Emphasized throughout the lesson this week was the controversial topic of sexual behavior, specifically the varying beliefs which exist within different cultures regarding appropriateness and morality. Common to the realm of religion, politics, and education is sexual behavior, its foundation stemming from the difficulty of accepting the differences of others based upon cultural and religious perspectives. Adding to the difficulty are the different perceptions existent regarding gender-related aspects of sexuality within cultural groups. Two case studies were reviewed and consideration was given to the subjects’ specific identities related to sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Consideration was also given to personal culture regarding aspects of friendship, romantic relationships, and sexuality.
Although consideration was given to the culture for which I belong, it is important to consider the variations of beliefs within that culture as well. For instance, my traditional culture is reflective of Caribbean heritage. Adhering to Anglican beliefs, variations in sex, gender, and sexual orientation, would likely result in cultural disapproval. However, the culture of acceptance, the culture for which my family has adapted reflects the freedom to live within the realm of who the individual is in terms of sexual orientation and gender identification. Thus, adhering more to the culture of acceptance exists reflections of acceptance and in doing so understanding that although we are different, we are the same. My culture recognizes that all human beings have equal value and worth; there is no individual or group of individuals greater than the next. Such a culture of acceptance originates within the home and how individuals model behavior and acceptance. The culture of acceptance recognizes that separation from those who fall within the identification spectrum of gender related sexuality and sexual orientation does not separate them from humanity aa they are worthy of acceptance.
Alberto seems to exhibit some gender non-conformity which has lead him to prefer activities typically associated with the opposite sex (Lehmiller, 2013). Based upon the study, Alberto took on the role of the caregiver in addition to assisting with home chores. Eluding the assumption that the character traits of sensitive and gentle are indicative of behavior commonly associated with the opposite sex, Alberto’s traits are not exclusive to a specific sex; it would be stereotypical to assume that a male would be void of such traits (Helgeson, 2017). Alberto’s character traits would be perceived as an advantage within the culture of acceptance thereby making him a better person even from the perspective of the fore mentioned traditional culture. The subject’s father attempted to encourage him to play sports thus having his son appear to be more gender conforming by engaging in what society has deemed to be typical boy behavior (Lehmiller, 2013). The harassment that Alberto experiences is also stereotypically based upon the perceptions of those doing the harassing. Such incidences would remain a challenge but would hopefully become minimal with sexual orientation support groups and heightened awareness. The subject’s self-declaration of sexual and romantic thoughts for other boys are more identifiable in terms of his sexuality despite his attempt to be more conforming by attempting a relationship with a girl. All would have presented great challenges from the traditional and religious formulated culture as such behavior would be frowned upon and conformity would be expected. The culture of acceptance adapted by my family would however allow the subject of this case study to develop into whomever he is deemed to be.
Jeanette also exhibits gender non-conformity in that she does not live a lifestyle which is deemed typical for a female. A high achiever in a field dominated by males would be deemed advantageous and therefore highly regarded by both traditional and cultural acceptance standards. The subject’s choice in physical activities could also be deemed gender non-conforming however culturally, woman have crossed this barrier quite some time ago leaving less room for gender bias in sports. Her sexuality would have caused challenges presenting promiscuity as perceived by traditional cultural standards. My culture of acceptance would understand the sexual orientation of interest in men and women (Lehmiller, 2013) thus making the distinction between bisexuality and promiscuity. The advantage of such sexual orientation within the culture will afford Jeanette understanding and the support needed to feel comfortable within her own existence; she would not be required to change her appearance and her abilities would be based upon merit. The sexism or the prejudice towards people due to their sex and the gender-role attitude (Helgeson, 2017) exhibited by the subject’s boss, would present a challenge for Jeanette. Subsequently, her friendships and romantic would become easier to formulate as the culture would potentially allow for the meeting of other professionals who are understanding of the demands of her job.
Despite my family’s traditional culture stemming from a Caribbean base which has its foundation rooted strongly within the Anglican Church, they have adapted a culture of acceptance. Subsequently, such an adaptation has generated a growth in knowledge and understanding and the seeking of knowledge and the desire to grow. As we model such behavior and acceptance for our children, this will become the new traditional culture thus the promotion of humanity will become prevalent and will hopefully continue to spread enabling the advantages to grow and the disadvantages to diminish.
Helgeson, V. S. (2017). Psychology of gender (5th ed.). New York, NY: Taylor and Francis.
Lehmiller, J. J. (2013). Psychology of human sexuality. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.