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My concept of gender, sexuality, and the loves shared by persons of the same sex and people of the opposite sex has completely changed as a result of studying anthropology of sexuality. I was unaware of a number of facts regarding human sexual behavior and how it is intimately related to both the same sex and the opposite sex. The course has helped me to develop a profound awareness of how people's ethnic and cultural distinctions about human sexuality, gender, and relationships—whether they are married or not—as well as how they value procreation and demography—as well as their values in these areas (Borneman 2005, p. 31). I have also learned how individual's beliefs, values, and perspectives on sexual relations and gender fit in different backgrounds such as economic, political and social settings, especially in this globalized world. Lastly, while I took time to study anthropology of sexuality I have explored what makes humans unique sexual behaviors and why they behave differently towards each other when it comes to gender similarity and difference at the same time exploring how individuals treat their intimate relations towards each other (Stout 2013, p. 667).
Studying anthropology of sexuality has of offered me a new insight into my main discipline as a sociologist. I have learned that gender refers to the social and cultural variances the society gives to people according to their sex, and the various social expectations of gender roles and people's sexual behaviors (Borneman 1997, p. 582). I have understood the different attitudes people have created on the gender as females or males, and how the human thinks and behaves based on what sex they represent. I have also learned the expectations of the society as individuals develop their gender identity or on the theories about human's sexuality either femininity or masculinity. I have also understood the sexual orientations of people from different backgrounds, this refers to a person's personal choice for sexual relationships with people be it heterosexuality, homosexuality or both referred to as bisexuality (Borneman 1997, p.581).
The module has been of great importance as most of the courses explored helped me to understand some life experiences of the cultural and social dimensions on practical issues such as HIV epidemic, this happens when trying to tackle issues of HIV spread through homosexuality, for instance, in India there is a model known as Kothi (Boyce 2007, p. 581). Kothi offers specific skilfully articulated and outwardly useful ideas used for HIV prevention effort. It offers male-to-male sexuality some cultural shape that is often imagined in terms of dyadic characters passed by two exemplary social performers. The program planners, therefore, direct their fears to the individuals who are apparently in need and forewarns them how they are likely putting themselves at danger of contracting HIV infection when engaging in sex (Boyce 2007, p.178). Learning and understanding the importance of cultural systems and the part they play in shaping sexual practices that are essential in controlling HIV spread and prevention. The emphasis on the cultural study has taken shape together with the increasing anthropological research concentration on basic elements shaping exposures to HIV infection (Parker 2001, p.164). The anthropologist can work on social differences and the political economy of HIV and AIDS within the current global economic setbacks. The problem of culture as experienced in Nepali where communication about AIDS are serious issues, and the beliefs that AIDS education is unrealistic and a bit tricky because the Nepali population does not have the privilege of adequately accessing the saturated and accurate biomedical information about the human body (Pigg 2001, p. 484). This information will likely raise awareness of AIDS as this only involves replacing the misconceptions about HIV/AIDS with the facts. I equally believe that the moment the Nepali public gets acquainted with "the facts." They will involve another line of reasoning concerning the HIV epidemic. However it could still be tough to talk about sex in Nepali, the reason being that their culture prevents the people from speaking about it, especially with the transparency and frankness as it should happen (Pigg 2001, p. 484). People find it very embarrassing to communicate to each other about sex. But not theoretical problems that are involved with sex, because there is this assumption that sex is a worldwide human obsession.
The Another practical issue concerns the modern day marriages and how the same-sex marriages which have become so rampant due to the loss of value in procreation to the option of adoption, the young generation are proving to have lost direction in issues concerning marriage and procreation. As Borneman states it, many do not recognize the institution of marriage because its existence no longer exclusively revolve around childbearing, so it does not matter who marries who, and that includes the sex of the person they are getting involved with sexually and finally marrying (Borneman 2005, p. 31). The simplicity of my conclusion on this matter of marriage may give a deceptive impression, but there is need to fight back particularly the practices and methods to any logical type.
The module has informed me on the problem of queer tourism, this involves sex work and economies of intimate exchange, learning how the sexual economy has increasingly become an important way of survival in most developing countries. The usual heterosexual sex trade is a common trade in the world today but the possibility of individuals to have relationships with the same sex in exchange for money or gifts has become an astonishing trade in the third world countries (Hunter 2002, p.165). According to Stout, the gay male tourist and the male sex workers had an interesting connection where the male sex workers mostly present foreign sex trades to their families, who in turn integrate the tourists into relations imaginaries (Stout 2013, p. 667). The gay tourists then instead of paying for the sex they gave out intimacy gifts in exchange, such as feeding, clothing, schooling the entire family. The gay tourist becomes the sole provider of the families they are in relation to and at in most cases their main agenda was not known to the family except the person they are involved with sexually.
It also helped in relating to the social and cultural structure of sexual practices in different societies including the western communities. Generally looking at the various structures that shape sexuality and sexual rights in different sexual setting globally (Parker 2001, p. 170). The course has also expanded my knowledge in the areas of social concern such as the feminist theory, history, and other social sciences with the focus on ways in which sexuality interconnects with other axes of power and identities.
Borneman, J 2005, 'Marriage today,' American Ethnologist, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 30 - 33.
Boyce, P 2007, 'Conceiving kothis': men who have sex with men in india and the
cultural subject of hiv prevention, Medical Anthropology, vol. 26 no. 2, pp. 175-203.
Borneman J, 1997, Caring and being cared for: displacing marriage, kinship, gender and
sexuality, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, UK.
Hunter, M 2002, 'The materiality of everyday sex: thinking beyond 'prostitution,' African
Studies, vol. 61, no.1.
Parker, R 2001, 'Sexuality, culture, and power in HIV/AIDS research,' Annual. Review
Anthropology, vol. 30, pp. 163-79.
Pigg, LS 2001, 'Languages of sex and aids in Nepal: notes on the social production of
commensurability,' Cultural Anthropology, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 481-541
Stout, N 2013, 'When a yuma meets mama: commodified kin and the affective
economies of queer tourism in cuba,' Anthropological Quarterly, vol. 88, no. 3, pp. 665-692.
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