Gender, Sex, and Nature
• LINK Male mouse from two female mice
• LINK gecko Geico commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acCfnwTpdxU
We are not always “accountable” to gender. For example, geckoes are an all-female species;
they clone themselves and require no male counterpart, parthenogenesis. Yet, we represent
them in commercials with a male voice. Mostly, though, westerners are very concerned with
getting these accountabilites “right.” Parthenogensis: e.g., roses, oranges, aphids, geckoes, ...
• A photo speaks a thousand words
PART 1 – FINISH LECTURE 2 (start at slide #24)
PART 2 – LECTURE 3 – the short link between gender and sexuality
1 Meston, C.M. and Buss, D.M. (2007). Why humans have sex. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36
2 NET Bean, M. (2007). Love lessons from the wild kingdom: 5 primal ways to boost your
animal magnetism. Men’s Health, 22 (4), 64-65. http://www.menshealth.com/men/sex-relationships/better-sex/animal-mating-
Tensions and Ironies…the stuff of sociology
RECAP LECTURE 3 – IF GENDER ISN’T NATURAL, IS SEX? THAT IS, IF GENDER IS
SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED, IS SEX, TOO?
SMUO Meston, C.M. and Buss, D.M. (2007). Why humans have sex. Archives of Sexual Behavior,
36 (4), 477-507.
Authors: Why we have sex has What can be said about the
study’s sample of 1,549?
been underestimated and • Who were the participants? Isp.
there a bias here? See article,
It is more complex than we • RESULTS: GENDER COMPARISONS
think, if we allow ourselves Most of the top 25 reasons for
having sex showed significant
to think outside the gender similarities …
biological, pre-determined BUT - MANY DIFFERENCES WERE
box. Still, there are variables DISCOVERED …
that strongly support
evolution, reinforcing the
need for ecological dialogue.
Main Differences and examples of sociological questions
1. Men operate more on physicalities, such as attractiveness. This supports
the evolutionary hypothesis that males are aroused by visual and other
sensual cues around potential fertility and genetic strength.
But, how does that theory include or exclude blind heterosexual males or
elderly males without a good sense of smell who want to have sex?
2. Men operated under the “availability” variable; if women are available to
have sex, then, why not have sex?
But, what kind of pressure does this place on women?
3. Women wanted to have sex to fulfill more emotional reasons.
Does this surprise you? What kind of pressure does that put on men?
4. Men were interested in having sex if women were not interested in
demanding emotionality from them.
What does this say about “emotional” men? What does it say about the
stereotypes around gay males?
READING: Bean, M. (2007). Love lessons from the wild kingdom: 5
primal ways to boost your animal magnetism. Men’s Health, 22 (4), 64-
65. Link to reading
Is this a sociological article?
Are these “love” lessons or sex
To whom is this article aimed;
that is, who is its intended
audience? What is the main
• Which animals and mating
“tips” might be suggested for:
gay men and lesbians?
So, how “natural” is sex?
• Assignment Details
• Ecological Dialogue Practice Sheets
• Reading Bell, D. and Holliday, R. (2000). Naked
as nature intended. Body and Society, 6 (3/4),