The social construction of sexuality is the effort of people to behave or carry out in a way that will identify them with a certain gender. Generally, males and females, be it humans or animals, behave in distinctly different ways in some life aspects. These sexuality characteristics are cultivated right from the childhood life of an individual.
One aspect of life where sexuality is well constructed in a distinct way appears in clothing. Naturally, one expects males and females to wear clothes that define their gender. It will, therefore, be considered insane or hilarious if a male was to wear female clothing, and vice versa.
In religious settings, the same applies. Take, for example, the Muslims. Women are supposed to put on hijabs that cover their head, and sometimes their faces. They wear low cut robes, usually black in color. The males, likewise, also wear low cut robes. Even though they wear robes too, there is a difference in the two pieces of clothing. The males usually prefer white robes, but sometimes one can have a dark colored one. It is extremely rare to observe females in white robes. Males also add head gears popularly called “Arafats” on their heads, in place of the women hijabs. These are pieces of clothes with distinct Islamic markings that are made into turbans on the head. Occasionally, they are placed on the shoulders.
Modern Christianity does not really dwell on dressing as a distinctive characteristic of sexuality. However, the few remaining staunch Christian denominations are always keen to regulate this. In this respect, trousers and short pants are supposed to be worn by males. Females are supposed to stick to skirts and dresses. However obsolete this criterion might be in today’s world, it is still a way of sexual identification among some Christians.
When one is identified with a particular gender, it is their responsibility to live up to their expectations and general assumptions. For example, among the Maasai of East Africa, there is a stage in life when a boy has to pass through initiation. This is a transitional stage from childhood to adulthood. During this period, the boys are required to go out in the forests hunting for a lion. The one who comes home with the head of a lion is considered a brave and highly respected man. The award is bestowment of great honors and respect among their peers.
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In many countries, the issue of same sex marriage is being condemned and abhorred. A man is therefore expected to marry a woman. Same sex couples are usually alienated in these countries. In Arab countries, same sex marriage is a legal offense and can lead to imprisonment. The president of Uganda at some point had suggested killing of same sex couples. This is because they have defied the general assumptions of their sexuality.
Homosexuals too, have their point of argument. They argue that since they are citizens of the countries in question, they have rights. They have the right to associate. That right does not limit them from sexually associating with people of their gender. This discussion of whether to legalize same gender sexual relationships has been a topic of heated debate in many countries. Most people are against it, arguing that it against God’s will of nature.
Many factors affect experiences in sexualities. Among the Catholics, women can never be priests. It is the men who occupy those positions. We can therefore never have a female pope. Similarly, Imams in Islam mosques are always males. In many countries, women are usually shunned from being political leaders. Not that they provide poor leadership, but there are generally considered weak in terms of decision making, especially during crises. This is a subject of debate.
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These experiences leave one gender to feel appreciated than the other in different fields. For instance, during war situations, women and children are considered first in rescue and relief missions before the men. The fact that one is a man does not predispose them to less danger. Concurrently, the intake of male operatives in discipline forces is higher than that of the females. Even so, lots of changes are being embraced to erode the old culture that divided sexualities sharply. We are starting to see more male nurses in hospitals as well as more male models on the runway. Women are being considered to undertake technical trainings that were initially “men worlds”. These include medicine, law and engineering. There is a great change of sexuality and the world as a whole is embracing it.
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