Differences Between Female And Male Sexuality

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Differences between Female and Male Sexuality

Differences between Female and Male Sexuality


Human sexuality holds a great interest for anthropologists. As a biological reality and a reproductive force, sexuality affects all humans. However, there is much diversity in the experience, expression, and interpretation of sexuality throughout the world. Using a holistic perspective, meaning that various aspects of the human experience are considered to be interrelated and interdependent, anthropologists consider biological as well as cultural factors in an attempt to understand and explain the dynamics of human sexuality.

Diamond (1997) mentions some anthropologists are particularly interested in the interrelationship between sexuality and human physical and cultural evolution. Physical changes in the human species over time have influenced the nature of sexuality. In turn, changes in sexual practices may have had an impact on the physical changes that humans have undergone.

If sexuality is a biological reality, it is nevertheless interpreted through the various cultural frameworks in which it is experienced (Diamond, 1997). Therefore, human culture has an enormous impact on the diverse meanings attributed to sexuality and sexual behaviors. Anthropologists consider sexuality to be a central aspect of human social organization that influences, and is influenced by, various other aspects of society such as food-getting, family structure, and religious belief. This paper presents differences between female and male sexuality in a concise and comprehensive way.

Differences between Female and Male Sexuality: A Discussion

Many cultures perceive gender and sexual orientation as major defining characteristics of an individual. Psychologists also find gender and sexual orientation to be important and interesting aspects of human psychology, and they have developed theories to explain how these aspects shape our lives. Yet, gender and sexual orientation are characteristics not just of the individual but also of the culture; others perceive and act toward us depending on whether they believe we are male or female and gay or straight (Suggs & Miracle, 1993). Each of us has stereotypes and beliefs about how males differ from females and how gays and lesbians differ from straight individuals. How accurate are these stereotypes? How different are we, really? Are these differences important? How did we develop these differences and similarities? These are a few of the questions that researchers seek to answer, and we will review them throughout this paper.

A number of psychological theories have been used to explain gender differences and sexual orientation differences as well as the development of gender and sexual orientation. Here we will review the major theories on these issues.

Psychoanalytic Theory

Sigmund Freud is considered the founder of psychoanalytic theory. His theories about personality and psychosexual development, although largely rejected by modern psychologists, have made an impact on the field of psychology and the thinking about gender and sexual orientation development (Suggs & Miracle, 1993). One of his major contributions was to emphasize the role of early experiences in shaping human development. He theorized that there are five stages of psychosexual development, each based on the pleasure derived from different erogenous zones on our ...
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