Essay by suzanna_pUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, October 2003

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Anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists and biologists all see the reasoning for different human behaviour to be caused by different factors. Sexuality is just one of the many of these human aspects that has been studied resulting in, of course, conflicting theories. There is the essentialist point of view on sexuality, which is mainly the view that our sexual behaviours come from our biological make-up alone. The opposing view of sociologists is the social constructionist one, which believes that reality is constructed from the social world, which includes sexuality. The belief that "sexuality functions as a malleable feature of self, a prime connecting point between body, self identity and social norms." (Giddens 1995, p.6) This essay seeks to explore some of the many aspects that make up our sexuality and to explore these issues from a sociological constructionist's view and from an essentialist view.

The essentialist explanation of sexuality in humans is based on the view that our sexual behaviour is exclusively due to our biological make-up, and that natural selection (Darwin's theory) has, over many centuries, caused human sexual behaviour and orientation to become what it has.

In Darwin's theory he explains the evolution of mankind to have evolved through natural selection: only the strongest survive. That humans and animals with the strongest, most adapted and adaptable genes and behaviours survive, passing these genes onto the next generations. In this argument the main point is that our sexual behaviour is 'fixed,' 'inborn,' therefore unable to be altered by outside influences, such as society, family, culture and peers. This is not so. If our sexuality was shaped by our biology alone, then the idea that "men are naturally more aggressive and need to be dominant; while women are passive, nurturing and like to be dominated" (Evans 1997; Jackson and Scott 1996 cited...