Sexuality as a Social Construct
Posted by Alicen Lewis
So my suitemate came home super excited from her Gay and Lesbian History course, and informed me that sexuality was a social construct. I promptly disagreed, stating that although the supposedly fixed nature and obsession with gender was a social construct, that didn’t mean sexuality was. Her evidence was that in ancient Roman culture, as long as the men were the penetrators in a relationship, male or female, they still retained their power and masculinity. To her this meant that sexuality was simply socially constructed, and a hole was a hole in any circumstance.
I believe it’s possible to have exceptions, or have fluid preferences based upon the weak concept of ‘gender’, but I don’t think this marks sexuality as a social construct. I countered that social norms can either increase or decrease a specific behavior towards a specific gender, but the desire itself is biological, and does not change based on society or time (which was her argument of what a social construct was).
Unfortunately the argument was cut short when she informed me that she thought I was wrong, that I believe in what she called essentialism, and I should take the class. I asked for clarification of what she meant in terms of social construct, and she informed me again that I should just take the class.
I’m always sad when arguments end with the ‘enlightened’ party simply stating that the opposing opinion should educate theirself, especially when I obviously cannot take the class anytime soon.
On another note, does anyone else know what she was talking about?