– Total response to these questions should not exceed four double-spaced typewritten pages.
– Use the attached books as sources (Do Not Use Outsources).
** The Word Document Contains the Questions**
Q1. Weeks denotes three moral and political positions through which people have tried to regulate sexuality. They are the absolutist position, the libertarian stance, and the liberal position. In a concise, well-ordered essay, compare and contrast these various positions, and give an example of each.
Q2. One of the basic questions asked by Sociology is “How is Society Possible?”. The four books we have read each offer a different possible answer. For Baker, the “Sperm Wars” are what govern individual motivation; people’s “bodies” (rather than minds) dictate their actions, and their minds follow suit—not the other way around. The sum total constitutes much of what comprises society. For Ryan and Jethà, one’s personality and sexuality are the result of millions of years of evolution, with many of our behaviors locked in thousands of years ago on the African Savannah and before the onset of agriculture; current cultural forms tend to counteract the natural tendencies, for better or for worse. Alexander and Young give us the underlying biochemistry (which we share with other mammalian species) as a way of explaining the variations in human sexuality. Bonding, attachment, fidelity and the lack thereof are all mediated by the chemistry of our bodies and brains. Lastly, Weeks offers a completely cultural view: sexuality seems arbitrary and more a product of culture and history than biology. Empowered groups appropriate the sexuality of the less powerful, then dole out to them what they deem ‘acceptable’. That various cultures have controlled or expropriated sexuality offers insight into either the limits or the possibilities of human freedom; who, for example, controls one’s reproductive rights?
In a well-organized essay, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each of these approaches. Use specific examples from the books but DO NOT QUOTE from the books. Which do you find most informative? Which is most convincing? To what degree have we organized society based on false notions of sexuality?