Sexual Identity And Sexual Identity

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Not everyone may realize that sexual behavior and sexual identity are two distinguishable ideas, though they are closely related. Sexual behavior is, as it sounds, the way one acts out sexually. Sexual identity is how one interprets themselves in regards to sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Sexual identity has more so to do with performativity, than physical sexual acts. This paper aims to identify the ways in which sexual behavior becomes known as sexual identity and how the queer theoretical insights of Marinucci and Mottier lead to the understanding of this development. Although sexual behavior and sexual identity do not necessarily have the same meaning, they are still closely related, especially in regards to sexual orientation. Sexual…show more content…
From this reference, we find that sexuality has depended upon historical context, something that is also discussed in Marinucci’s article. Mottier’s reference to Aristophanes led us into the topic of sex, gender, and sexuality in Ancient Greece. Much different compared to today, during Ancient Greek times, sex was considered more fluid, gender more social, and sexuality was based on penetrative pleasure or reproduction. Sexual identity hadn’t quite made its way into society yet. One could say that Ancient Greece had a primary focus on sexual behaviors over sexual identity. From here, Marinucci leads her readers into a discussion of how an understanding of sexuality develops in the Western modern…show more content…
The idea of ‘one-sex’ bodies (a form of thought in Ancient Greece) began to be replaced in the 18th century with the “biological differentiation between men and women” (Mottier, 33). While a gender hierarchy remained, male and female bodies were now seen as biologically and fundamentally different. With the changes of thought during this period, a biological model of sexuality also came about. In the 19th century, the concept of ‘sexual inversion’ became popular (Mottier, 38). Homosexuals were viewed as suffering from gender disorders; they were not criminals, but abnormal and in need of a cure (Mottier, 39). What do all of these developments have to do with sexual behaviors becoming known as sexual identities?
These changes of thought through time referenced in Mottier’s book serve as evidence towards her thesis that an understanding of sexuality develops from moral, biological, and social models of sexuality that can all be interpreted culturally (Mottier, 47). Mottier believes that understanding contemporary sexuality depends on understanding historical developments, and that from this understanding, we can precipitate change (Duncan, 2017). In short, ways in which sexual behaviors become known as sexual identities depend upon cultural and historical
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