Gender Roles.

Essay by simonc383University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2003

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In learning sexuality, our gender roles are very critical. Our gender roles tell us what behavior is appropriate and it dictates what sexual impulses are appropriate or suitable. Our sexual impulses are organized through sexual scripts. By definition sexual scripts are "the acts, rules, and expectations associated with a particular role." (Strong, DeVault, Sayad, 208) a script can be compared to a blueprint or roadmap where it gives general directions in the form of a sketch.

Sexual scripts are first formed during adolescence when we are first learning to be sexual. Early on our sexual scripts are learned through our parents, peers, and the media. As we gain experience, our scripts are modified and adapted through interactions with our partners.

Sexual scripts come into play when we enter relationships with members of the opposite sex, or of the same-sex depending on your preference. Sexual scripts are a way to express our values and attitudes toward sex.

According to Barbach, the traditional female sexual script includes the following ideas: "sex is both good and bad, women are taught not to be ' touched down their', sex is for men, men should know what women want, women shouldn't talk about sex, women should look like beautiful models, women are nurturers and there is only one right way to experience orgasm." (Strong, DeVault, Sayad, 208 -- 209) in contrast, the male sexual scripts, according to therapist Zilbergeld, men "should not have or at least express certain feelings, performance is the thing that counts, the man is in charge, a man always wants sex and is ready for it, all physical contact leads to sex, sex equals intercourse, and sexual intercourse always leads to orgasm." (Strong, DeVault's, Sayad, 209) As a result, we tend to make assumptions about others scripts. For example, in my...