic ideology that dominates US culture is that birth sex and gender identity should
match (a.k.a. “cisgender” which ), even though findings from our society itself show that the “combinations
and permutations of biological sex, gender, and sexual orientation are many” (Disch 262). Disch’s
introduction identifies various issues that comprise the study of gender and sexuality today, including:

● Sexual behavior, sexual orientation, and gender do not always align in a predictable pattern. For
instance, some people who identify as heterosexual may actually engage in sex acts and
relationships with same-sex partners. Moreover, some people’s sexualities can change over time
(e.g. someone can identify as heterosexual at one point and then later on in life get involved in
homosexual relationships).

● Debates continue over the origins of sexual orientations—what roles do genetic makeup and
cultural factors play in sexual identity and expression (a.k.a. the “nature vs. nurture” debate).

● Pornography and the extent of its influence on sexual behavior. For instance, does the
prevalence of the dynamic of male domination and female subordination in pornography affect
how men and women relate to one another? Does pornography contribute to the objectification
and degradation of women?

● Similarities and differences between male and female sexuality. The advent of Viagra (a drug for
enhancing male sexual potency) has led to a push for an equivalent female drug—leading in turn
to debates concerning the existence of female sexual dysfunction and whether or not women’s
sexual arousal can be compared to men’s.

● The intersections between racial and cultural affiliations and sexuality. For example, the relative
lack of tolerance of homosexuality in certain ethnic groups and the racism or color-blindness of
some LGBTQ communities make life particularly difficult for non-white LGBTQ individuals.

What are your responses to some of the issues listed above?

2

The Myth of the Sexual Athlete” – Don Sabo
COLLAPSE

In “The Myth of the Sexual Athlete,” Don Sabo discusses how dominant standards of masculinity,
especially regarding that of the “sexual athlete,” conflict with intimate, loving relationships. As he defines
it, the sexual athlete refers to “male heterosexual virtuosity in the bedroom” that comes with images of
potency, agility, technical expertise, and an ability to attract and satisfy women” (278). Many men in the
US have been socialized to believe in the ethos of the sexual athlete, in which dating and sex are treated
much like a sport, women are objectified as targets for sexual conquests, and honest discussions about
love and intimacy are taboo. Think here of the popular sports metaphors we have in our culture for male
sexuality: the baseball metaphor for how many bases one can get to on a date, sexual intercourse with a
new partner as “scoring,” and scoring as much as possible with different women. As Sabo writes, “[t]o be
manly in sports, traditionally, means to be competitive, successful, dominating, aggressive, stoical,
goal-directed, and physically strong. Many athletes accept this definition of masculinity and apply it in their
relationships with women” (279).

The truth, according to Sabo, is that men and women both desire love and intimacy in relationships, but
men tend to lack a “vocabulary of intimacy” with which to discuss relationships with others and better
understand the nature of women’s sexuality. Since sexual relations in Western nations are forged within
patriarchal social structures, male dominance and the physical aspects of the sex act are emphasized at
the expense of alternative conceptions of sexuality that value personalization, love, commitment, and
emotional intimacy.

It is promising though that today’s young men and male athletes seem to be less influenced by the
hypermasculine “sexual athlete” ethos than their predecessors, especially since more sports are co-ed
and women have gained entry into traditionally male preserves like politics and the professions. The
women’s liberation and feminist movements have also contributed to the ascendancy of egalitarian values
that stress love and are critical of social forces that sexually objectify women and depersonalize
relationships. Sabo suggests that perhaps our changed contemporary conditions will eventually lead to
the widespread adoption of more humane models of sexuality.

Does the ethos of the sexual athlete apply to your own circumstances, i.e. have or do you still feel the
pressure to be a sexual athlete or do you see evidence of this kind of attitude and behavior around you?
Do you agree with Don Sabo that many men have been socialized to treat sex like a sport, devalue love
and intimacy, and treat women as expendable sexual objects? Do you think that Sabo is right to suggest
that young people today are less susceptible to the pressure to be a sexual athlete, and if so, what are
your models for good relationships?

Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
$26
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Urgency
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more