• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

This paper will analyse the personal advertisements placed by heterosexual men and women and gay men and lesbian women and identify the recurring themes and ideologies within them.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

INTRODUCTION This paper will analyse the personal advertisements placed by heterosexual men and women and gay men and lesbian women and identify the recurring themes and ideologies within them. The themes and ideologies in relation to different genders and sexual identities will be discussed. The findings will be analysed in relation to the theoretical framework of Michel Foucault and it will be established that in accordance with this framework, sex is a mechanism of control and regulation through institutions and discourses of society, which inform individuals how to experience their bodies. Recurring themes of Personal Advertisements The average age of heterosexual men who placed personal advertisements seeking females ranged from twenty to fifty. Most men provided a physical description of themselves as well as their physical preferences for women. The physical attributes of the body would appear to be of more significance than romantic love, which was rarely mentioned. Sexual desire was evident in most ads where physical attributes were emphasised with 'quiet nights at home' and 'fun times' mentioned frequently. Descriptions of interests were generally provided which would indicate that compatibility was also given importance. The average age of heterosexual women seeking males was from twenty to fifty. Some women provided a physical description of themselves with a few expressing their physical preferences for men. ...read more.

Middle

198). However Freud saw sexual opposition as inevitable and his discourse was phallocentric (Woodward, 1997, p. 199). Feminists have attacked Freud's psychoanalysis accusing it of providing sexist and conservative prescriptions about women's true interests and place in society (Woodward, 1997, p. 199). The central tenets of feminism and queer theory are that gender and sexuality are socially constructed questioning the normative status of heterosexuality (Jackson, 1999, p. 159). According to Jackson (1999) a critique of heterosexuality should contain a critique of heteronormativity - the normative status of heterosexuality, and a critique of heteropatriarchy - heterosexuality as systematically male dominated (p. 163). What sustains heterosexuality as an identity and an institution, is gender hierarchy (Jackson, 1999, p. 174). Heterosexuality is not simply about guarding against the homosexual other, but about maintaining male domination (Jackson, 1999, p. 174). There is an interconnection between the oppression of women and the maintenance of heterosexual hegemony. According to Connell gender differentiation cannot be reduced to biological determinism or social determinism or a combination of the two, but rather it should be acknowledged, the physical sense of maleness and femaleness is central to the cultural interpretation of gender (Woodward, 1997, p. 232). The body is inescapable in the construction of masculinity; but what is inescapable is not fixed (Woodward, 1997, p. 233). Bodies are not just landscape but have various forms of recalcitrance to social symbolism (Woodward, 1997, p. ...read more.

Conclusion

239). Foucault believed that there was a direct connection between the Christian confessional and modern discourses - e.g. sexology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis - that approach sex as an autonomous psychic and social force (Seidman, 1998, p. 239). Confession was replaced by the practice of the 'examination' by physicians, psychiatrists, sexologists and scientists (Seidman, 1998, p. 240). Foucault suggested that Victorian discourses created the idea of a natural sexuality, of an order of desires and acts built into the body (Seidman, 1998, p. 240). Foucault argued that sexuality is not a natural fact, but rather is an idea of who we are that has powerfully shaped the experience of our bodies (Seidman, 1998, p. 240). According to Foucault the power of medical-scientific discourses lie in their integration in social institutions and in being tied to social practices (Seidman, 1998, p. 240). By interpreting same-sex desire as indicative of personal identity, the medical-scientific discourses invented a new human type, 'the homosexual' (Seidman, 1998, p. 241). Homosexual behaviour was not only a transgression of social norms or laws but marked a deviant human type (Seidman, 1998, p. 241). According to Foucault the modern regime of sexuality creates sexual subjects and positions them as objects of social control (Seidman, 1998, p. 241). The system of sexuality is built into the fabric of our institutions, cultural apparatus and our everyday lives (Seidman, 1998, p. 241). Individuals are positioned as heterosexual or homosexual regardless of their wishes (Seidman, 1998, p. 241). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Assess the nature-nurture debate in relation to genders

    Gender behaviour is first learnt through primary and secondary socialisation within the family. Children internalise the social norms and expectations which are seen to correspond with their sex and this is reinforced later in partially every shere of social life.

  2. "The 'social constructionism versus essentialism' debate cannot be avoided when we study gender and ...

    games together; genital manipulation and oral genital stimulation are frequent' (Oakley, A. 1985. P.111). Although this seems almost perverse when relating it to Western society, in this social context it is not at all. Freud's work on infantile sexuality is also criticised in this way, but taking this into account is perhaps not so far-fetched.

  1. 'It is women who have to cope with problems created by men.' Discuss O'Casey's ...

    even at the end of the play he seems unfit to stop the removal men from taking away their very remaining possessions, because he is once again drunk. One might also conclude that Jack Boyle does not have any conception of the gravity of the problems around him because his

  2. Feminism can be defined as the belief that women and men are, and have ...

    are focus issues and male domination as some of the problems. She goes on to add remedies for the problem such as, create institutions for women only, extreme view would call for severing relationships with men, i.e. end heterosexual relationships, total restructuring of society.

  1. Act one of the rover opens with two scenes which indicate that men and ...

    as Helena asserts to do as she wishes without her father and Pedro's consent or knowledge. The matter in which Helena converses with Pedro implies that she has a sense of linguistic power due to the selection of words and phrases Behn illustrates to be said by Helena, however, the

  2. Max Weber: Basic Terms (The Fundamental Concepts of Sociology)

    There is an objective necessity of patterns of order and organization of the administrative staff in order to meet the normal, everyday needs and conditions of carrying on administration.

  1. History of womens oppression in Afghanistan.

    RAWA have organised themselves into a Council of Leadership which focuses primarily on education, culture issues, health care, propaganda and foreign relations. (4) SECTION TWO They have used the processes of frame alignment to aid collective action in their organisation.

  2. Sexism is a form of prejudice.

    I am now going to discuss exams. I studied a graph that contained the results of 16 year olds exam results from Scotland who all achieved GCSE grades A-C2, the dates for this are 1992-1993. This graph excludes computer science (England) and computer studies and statistics (Wales).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work