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Sexuality and Mothering

  • By: Rita M. Jones
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Sexuality, broadly defined, encompasses what humans participate in to satiate sexual desires. In this sense, sexuality includes sexual orientation, sexual drive, sexual desire, and sexual pleasure. This definition reveals areas in which socialization plays a role in what humans determine is “sexy” or what they desire sexually, and the tensions between the nature versus nurture debate are also evident, often discussed within the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered/Queer/Intersexed (LGBTQI) community, specifically in terms of whether one's sexual orientation is a “choice” or “biological.” Many cultures encourage women to meet standards of what is sexually attractive, and for some LGBTQI women, these standards do not meet their own sexual desires. When these women do not participate in the standards, they sometimes face negative consequences both in terms of their abilities ...

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