Homosexuality is an erotic attraction, sexual behavior, emotional attachment, and a definition of the self. Over 7 1/2 million people in the United States are homosexual. These people are those who are interested in the same sex as lovers. They are often thought of gays for men and lesbians for the females. A persons sexual orientation is what sex one is attracted to, the types are: bisexuality ( both sexes), homosexuality (same sex), and heterosexuality (opposite sex).
Most religious views of homosexuality are very negative and it is regarded as a sinful act. Last year in my church there was a huge conflict over what defined homosexuality. There were a few gay individuals in our congregation and some of the other members did not like this. They really did not get it totally settled, they just ended up dropping the issue. Homophobia is said to be the irrational fears of homosexuality, or the fear of the homosexual feeling within ones self. These feelings are the main problem now rather than homosexuality itself. Coming out is the term used when a homosexual person tells the world that they are gay or lesbian. They no longer have to try to hide their feeling and do not worry if people accept them or not. There was a gay person on my floor this year and I had no idea of this until he announced it. His sexual orientation is just different than most of the people on our floor. He has been getting harassed by some individuals, and I believe that the problem has been taken care of.
Contraception is a very broad topic that requires a little research by the individual to find the appropriate forms. It is sometimes refereed to as birth control, contraception is the various methods used to prevent pregnancy from occurring. It is dated back to the 19th century. The barrier methods are the devices that block sperm from entering the uterus. Condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, and the contraceptive sponge used along with spermicidal jellies are the basic barrier methods. Intrauterine devices are the tiny metal or plastic loops that are placed in the uterus, they work by interfering with the implantation of the egg into the uterus. Chemical methods are the uses of different chemicals to prevent pregnancy. The most common are the pill, Norplant, and Depo-Provera. Surgical sterilization and natural family planning are the two other types. Surgical sterilization is very popular for older men and women. Operations occur to tie off the tubes (fallopian) in women and (vas deferens) in men. Family planning is the art of perfect timing.
I know many people who have not chosen to use these simple forms of birth control. They have paid very much so in the long run and probably will regret it for the rest of their lives. Some of my friends got different STD's from not using the appropriate forms of birth control. I think that birth control should be made more easily available to those in overpopulated countries. It is sometimes difficult for people in these countries to get the proper forms of birth control. It is a big issues and needs to be treated as one by all.
Conceiving children is a very complicated process and a very beautiful choice that people are given. Prontalism is the word used to describe policies and attitudes that encourage parenthood for all couples. I really have not thought about having children yet, I hope I do not have to for some time. Most people are given the necessary means to have children, but there are some that are less fortunate. Infertility is when a couple cannot conceive a child because of a problem with the reproductive organs of either the male or female. In female infertility the main problems are from STD's that the female had at one time in her life. In males the problems usually comes from a low sperm count and sometimes STD's. There are ways that these couple can still have a normal infant with out much problem. Artificial insemination is when the women is inserted with the man's sperm. This is the most widely used method to solve the infertility problems. I have not known any couples with this problem, that shows how little of a number of people that are effected by infertility.
Various genetic, medical, or hormonal problems may cause spontaneous abortion, or a miscarriage. This terminates the pregnancy, it occurs in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Elective abortions are decisions to terminate a pregnancy by medical procedures. 1.6 million American women terminate a pregnancy each year. It is thought by many to be unkind and even murder. There have been many controversies over abortion. I have known some people that have had abortions. I did not think that it changed their lives to much. It seemed as if it was the only choice that they had.
The experience of pregnancy is a long and hard process for the female. Children are produced in a 9 month period. When the time comes the woman goes into labor, which consists of 3 stages. When we watched the videos of childbirth I was kind of grossed out by the whole idea. I thought it would appear a bit more pleasant than it did. Following child birth there are many physical, emotional, and family adjustments to be made.
Sexuality during childhood is something that all kids go through. Masturbation is common among younger children and usually starts in the 5-7 age range. The physical changes of adolescents are refereed to as puberty. Puberty is the increase in the hormonal levels in kids. Menstruation and ejaculation mark the physical developments of puberty. Sexual behavior during adolescence is when the kids are known to make choices about themselves. Petting is a common behavior among adolescents.
Adolescent pregnancy is associated with social, medical, educational, and financial difficulties. 1 in 11 active adolescent females become pregnant each year. Sex education is the answer to these problems. The more that young people are educated on these topics the lesser that these problems will occur. I had a very good sexual education course in high school health class. That taught me some of the problems and consequences that occur if you are not careful.
Single living is often seen as a transition period before, in between, or after marriage, many people choose it as a permanent lifestyle. Cohabition is when people live together without marriage, it is happening much more than in the past. Marriage is when 2 people join together to love each other for a lifetime. Some marriages end in divorce. That is when they break off their relationships legally. Divorces are beginning to decline in the last few years. I have seen many couples end up in divorce. It is sad and unfortunate to see this happen to people. I t is said to ruin a persons life for a long time after it happens.
Sexuality in the later years becomes much more difficult for many. The sexual double standard continues into old age. Marriages of older women to younger men have increased in recent years. Older females experience menopause, the cessation of menstruation, that drop their hormonal levels. They still remain sexually active after menopause. In older men testosterone levels decrease until around age 60, this drops the hormonal levels in males. Sexual expression may decline in both males and females following these changes. Sexual relationships may improve after these changes occur because couples often focus more on intimacy. I can see that this is true from observing my grandparents. They have become much closer and are able to spend much more time with each other.
Sexual problems in the general population appear to very common. 1 in every 7 people experience sexual problems. Sexual problems may cause some embarrassment and should not make a person feel uncomfortable. Desire phase difficulties occur in many couples. This is the lack of sexual interest and can be caused by other problems in peoples lives. Sexual aversion is an extreme fear of sexual activity.
Excitement phase difficulties are usually caused by physiological and psychological factors. These difficulties are lack of vaginal lubrication and erectile inhibition. Orgasm phase difficulties or anorgasmia occur mostly in women. This is the inability to achieve an orgasm, it can be lifelong or just temporary. I have not ever heard of anyone with this problem, probably because it would be very embarrassing to the person. Premature ejaculation is a problem in many men. This occurs from a low threshold to sexual activity. Pain during coitus is very disruptive to sexual interest and arousal in both women and men. Numerous physical problems can lead to painful intercourse.
Sex therapy is begun by self awareness in mostly all cases. Exploring one's body and masturbation increase one's knowledge and comfort and may make it easier to explore one's partners body. The PLISSIT model outlines 4 progressive levels of sex therapy: permission, limited information, specific suggestions, and intensive therapy. Communication is a very needed element in a relationship. Suggestions for both men and women are to try a variety of different things while making love. Many different trials may result in a solution to the problem. Medical operations may be needed to cure some of the tougher problems as physical defections may be solved. One of my uncles had a very tough problem with erection inhibition which was solved by a penile prosthesis.
Stereotypes about the chronically ill and disabled are often based on incorrect assumptions about the sexual limitations that certain medical problems present. Chronic illnesses and the way that they are treated can have a great impact on sexuality. Disabilities force individuals with disabilities to get special attention and education about sexuality and sexual enhancement. They much learn new ways to have sexual encounters. My cousin Casey is confined to a wheel chair. He had a girl friend once but I am not sure if he had any sexual encounters with her. He really does not talk about that to much, even though I am pretty close with him. The best ways for him to cope with his problems are to accept the limitations and developing the possible options remaining to him. He must see himself with a positive body image and as a sexually attractive male. Good communication is very important for people who are ill or physically disabled.
Venereal Diseases, also called sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infectious diseases that can be spread by sexual contact. Some can also be transmitted by nonsexual means, but these make up a minority of the total number of cases. An estimated 10 to 12 million Americans have venereal diseases, several kinds of which are epidemic, including gonorrhea, infections of the urethra not caused by gonorrhea, genital herpes virus, genital warts, scabies, and urethral and vaginal infections caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, the protozoan Trichomonas, and the yeast monilia. A number of surveys have shown that venereal diseases in the U.S. affect people of both sexes, of all races, and of every economic status. I have known many people that have acquired some of these diseases, I have found that none of them are very pleasant. They are avoided by taking the proper precautions of contraception.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is a disease that renders the body's immune system unable to resist invasion by several microorganisms that cause serious infections. It is usually characterized by severe weight loss and fatigue, and frequently by neurological complications due to damage of cells of the brain.
AIDS is transmitted by blood, through intimate sexual contact, from infected mothers to their babies in the uterus, and perhaps through infected mother's milk.
These STD's are prevented by using the proper contraception. Education is another big part in stopping the spread of these diseases. I have known many people who have fallen into the trap of these diseases. The only way that they will be stopped is through the proper precautions and people starting to care about these monsters.
Atypical sexual behavior is a variety of sexual activities that in there fully developed form are very uncommon in the general public. Exhibitionism refers to a male exposing himself in a public place. I have never witnessed this in my life time yet. Voyeurism is the obtaining of sexual pleasure from looking at the exposed bodies or sexual activities of others, usually strangers. Sadomasochism is defined as getting sexual arousal by receiving or giving physical or mental pain. Fetishism is when a person gets aroused by focusing on inanimate objects or a part of the human body. I have never seen this before but I really hope to, it would be rather interesting. Transvestism involves obtaining sexual excitement through cross dressing.
Zoophilia, necrophilia, klismaphilia, coprophilia, urophilia are all related to the obtaining of pleasure from many gross and unheard of ways. I once heard of this man from my home town of Aberdeen who would have sex with his sheep. I did not know if this was true and still do not know if I believe this. I hope I never come across this type of atypical behavior.
Sexual victimization is illegal and needs to be put under control. There are not a huge number of incidents that occur but the ones that do are usually drastic. Rape is a very controversial topic since there are many definitions that vary from person to person. I believe that if a person says "no" there should be no doubt in defining it. Rape is the violating of a persons sexual space. Rape can occur at all ages and is gross in all accounts.
Prevention is a very tough thought to think about. You must have a tactic to get out of every situation, like we talked about in class. It is almost impossible to fight off someone who is twice your size. Sexual harassment is any unwanted attention of a sexual nature. This occurs most at the work place usually. I think that these things could be prevented if the problem was approached right away and not let to increase. Flirting usually leads to sexual harassment, I see this all the time on the Augustana campus.
Pornography is very tough to establish. There has not been a clear definition established. I think that it is basically anything that has any sexual content at all involved with it, in the form of pictures, words, videos, magazines, and any other publications. Prostitution refers to the exchange of sexual services for money. I do not see to much of this around Sioux Falls. I have come across many prostitutes in the larger cities. They usually hang out on street corners and you seek them out if you wish for their services.
I have seen many pornographic things from living in the dorms and having the basic male young attitude. Most males think that pornography is a must to develop normally. I think that it is everywhere and always will be.
I have learned many new and interesting things throughout the semester. I can honestly say that Introduction to Sexuality has been my favorite class that I have taken at Augustana. It was a great experience and I enjoyed the lectures. It is nice to go to class and know that you will actually have good discussions and it will be interesting.
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