sex and sociology
A lot of people in sociology study sexuality, but precious few study the act itself. Even less outside of sociology. This is unfortunate because sex should be very important to all of the social sciences. In my intro class (see tomorrow’s post), I have a section on the sociology of sex where I explain why sex should be of extreme importance to social science:
- No sex, no people. No people, no sociology.
- Sex is, for most people, an important factor in personal well being and life satisfaction.
- Sex affects health – people can contract STD’s from unsafe sex.
- Sex is associated with social identities. For example, in Laumann et al.’s study, enjoyment of sexual experiences is highly correlated with religion. It was also found that ethnicity correlates with specific practices.
- There are a lot of taboos and other forms of social control aimed at sex.
These strike me as rather important, and rather obvious, reasons to study sexual practice from a social science perspective. Yet, in many quarters, even within sociology, sex is still a marginal topic and it doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. Tomorrow, I’ll discuss my freshman course and the section on sex.