Start Date

8-5-2013 12:30 PM

End Date

8-5-2013 2:00 PM

Subjects

Gender identity -- Cross-cultural studies, Sex (Psychology), Sex differences (Psychology)

Description

This paper describes the distinction between a sexual act and a sexual identity as seen in different cultural contexts with regard to male homosexuality. It describes differences in how homosexual behavior is interpreted culturally. It discusses how more value is placed on certain sexual acts while there is less focus on a sexual identity and vice versa. For example, in Latin American culture, if two men are sexually involved with one another, it is the acts they perform that dictate how they are viewed, rather than the fact that they are two men engaging in sex together. In Western culture, if two men are engaging in sex together, they are automatically assumed to be gay, regardless of the sexual acts they are performing. In some situations, the focus is on specific sexual acts, rather than how a person identifies themselves. If a person is known to perform certain sexual acts, they may be stigmatized simply for performing those acts, rather than for the gender of the person they are engaging in sexual activity with. It explores the intriguing dynamic between sexual act and sexual behavior that allows them to coexist at times as independent of one another. Under certain circumstances, a person can engage in homosexual behavior without being viewed as homosexual by others because of masculine sexual acts he performs. This happens as a result of cultural perceptions of masculinity and femininity. In short, sexual act and sexual identity have very different significance depending on the circumstance and the individual.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/9470

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May 8th, 12:30 PM May 8th, 2:00 PM

The Significance of a Distinction Between a Sexual Act and a Sexual Identity

This paper describes the distinction between a sexual act and a sexual identity as seen in different cultural contexts with regard to male homosexuality. It describes differences in how homosexual behavior is interpreted culturally. It discusses how more value is placed on certain sexual acts while there is less focus on a sexual identity and vice versa. For example, in Latin American culture, if two men are sexually involved with one another, it is the acts they perform that dictate how they are viewed, rather than the fact that they are two men engaging in sex together. In Western culture, if two men are engaging in sex together, they are automatically assumed to be gay, regardless of the sexual acts they are performing. In some situations, the focus is on specific sexual acts, rather than how a person identifies themselves. If a person is known to perform certain sexual acts, they may be stigmatized simply for performing those acts, rather than for the gender of the person they are engaging in sexual activity with. It explores the intriguing dynamic between sexual act and sexual behavior that allows them to coexist at times as independent of one another. Under certain circumstances, a person can engage in homosexual behavior without being viewed as homosexual by others because of masculine sexual acts he performs. This happens as a result of cultural perceptions of masculinity and femininity. In short, sexual act and sexual identity have very different significance depending on the circumstance and the individual.