White Paper- kingofcamp
- In Western culture, men have put physical value on female virginity, therefore objectifying women in the patriarchal society.
- “Gender and the Meaning and Experience of Virginity Loss in the Contemporary United States” by Laura M. Carpenter
This detailed analysis focuses on gender and how it contributes to the idea of virginity and virginity loss. The analysis focuses on (specifically) young men and women and how they perceive virginity and approach the subject collectively. Over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth century in the United States, men and woman have taken different perspectives on what it means to “loose” virginity/and or have sex for the first time. In retrospect, virginity has only been defined in heterosexual terms, but this study looks at virginity through the lens of a multitude of diverse peoples.
Historically, women as a majority have perceived having sex (for the first time) as something monumental in their lives. Having a “romanticized” idea of the subject led many women defining their virginity as something almost “sacred”. In contrast, the majority of men have typically perceived losing virginity as something that naturally happens- nothing to fuss over (generally speaking). This process, popularly, has been less emotional for men than it is for women. There are biological factors that play a role in the emotional aspect, but this study solely focuses on the psychological aspect of gender.
With intercourse, there is also a romanticized belief of “staying pure” until marriage or until at least engagement. This monogamous ideology, for centuries, has been pressured, especially onto women. This double standard lead different gendered peoples to understand sex relating to power. In heterosexual relationships, many women have voiced feelings of “loss” and “vulnerability” when engaging in intercourse. The same notion has been the complete opposite for men, typically feeling “powerful” and or “fulfilled.”
In non-heterosexual relationships, opinions and feelings vary. In many cases, women who participated in non-heterosexual intercourse or women in relationships with same-sex or same-gendered partners typically expressed feelings of “sameness” and “equality,” often feeling empowered and satisfied. Men who engaged in non-heterosexual intercourse and or were in relationships with same-sex/and or same-gendered partners also voiced similar feelings. The differences in gender and sexuality relate to different perspectives of intercourse. This analysis and study embodies the very complex concept.
CARPENTER, LAURA M. “Gender and the Meaning and Experience of Virginity Loss in the Contemporary United States.” Gender & Society, vol. 16, no. 3, 2002, pp. 345–365., https://doi.org/10.1177/0891243202016003005.
This brief analysis of a study conducted by researchers in Europe discusses, as titled, the quality of teenagers’ heterosexual relationships in Scotland and England. The research focuses on heterosexual relationships and the different aspects that play a role in a romantic/and or sexual relationships.
Topics discussed in the study were as follows: proportions of females and males pressured by a partner to engage in sexual intercourse, regrets following the first engagement of sexual intercourse, and not enjoying most recent engagement in sexual intercourse. All topics included were respectively compared between adolescent females and males (ranging from thirteen or younger to fifteen and sixteen years of age).
Adolescent males and females resulted differently in the study. Female individuals (collectively) concluded that intimacy was more important than physical pleasure whereas male individuals concluded oppositely. Conclusions such as the one stated, communicated to readers the differences in male and female psyche.
Overall, both female and male subjects rated their first engagement in sexual intercourse as a positive interaction. With that said, not all adolescents came to this conclusion. Despite the overall positive results in sexual engagement, adolescent males and females psychological interpretations differed in the study.
Wight, Daniel, et al. “The Quality of Young People’s Heterosexual Relationships: A Longitudinal Analysis of Characteristics Shaping Subjective Experience.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, vol. 40, no. 4, 2008, pp. 226–237., https://doi.org/10.1363/4022608.
This short opinion article centers around the notion that men should be included in the sexual education realm and have become “a lost cause.” The article is a counterintuitive outlook on the “feminist thinking” that has altered sexual education for both men and women.
Sexual education has undergone much change over the course of a few decades- from women being “the problem” to now men being “the problem.” The author suggests that men aren’t the problem but must address the problem in behavior.
The philosophy of this article focuses on the differences in gender (specifically men and women). The author proposes that biological men and women are born with the same emotions but are raised to handle these emotions differently. “Men”, as the author suggests, learn to oppress certain emotions while embracing more “masculine” emotions and thought processes- leading men to become more “difficult.” “Women” also learn to oppress certain emotions and thought processes whole embracing more “feminine” emotions and thought processes.
By understanding the stereotypes men are often put in and how those stereotypes alter their thought process, the author concludes that as a society we can better educate men in sexual health and understanding.
Davidson, Neil. “Promoting Public Health through Public Art in the – Proquest.” Oh Boys! Sex Education and Young Men, ProQuest, 1996, https://www.proquest.com/docview/1560670647?accountid=13605.
This academic article focuses its attention on the common practice of teaching students that heterosexuality is the norm in society (specifically sexual education). The author of this article claims that gay and lesbian students, teachers, and minorities are left out of the equation. Activists have fought against this norm keeping high hopes of changing these norms in sexual education- making sexual education more inclusive. Heterosexuality is a privilege unlike homosexuality and bisexuality. In the sexual education agenda (in universities and colleges), the primary focus is on heterosexuality and heterosexual intercourse- leaving a majority of students in the dark. These standards are unfair to those students left in the dark. By allowing this agenda to continue, many students and community members are left to dwell in the uncertainty of their respected sexualities.
Eyre, Linda. “Compulsory Heterosexuality in a University Classroom.” ProQuest, ProQuest, 1993, https://www.proquest.com/docview/215374474?OpenUrlRefId=info:xri/sid:primo&accountid=13605.
This article focuses primarily on the objectification of women in mass media and the negative effects it has on women and their mental, physical, and emotional well beings. The objectivation of women has always existed in the United States but now with social media outlets on the rise, this issue has become more predominate.
The idea of an “ideal woman” is something of pure fiction; the “ideal woman” simply does not exist. Women are often sensualized and so very often face misogynic comments made by the mass media. Unfortunately, this reality leaves many women in a “catch-22,” leading to the decline of mental, physical, and emotional health.
Along with declining mental, physical, and emotional health, many women seek out cosmetic surgery to attain “the perfect body” and or to become the “perfect woman.” All of this pressure is crushing for the female population leaving some women to commit suicide or practice self-harm. The objectification of women in both the mass media and in real life is a harsh reality for many women to endure.
Eyre, Linda. The Objectification of Women in Mass Media: Female Self-Image in Misogynist Culture. The New York Sociologist, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.694.8981&rep=rep1&type=pdf.
Topics for Smaller Papers
- Definition Argument
- The term “female virginity” is often misunderstood on a societal level. Female virginity is often believed to be “lost” once a woman engages in sexual intercourse or is penetrated. Contrast to popular belief, female virginity is more ambiguous than most deem it to be.
- Cause/Effect Argument
- Because our society is a patriarchy, men hold more power than women. Men have played authority therefore defining female virginity in society- without considering the female perspective.
- Rebuttal Argument
- The notion that men do not hold central power in society and play a major role in influencing the mass is certainly incorrect. For centuries, and possibly longer, men have held a higher power than women in Western culture. Women have always been a minority in a “man’s world,” therefore facing oppression in society.
- Current State of the Paper
- As of now, my research is plentiful and intriguing. I am enjoying my research though it can be difficult at times to find current data. The information I have found thus far, is both detailed and at times, vague. My hypothesis is extremely specific and counterintuitive- making it difficult at times to find relevant information. Overall, I am enjoying this project and research.