Sophie A. Maksimowski , University of Guelph Follow. This article provides an overview of the historical development of theory in the Anthropology of Sexuality. Taking a Foucaultian perspective, the discourse on sexuality that emerged in the Victorian era will be critiqued as a constructed tool to ensure social and moral conformity. Discourse, particularly with respect to sexuality, has been a means to conscript bounded groups of people to serve historically defined goals in the production of knowledge.
Anthropology of Sex, Gender, and Power – Anthro 411
Anthropology of Sex – Just another Anthropology Blog Network Sites site
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Too much ink and internet time has already been spilled on such questions, but definitional issues and conceptual difficulties remain entrenched, even in academia where people should know better. Those shorthands simply indicate that many observed behavioral characteristics and life experiences are heavily influenced by social expectations, norms, and roles. One example of a social construction—look no further than ideas about Gun Control. Social constructions are quite real and can become biologically real as well. Click To Tweet.
Research on sexuality and related topics such as gender, reproduction, and kinship relations has figured prominently in anthropology since the formative years of the discipline. Work carried out in the s and s by anthropologists such as Margaret Mead and Bronislaw Malinowski was pioneering both in developing cross-cultural comparisons of diverse sexual mores and customs and in legitimizing ethnography as a key methodological approach for the study of sexuality. Anthropological research has focused on the investigation of sexual cultures and the social and cultural construction of sexual practices, playing an especially important role in documenting sexual diversity and same-sex sexual relations in different societies, including contemporary Western society. As this body of work developed during the s and the s, it also addressed the cultural and social dimensions of a range of important practical issues, such as the HIV epidemic, the changing shape of reproductive health and new reproductive technologies, sex work, tourism, migration, same-sex marriage, and globalization.