Sociology | Constructing Sexuality
S422 | 3697 | Martin Weinberg


May not be taken for GRADUATE CREDIT

This course looks at how the interpretations given to various forms
and facets of sexuality are related to the evaluator's historical,
cultural, and social location.  We examine the role of power and
politics in shaping interpretations of sexualities and the
misconceptions and social psychological processes that underlie
certain traditional interpretations.  This analysis, for example,
casts into relief the "slight of hand" used in transforming notions
about statistical normality into imputations about psychiatric
abnormality (e.g., most people are heterosexual, so bisexual and
gay/lesbian people are psychologically abnormal).  A "sex radical
pluralist" model of interpretation (one that has been delineated by
social constructionists) is proposed as an alternative to the
conservative traditional one.  The specific sexualities to be
discussed include nudism, forms of sex work, intergenerational sex,
homosexuality, bisexuality, sexual contact with animals, transgender
variations, fetishism, sadomasochism, fisting, urine play, and the
eating of feces.  Note:  Sexual language and sexually explicit videos
on a wide range of sexual behaviors are part of the course.  Please do
not sign up for this class if these aspects of the course will offend
you.

READINGS: (1) Course packet; (2) Martin Weinberg, Colin Williams, and
Douglas Pryor, Dual Attraction: Understanding Bisexuality, New York:
Oxford, 1994.

GRADING:  Three in-class essay examinations and weekly take-home essay
questions.