<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
  • Understand different attitudes associated with sex and sexuality
  • Define sexual inequality in various societies
  • Discuss theoretical perspectives on sex and sexuality
A bride and groom are shown from behind walking in a park setting.
Sexual practices can differ greatly among groups. Recent trends include the finding that married couples have sex more frequently than do singles and that 27 percent of married couples in their 30s have sex at least twice a week (NSSHB 2010). (Photo courtesy of epSos.de/flickr)

Sexual attitudes and practices

In the area of sexuality, sociologists focus their attention on sexual attitudes and practices, not on physiology or anatomy. Sexuality is viewed as a person’s capacity for sexual feelings. Studying sexual attitudes and practices is a particularly interesting field of sociology because sexual behavior is a cultural universal. Throughout time and place, the vast majority of human beings have participated in sexual relationships (Broude 2003). Each society, however, interprets sexuality and sexual activity in different ways. Many societies around the world have different attitudes about premarital sex, the age of sexual consent, homosexuality, masturbation, and other sexual behaviors (Widmer, Treas, and Newcomb 1998). At the same time, sociologists have learned that certain norms are shared among most societies. The incest taboo is present in every society, though which relative is deemed unacceptable for sex varies widely from culture to culture. For example, sometimes the relatives of the father are considered acceptable sexual partners for a woman while the relatives of the mother are not. Likewise, societies generally have norms that reinforce their accepted social system of sexuality.

What is considered “normal” in terms of sexual behavior is based on the mores and values of the society. Societies that value monogamy, for example, would likely oppose extramarital sex. Individuals are socialized to sexual attitudes by their family, education system, peers, media, and religion. Historically, religion has been the greatest influence on sexual behavior in most societies, but in more recent years, peers and the media have emerged as two of the strongest influences, particularly among U.S. teens (Potard, Courtois, and Rusch 2008). Let us take a closer look at sexual attitudes in the United States and around the world.

Sexuality around the world

Cross-national research on sexual attitudes in industrialized nations reveals that normative standards differ across the world. For example, several studies have shown that Scandinavian students are more tolerant of premarital sex than are U.S. students (Grose 2007). A study of 37 countries reported that non-Western societies—like China, Iran, and India—valued chastity highly in a potential mate, while Western European countries—such as France, the Netherlands, and Sweden—placed little value on prior sexual experiences (Buss 1989).

Source: Buss 1989
Chastity in terms of potential mates
Country Males (Mean) Females (Mean)
China 2.54 2.61
India 2.44 2.17
Indonesia 2.06 1.98
Iran 2.67 2.23
Israel (Palestinian) 2.24 0.96
Sweden 0.25 0.28
Norway 0.31 0.30
Finland 0.27 0.29
The Netherlands 0.29 0.29

Questions & Answers

How Louis wirth called Urbanism as an ideal type when it prevails in real form?
Wasem Reply
sir, what is sociology modern trends?
Sandeep Reply
what is the difference between magic and totka
Ravi Reply
in what ways will American families likely change in structure and process in the future?
Eboni Reply
how does society cause desaeas
Kahange Reply
what is deviant behavior and why is relative.
Haruna
How Louis wirth called urbanisation as an ideal type when it prevails in reality?
Wasem
samajsatra ki paribhasha de
Ali Reply
wt
Aijaz
समाजशास्त्र मानव समाज का अध्ययन है। यह सामाजिक विज्ञान की एक शाखा है, जो मानवीय सामाजिक संरचना और गतिविधियों से संबंधित जानकारी को परिष्कृत करने और उनका विकास करने के लिए, अनुभवजन्य विवेचनऔर विवेचनात्मक विश्लेषण की विभिन्न पद्धतियों का उपयोग करता है।
Soumya
समाज के विभिन्न पहलुओं के क्रमबद्ध अध्ययन को समाजशास्त्र कहते हैं |
Soumya
समाजशास्त्र मानव समाज का अध्ययन है। यह सामाजिक विज्ञान की एक शाखा है, जो मानवीय सामाजिक संरचना और गतिविधियों से संबंधित जानकारी को परिष्कृत करने और उनका विकास करने के लिए, अनुभवजन्य विवेचनऔर विवेचनात्मक विश्लेषण की विभिन्न पद्धतियों का उपयोग करता है।
Soumya
what is sociology?
Dulom
the study of human behaviour and its environment
Jimmy
The study of human behaviour beliefs etc.study of man's life from woom to tom
Zahid
what's criminal investigation?
Haruna
it is simple be defines as the process of collecting information or evidence about a particular issues eg.place, when, interrogation and many more
Oduro
what is the nature of social problem?
rashid
relative deprivation
Batch Reply
Why is Max Weber different from other founding fathers of sociology
Bertha Reply
what problems sociologist faced in their profession
Mishi Reply
The sociologists professional ethics defines the rules of the sociologists professional activities. Observing moral standards is an expression of care not only for the sociologists common good, but also for the society common good as the society is examined by the sociologists and the soci
Aijaz
It varries from country to country. As it is comparatively a new profession, I think job placement itself is one among the key concern for the new Sociologists. Main reason is that what they do is usually considered to be something that is not as good as what other professionals do.
Naughty
thanks
Mishi
who is Karl Marx
Cyborg Reply
Karl Marx was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, Germany, to a Jewish middle-class family, Marx studied law and philosophy at university.
Aijaz
okay
Haruna
Charz fond of watching Tv series she spends most of her time after school hours watching TV consequently she had very poor performance in her academic year exams. using the behavioral theories describe charz problem and suggest ways to solve it.
Chax Reply
l really want to know the main difference between culture and society
Kaifa Reply
Society is composed of people where as culture is what they think and what they do. Culture is the way people live. Society is a larger group of people. Their similar ways of living constitute their culture.
Naughty
sure
ROBERT
exactly, thanks.
Hawa
Explain Karl Marx concern on ecology ?
Indana Reply
who is a lanbroso?
Haruna
To link Marxism and ecological transition may seem at first like trying to bridge two entirely different movements and discourses, each with its own history and logic: one having mainly to do with class relations, the other with the relation between humans and the environment. However, historically
Aijaz
           View all Cesare Lombroso, was an Italian criminologist and physician, founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology. Lombroso rejected the established classical school, which held that crime was a characteristic trait of human nature. ok
Aijaz
Hi
Ariful
hello
Ophelia
hello
Amin
what is the best book for explane theories of sociology?
Amin
Classical Sociological theory by George Ritzer
Mubarak
yeah ritzer is one of the best
musharaf
sociological rheory of laura desfor edles is alsoo
musharaf
his wording is very easy
musharaf
I never seen this book Musharaf
Mubarak
try to consult. actully this book is of contemporary era's theorist
musharaf
Okay I will do it right nw
Mubarak
Thank you so much Musharaf for ur concerns
Mubarak
my pleasure sir
musharaf
I think the book not free. right
Amin
tnx my friend.
Haruna
hi friends
Vicky
hi Indana
Akak
what is culture
Dancan Reply
is the totally way of life
Marvin
culture is every things in the society food,language dance ...a
Joel
According to Edward B Taylor 'Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, arts moral and any other capabilities and habits acquire by man as a member of that society' Primitive culture volume 1
Mubarak
Musharaf I didn't get the book which you referring me to. Sociological theory by Laura despol. Pls if you have a soft copy send it to me via my email mubaraksaidu54@gmail.com
Mubarak
hw r uh mubark sr
musharaf
Fine sir
Gautam
I'm fine Musharaf hw studies? The book you referring me to, I didn't get it. Laura despo pls if I have a soft copy send it to me via my email mubaraksaidu54@gmail.com
Mubarak
it's ok
Ajaib
hi
Joginder
what is community
Joginder
What is functionalist perspective
Joginder
do you mean functionalist theory ?
Yordanos
what do you mean by method ?
Gautam Reply
   In object-oriented programming, a method is a programmed procedure that is defined as part of a class and included in any object of that class. A class (and thus an object) can have more than one method. A method in an object can only have access to the data known to that object, which ensures d
Aijaz
👍
Aijaz

Get the best Introduction to sociol... course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Introduction to sociology 2e' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask