Assignment: Intersection of Sexuality, Gender, and Culture
Most societies explicitly tie gender to sexuality. Think about the acceptance of boys “sowing their wild oats,” while girls engaging in the same behavior are “slut-shamed.” Gender may influence sexuality or sexual experience due to a culture’s socialization or enforcement of gender roles and expectations. Within the modern Western world, same-sex sexual orientation was perceived as deviant because it deviated from prescribed gender behavior of what it means to be a “man” (e.g., men have sex with women).
The experience of gender and sexuality becomes more complex when working with transgender and gender nonconforming clients. Individuals who are transgender or gender non-conforming may identify as heterosexual or as a sexual minority. Whether one is cis-gender (identifying with the sex assigned at birth) or transgender/gender nonconforming, gender will affect your sexual experience as you navigate gender performance with your sexual partners based society’s assumptions of your sexuality.
In the Assignment this week, you analyze the intersection of sexuality, gender, and culture.
The Assignment (2- to 3-page paper):
Use the five family life-cycle stages listed in the Sexuality in Adulthood Across the Family Life Cycle chart to organize your thoughts for this assignment. For this paper:
- Explain the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation, and why it is important professionally to understand this difference.
- Explain cultural influences on gender and sexuality. Consider both cisgender and transgender experiences.
- Explain specific challenges an individual who is transgender or gender non-binary may experience related to their sexuality.
- Explain how you would advocate within your professional role for gender variant clients.
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