This proposed book is an anthology of both original and reprinted articles on sexuality from a sociological perspective. The readings in this collection focus on the diverse and multi-layered meanings of sexuality, sexual behaviors and sexual identities. The essays in this book will explore sexuality as a social process. As a whole, the book takes the perspective that what each of us understands to be sexual is constructed through everyday social processes and interaction, situated in particular spaces and moments, identified through our social-sexual presentations, and symbolized through language, objects and practices. The book is organized around these four distinct but interrelated processes, and augmented by personal narratives around relevant issues. The purpose of this book is to broaden students' perspectives on sexuality by providing them with a consistent framework to help them understand sexualities as social phenomena. The authors' goals for the book are: to engage students in the sociological enterprise by providing interesting and insightful entries that emphasize the importance of meaning-making in human sexuality, and to provide them with conceptual tools to understand human sexuality in a complex and quickly-changing sexual landscape.
Chapter 3: Stating Desire: Sexuality, the State, and Social Control
Stating Desire: Sexuality, the State, and Social Control
The state, through laws and enforcement, acts as the guardian of morality, constructing appropriate sexualities. While we might like to believe that desire is a personal choice or a natural urge, the state has a distinct role in shaping who is a suitable object and what methods can be used to express that desire. As a group, one kinky community in Texas sees itself as resisting vanilla hegemony by flaunting some aspects of the law. However, to paint all actions in this kinky community as resistance misses the internal tensions within the group. Elites in the community mimic the power of the state ...