Bodies, Gender and Sexuality

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Psycho-sexuality is a study done by sociologists in the twentieth century. According to a sociologist Sigmund Freud, psycho-sexual development is the process during which personality and sexual behavior mature through a series of stages. It can also be defined as the progressive evolution of immature sexuality process that passes through different phases of psychic organization.

From birth, human beings have got instinctual sex drive which is seen in different stages and each of the stage is characterized by erogenous zone where the zone triggers the drive within that particular stage. The stages include oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital. It is believed that in any stage happens that the child experienced anxiety in relation to that drive, that the themes related to this phase would continue into adulthood as a neurosis.

The body is the important tool in this development since in the early development, a child's behavior rotates around various parts of the body for instance, mouth during feeding the child, anus during training the child how to go to the toilet and later though genitals. Neurosis in adults is believed to have its roots in the childhood sexuality; the infant can get sexual pleasure from any part of the body and these shows that they were childhood expressions of sexual fantasy and desire. A child may fail to know what is happening from his parents and may associate the anxiety with the erogenous zone. And thus to avoid anxiety, the child is preoccupied with the themes related to this zone a fact termed as fixation.

The first phase is the oral stage. The stage starts from birth up to around two year and the part of the body used in this stage is mouth. The main focus is in the mouth and the pleasure is the result of nursing and also the child tends to put other objects in the mouth. There are two factors that contribute to the formation of ego in this stage; the body image is developed where the child realizes that the body is different from the outer world and it will understand that one feels pain when force is applied to a part of the body.

Another factor that leads to formation of ego is the experience of delay of gratification and lead to understanding that some behavior can lead to satisfaction of some needs for instance the child will slowly realize that satisfaction is not immediately and thus need a behavior that will cause the action that will lead to satisfaction for instance crying of a baby who is two months old is meaningless until later where crying is connected to certain needs.

The second phase is the anal stage. In this stage erogenous zone moves from upper digestive track to the end (anus). When training the child how to go to toilet, it develops the obsession with the erogenous zone of the anus and with the retention of the feces. The conflict for the elimination and handling of feces is resolved gradually depending on the ways the parent uses to handle the situation. The best way comes when the child tries to adjust and parents are not so coarse, then the child will learn the importance of cleanliness and order step by step.

The next phase is phallic stage where the child's erogenous zone is the genital region and the child becomes more interested in his genitals and the conflict arises in the conflict of others. The stage starts from three to five years of age. Stimulation of the genitals is noticed for instance in boys like any other male starts to have erections during their sleep. The children become aware of their body and the body of other children.

The next stage is latency period where the sexual drive lies dormant. Children use their energy into activities such as school, athletic and same sex friendship.

The last phase is genital stage which starts from puberty until development ends. The interest of the child turns into heterosexual relationship.

Heteronormativity is the cultural bias in favor of the opposite sex relationship of a sexual nature and against the sexual nature of same sex relationship (relationship between a man and a woman). For example man and a woman relationship are normal but lesbian and a gay are of heteronormative bias.

There are different examples of Heteronormativity for example the under representation of same sex couple in entertainment or media, another is the law that actively discriminate against the same sex relationships for instance law that bans same sex marriage and lastly religious bias against same sex couples.

Heteronormativity stigmatizes and marginalizes perceived unusual forms of sexuality and gender and thus it makes self expression hard when that expression does not conform to the norm for example lesbians, gay, bisexual, asexual, intersex and polygamist. The theory argues that heterosexual sex is a way that men maintain power over women and thus heterosexuality is not good for women.

In the society, gender identity is seen as leading to a lack of possible choice about ones gender role and sexual identity. In relation to marriage and nuclear families in twentieth century, families experienced death of one or both parents and thus the rate of divorce, single parenting and cohabitation have risen. The nuclear families may be headed by single parent and this is caused by divorce or separation. Those families that have two parents who are not married but have children with same sex parents.  With surrogate mothers, artificial insemination and adoption families do not have to be formed by heteronormative biological union of a male and a female.

Intersex is a person who has characters that are ambiguously either male or female and when such problem is detected a surgery is performed to produce a male or a female body with the knowledge of the parents.

Non heterosexual behavior is discouraged in many societies since many people argue that this is because it challenges the heteronormative position that sexual relationship exist mainly because of reproductive means.

Transgender are people who seek sex reassignment therapy. They may fail to develop gender identity that corresponds to their body or that is clearly male or female. Restrictions on the ability of transgender person to obtain gender related medical treatment have been blamed on Heteronormativity. In medicals which have these restrictions, patients have the option of suppressing transsexual behavior and conforming to the norms of their birth sex.

The recommendations on sexuality includes that because some of the theories are based on interpersonal transaction, it is useful to understand sexuality within a relational context. This includes why two people choose each other as the sexual partner, which has more influence on what sexual activities they do together including sexual satisfaction, and the likelihood that one or both of them seek sexual activities outside their relationship.

Also there should be comprehensive sexuality education for the early adolescent. It will be of great help for the youth to abstain and this will provide some protection from sexual abuses and also will prepare the youths to practice safer sex in the future. There is need to differentiate between conscious and unconscious in analyzing the individual behavior, the psycho-sexual approach emphasizes on the importance of the study of the unconscious in interpreting the overt behavior of an individual.