Difference of Sexuality Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


Sex can be described as a biological distinction between males and females, particularly regarding reproductive functions. On the other hand gender tends to concentrate on socially constructed differences between men and women that reveal masculinity and feminity. More importantly while gender can be applied to individual difference, it can also be applied to institutional, cultural as well as structural difference.

There are theories that explain gender: Among them are biological theory and sociological theory. In terms of sociological theory, there are three concepts involved in explaining social science of gender. They include socialization, gender role, and opportunity structure. Gender role is described as a collection of acceptable behavior which is dissimilar in terms of sex within a given behavioral domain, such as parenting, in support of gendered norms. The sex determines the boundary of acceptable behavior, and where these boundaries have been violated there are consequences that follow as well as being made difficult by structured opportunities.

Biological theory

Theory of sex dimorphism tend to vary in its details by species, however its general basis is that sex dimorphism in behavior is controlled by hormones. Sex hormones controls sex dimorphism. Since the entire mammals generally have the same primary sex hormones, studying other mammals applies too in human biology, (J. Richard Udry, 1994). Such sex hormones guide the development of sex demographic body structures as well as controlling sex dimorphic reproductive behavior, which rests at the basis of gender. The important principle within the study of animals is that the very hormones causing between-sex differences in a behavior causes it within sex variance within the same behavior. Therefore the hormone theory tends to be applied in explaining both sex dimorphism and within-sex variance on the similar behaviors that are sex dimorphic.

Such distinctions have allowed researchers in countering academic as well as popular portrayals of the differences between male and female as natural and somehow immutable. Basically emphasis on sex especially in variation in terms of biology entails sex-specific variation in chromosomes. On top of the 22 pairs of autosomal chromosomes, there are additional pairs of what has been now realized as sex chromosomes. Many of the females posse 2 X chromosomes while males posse X and Y chromosome. As males and females share the entire 22 autosomal chromosome pairs as well as an X chromosome, sex-specific variation found within the approximately 20,000 protein-coding genes is small. Smaller numbers of genes about 75 are found within the Y chromosome as well as the ones that have been linked to the development of the testes. Even though reading such numbers a bit quick can indicate sex-specific variation in genes to be about 0.5%, to estimate functionally relevant variation tend to be complex.

Moreover, regardless of the binary suggested by human reproduction, sex and gender are fluid. Variations in terms of the hormone level, chromosomes, as well as reproductive organs brings about more than 2 sexes, indicating multifaceted processes of sex development transversely multiple levels, and showing that sex tend to be culturally constructed. In the same way, some decides to disobey normative gender boundaries in their day today life, defining gender in another perspective of more than just a simple dichotomy of men and women. Indeed gender is created and recreated following social interaction that happens in dynamic cultural and institutional contexts.

Somehow human sexual orientation exists in form of a continuum from solely heterosexual to solely homosexual. The American Psychiatric Association in 1973 classified homosexual again to fall under sexual orientation or expression from previously mental disorder. It is still unclear about the mechanisms for development of any sexual orientation; however, presently the existing scholars and literatures in the field indicate that individual's sexual orientation is not a choice, meaning nobody chooses to be heterosexual or homosexual. Various theories regarding the influences on sexual orientation have gone on proposal. As a matter of fact sexual orientation is never determined through just a factor; it is a combination of hormonal, genetic, as well as environmental influences.

Experts have favored biological based theories in current decades. The existences of homosexuality among monozygotic twins as well as the formaton of homosexuality within family pedigrees are in support of biological models. Even though evidences exists that exposure to the prenatal androgen influences sexual orientation development, there are no variation on postnatal sex steroid concentrations and sexual orientation. Different researches have indicated neuro-anatomic differences between heterosexual and homosexual persons with the sexually dimorphic regions of the brain. However, there has been a continuous controversy and uncertainty regarding the genesis of the different human sexual orientations, there has never been scientific evidence that sexual abuse, abnormal parenting, or other adverse life events have influence on sexual orientation.

According to the current knowledge, sexual orientation is established at early childhood. As a result of stigmization and the fear that have still surrounded homosexuality, there has been hampering of the estimated proportion of Americans who are homosexual. Studies in the past largely talked about sexual behavior but not sexual orientation. Researches done by Kinsey et al. In the 1930s and 1940s indicated that 13% of adult women and 37% of adult men had been caught up in at least 1 sexual experience that results in orgasm with an individual of similar sex, at the same time 2% of adult women and 4% of adult men tend to be exclusively homosexual in terms of their fantasies and behavior.

According to the recent reviews done to the U.S. studies have given estimation of 2% of men tend to be homosexual and 3% are bisexual. Some other latest studies have shown that somewhere between 3% and 10% of adult's population is lesbian or gay, as well as maybe a larger percentage is bisexual. A population-based study of junior and senior high school students conducted in the late 1980s with intent of measuring sexual behavior, emotional attraction, and sexual fantasy, revealed that more than 25% of aged 12 students felt uncertain in regard to their sexual orientation. There was a decrease of this uncertainty as time passed by and rising sexual experience to just 5% of students with 18 years. Just 1.1% of the students came out to be predominantly bisexual or homosexual.

When an individual grows up profoundly different in emotion and psychological makeup, the experience automatically alters this person's self-perception and he or she will be always more wary and distant, concentrating more on appearance and its foibles, more reflective, and even more self-conscious. Different observation that we see about homosexuals in literature, arts, fashion, and design is a revelation as some somehow indicate response to oppression. Homosexuals have come up with safe professions where they can hide and protect one another. The basis of the profession if checked well may be attributed to professions of appearance. Most of the homosexual children, especially those feeling distant from their peers, turn to become experts as they try to invent ways of disguising their inner feelings. They tend to notice any signs and signals of social interaction since they never come instinctively. They acquire skills very early that they use to notice the inflections of a voice, any particular movement quirks, as well as different ways in which conveyance of meanings can be done through code. They posses ears for irony and double meanings. At times as they try to suppress their natural emotions, they end up in formal outlets that they can use to express themselves such as art, theater, or music. Therefore their lives revolves around trajectory which reinforces such trends.

In spite of attention that has recent been paid to sex and gender, men and women have continued to have distinct patterns of illness and life expectancies, (Tania M. Jenkins, 2013). Even though differences between sex and gender have narrowed recently they have remained to be substantial. A number of scientists have therefore focus their interest on finding better answers to the questions of the origins and mechanisms for the existing disparities. these disparities have affected young peoples in one way or the other. For example young people whose sexual orientation is not falling on the category of heterosexual are subjected to risks to their social health, physical and emotional, majorly due to societal stigma resulting to isolation. Due to the fact that self-awareness of sexual orientation generally takes place majorly in adolescence stage, it is important that the pediatricians become always available to the youths struggling with issues of sexual orientation as well as support a healthy passage through the experience challenges during adolescence stage. The parents, siblings, and extended families of non-heterosexual youth also require the help of pediatricians to cope with the situation around them.

A further scrutiny of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual group has shown that these individuals are faced with unique health risks. This triggered the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to come up with "29 Healthy People 2010" objectives based on the existing disparities between bisexual or homosexual and heterosexual persons. Areas that have been focused on…

Sources Used in Document:


Barbara L. Frankowski, Sexual Orientation and Adolescents, 2004.American Academy of Pediatrics.

J. Richard Udry, "The Nature of Gender" Vol.31, No4. Population Association of America . http://www.jstor.org/stable/2061790.

Susan E. Short, PhD, Yang Claire Yang, PhD, and Tania M. Jenkins, MA,. (2013) FRAMING HEALTH MATTERS Sex, Gender, Genetics, and Health, Vol 103, No. S1 | American Journal of Public Health

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