Natural and normal vs. unnatural and not normal

After looking at the wheel from Gayle Rubin’s “Thinking Sex” article for the just in time #1 assignment, I felt as though 200 words was not enough to really look into the wheel and how it shapes the way society and culture look at sexuality.

I think that culture and society influence each other when looking at sexuality and more specifically when looking at the wheel and how it pertains to views on sexuality. Our cultures shape how our society functions in many different ways. It shapes our societies views on religion, education, equality business, gender, sexuality, the internet and its usage. Sometimes different subcultures have a larger impact on us than our countries overall culture, but it does shape our societal beliefs and views.

In relation to the wheel that Gayle Rubin’s has created, I believe that this is slowly starting to change at least in the younger generations in western cultures. I am from the US, and I think that if someone did a survey of American bachelor’s students, average ages between 18-24, I think that they would find many people saying part of the inside wheel is more abstract and “not normal” than the views on the outside wheel. If you took a poll of American college professors, they may disagree with their students. I mentioned this would be specific to “western” cultures. Among personal finding, most “western” cultures do not have as high of an influence by religion in their everyday life. Not to say that the people aren’t religious or don’t practice religion or that it doesn’t have a strong influence in people’s lives, but that “western” cultures tend to preach that religion and faith does not have to shape every aspect of your life.

I think that age has a lot to do with the way that we view the wheel, this is a subculture that I don’t think is looked at very often. With each generation thoughts become more liberal and broad. For my grandparents the inner wheel was something that was followed and if you decided to do something in your sexual life that was with the outside wheel, you not only did not talk about it, but probably denied it. For my parent’s generation I think that some of the aspects of the outer wheel became more common place. For example, pornography is not really seen today as an “unnatural” thing. Not only do both sexes enjoy pornography, but many times couples will watch it together. I also think that for my parent’s generation it was not uncommon for aspects of the wheel such as “with manufactured objects” to be incorporated in their sex lives, however it was still something that you did not talk about openly. Maybe with your closest friends but it was not a common topic of conversation, and you certainly didn’t go around saying that you did these things. For our generation, at least in the American “western” culture, I think that most aspects of the outer wheel are very common place. I think that there are a few that you don’t talk about, or boys will to brag to their friends, as if they’re some sort of accomplishment to have done.

I think that this also plays into the fact that as a generation around the world, not just in “western” cultures or in the American culture, our ideas are more open and questioning as they will continue to be with each subsequent generation. There are aspects of our lives, sexual and nonsexual that we control, putting aside aspects of our religion or culture to discover who we are, what we want and what we think is normal or not normal because normal changes from not just culture to culture but person to person.

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2 Responses to Natural and normal vs. unnatural and not normal

  1. apalmgre says:

    I like how you have ellaborated the assignment. While reading your third paragraph about religion and the secular state (state separate from religion or not being exclusively allied to any particular religion) and that some researchers are also talking about the postsecular (a renewed interest in the spiritual life). The western cultures are assumed to be very secular, but is it really so. Or reformulated: who are considered to be western? And related to the things you are reflecting on: is it a norm /assumption that newer genererations are not going according the the wheel. Can this be exemplified in online games/YA books, children’s books, social media, movies etc? Could you relate it to online cultures?

  2. apalmgre says:

    Earlier today I forgot to add an article that might be interesting to you:

    Even if Gayle Rubins text is not that new, it has made a base for sexuality studies and today’s queer studies. If is it as you state in your blog entry, does that mean that younger people in western cultures are queer? What are your thoughts?

    (I also posted the link in my comment to Fenna’s blog post from the 4th of May.

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