Society's Conception of Sex
The connotation of the word sex is so vague that it can be manipulated to mean virtually anything, however the definition of the word within society has remained the same. Penetration is the defining factor of sex in its literal sense, however it can be altered to include a variety of acts. Anthropologist Margaret Mead, and President Clinton found loopholes in the connotation of sex, and used it to the benefit. The context in which Mead used the word was to encompass the various acts that accompany intercourse, such as oral sex, to prove that Samoan society is far more promiscuous than our own. President Clinton also used the vagueness of the word to his benefit. He manipulated the connotation of sex to only include intercourse, so that he may escape incrimination of adultery and perjury. In both cases the hazy connotation of the word was used as an advantage, but society's definition of the word remained clear.
Mead manipulated the definition to include acts other than penetration in order to prove that Samoan society is more open in their sexuality. She used the word to create a utopian Samoa, where people freely engaged in promiscuous sexual acts, like oral sex. Her definition of penetration included more than just penetration, it encompassed other actions such as oral sex. By altering the definition of sex to include other actions, Mead was trying to prove that Samoan society was better off because of their sexual freedom. She claimed that the openness to sex in Samoa created a sense of free love, a quality that our country lacked at the time. Her alteration of the word was used to criticize the co...
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...p; Mead's definition of sex included many other acts, to prove that free love was rampant in Samoa. Society did not agree with her because the popular definition of sex did not include any other actions. Penetration has been the defining factor of sex. President Clinton used this social law to claim his innocence concerning his involvement with Monica Lewinsky. He asserted that he did not have sexual relations with his intern. This term sexual relations is so broad that any sexual act could fit under its definition. The American public did not agree with his statement, because under society's beliefs, oral sex falls into the category of sexual relations. These two situations prove that individuals have tried to manipulate the connotation of sex to their advantage, but society's conception of sex has remained static.
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