The implicit (unspoken) and explicit (spoken) messages about sex that I encountered during my adolescent years included suggestive look at my body and sexual suggestion from peers respectively. Suggestive looks by some of the peers and some members of the community gave an impression that my body was undergoing through physical changes. Thus, they would stare at some of the body parts. On the other hand, conversation with peers would take turn to include physical outlook an action that suggested the sexuality and shape of the body.My family background and religious development introduced me into the life of an adult by knowing about sex and sexuality. At school, teachers would take us through the changes that take place during adolescent. At home, parents and other family members would teach me how to address myself as a girl in front of people. This would bring in the gender roles and expectations by the society.
The sexual societal norms in my community included rules that emphasized on the rightful sexual behavior and laws prohibiting discussion about sex in the public. This meant that it was a wrong thing and it is still now to discuss sex and sexuality in a public set-up. This is because sex was treated as a sacred act that was created by God for the sole purpose of procreation. Therefore, discussion about it would not only be going against the divide rule of God rather defying the social rules prevalent in the community.Matters to do with sex were rare amongst people discussions. Thus, a lot of things to do with sexuality come later in life where one accumulate information through interaction with various information organs.
Journal #2: Same Sex Relationship
Homosexuality and lesbianism have spread greatly in the twenty first century. I came to learn about the ordeal from watching a movie and through broadcast news that discouraged the act. Same sex relationship is discouraged in most countries in the world due to its nature and health repercussions borne by the parties. Lesbianism is a union where a girl or a female is involved in a sexual relationship with another female. The relationship is not meant for procreation as parties are unable to sear children. It is only meant for pleasure between partners. On the other hand, homosexuality is a union of two males that are involved in a sexual affair.
Talking about same-sex relationships in the public is discouraged in a great way. This is because the community feels and regards a same-sex relationship as unhealthy and ungodly. A relationship is meant to bear fruits which in this case are children. This will ensure that the community or society continues even after the old members die. However, with the popularity of homosexual marriages in the United States and legalization in some states, the act has attracted a lot of young people. Thus, marriages are increasing in number for same-sex individuals while normal relationships getting a nod from the youths. Technology has also contributed a lot to the spread of homosexuality. This is because pornographic materials and books are available to the public so long as one is connected to the internet. In my community, same sex relationship is prohibited and people believed to be practicing the act experience discrimination from members of the society. This is done to restore sanity in the community.
Journal #3: Abortion
Abortion is an act of terminating the life of an embryo or a developing child. There are many ways through which termination of life at an early age in the development of an embryo takes place. One of the approaches to abortion is through a medical practitioner. In some cases, medical practitioners are expected to perform an abortion if the situation endangers the life of a mother and child as well. The other form of abortion is through illegal means such as visiting unqualified personnel to perform an abortion for various reasons rather than saving the life of the mother or child. My belief is shaped by my religious stand where I oppose the move to abortion. The reason behind this is that abortion leads to the termination of life which is sacred. Nobody has the right to terminate life, especially for an innocent child because for various reasons such as poverty and unwanted pregnancies. The right to abort by medical practitioners has been misused by people in the sense that individuals do it due to unwanted pregnancies. In some cases, it has led to the death of the mother as the illegal act is being carried out and overbreeding occurs. Coming from a religious family, behaviors such as abortion are highly condemned and I adopted the belief that abortion is a sin to God as well as to humanity. Participating or performing the act would make a person a sinner. This is because they have sinned against God and man. Due to the fact that abortion may lead to death, people should be discouraged from the act as it exposes the participants to extreme danger.
Journal#4: Premarital Sex
Premarital sex is engagement into sexual activities before marriage. This is discouraged and people within my community are expected to avoid the act before they get into marriage. After marriage individuals are expected to engage in sexual activities for leisure as well as procreation. The negative effects of premarital sex include unwanted pregnancies, school drop outs and sexual immorality such as prostitution. As I grew up, premarital sex activities were prevalent especially amongst the youths. This led to the use of contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies and contraction of diseases.
There are many reasons why teenagers will engage in premarital sex. When most teenagers feel unappreciated by the surrounding world, they will often seek comfort in sexual activities. A teenager, however, who has healthy family relations and strong social attachments will avoid premarital sex. More so, faith in God and strong roots in religion in my community is still considered as the basis of why unmarried persons should not have sex. Premarital sex activities also can be linked to general perversionspopularized by the media and sexually explicit sources. Nevertheless, at the personal level one’s choice depends on the values held by the person about sex. On the other hand, curiosity and need for exploration will often lead young people to practice premarital sex. I still hold the morals according to which premarital sex is wrong, but if it has to happen people should use contraceptives to prevent undesirable effects.
Pornographic materials were highly condemned in my community. People regarded watching of pornographic materials as evil. This is also contested by the state which criminalizes the sale and accessibility of pornographic materials. Individuals must always avoid these materials as they lead to commitment of sexual offenses, addiction and corruption of mind. This will have an effect on the general economy and individual welfare. However, growing up I came to realize that pornographic materials are easily accessible in the market. This means that it is inevitable that people will use them.
Despite the effects of pornography, some people justify its usage by arguing that when peoplesatisfy themselves through porn,theygive vent to their instincts that would otherwise have them engage in socially unacceptable sexual practices. I disagree with this claim because human beings are meant to be reasonable and able to control their instincts without being impulsive. As people are exposed to this malicious habit, they end up developing fantasies that often contradict socially acceptable norms. Such people fantasize about sexual abuse, homosexuality, child abuse, lesbianism, bestiality and other similar topics. For this reason, many porn clips are made based on a certain fantasy pattern. To the users of porn, plain sex with no dramatization is boring and will not arouse them as desired, hence their search for more appealing sexual practices involving certain perversions. In this way, their normal sexual life withtheir spousesis impaired, and they fantasize about their “drug of addiction,’’ as this brings them arousal during sexual activity. My stand is that these materials should be further criminalized, and the population should be encouraged to engage in healthy activities.
Journal #6: Current Sexual Societal Norms
The sexual societal norms have not changed since I was a child. This is because the community is still upholding the values that were highly guarded by cultural practices. However, there are things that I came to learn about sexuality that I totally disagree with the societal norms. For example, abortion amongst the youths should be allowed if they are unable to take care of their young ones through a legal process. This will reduce the number of deaths of young mothers who die trying to abort. At the same time, street children and negligence in parenting will be reduced by a great deal. However, morals should be highly upheld to ensure that individuals behave and act accordingly.On the other hand, I agree with the social norms that sex information and sexuality should not be discussed in the public. However, community members would be taught about the negative of anti-sexual behaviors through the social systems inexistence in the community.
I have gained a lot of knowledge going through this class. First, I am able to understand my sexuality. In addition, I leant about cultural factors that are unspoken and spoken that affect sexuality. Societal norms that regulate sexuality also led to the understanding of sexuality and sexual behaviors in the community. The society discourages exposure of children to sexual activities at an early age by condemning sex discussion in the public. This has a positive impact to the development of the children. However, some ideas about sexuality changed as I grew up. For instance, school should teach student about sexual vices that comes by as they engage in sexual activities at an early age. Such information is important in bringing up all-rounded individuals.