The Repressive Theory Of Sexuality Essays

The Repressive Theory Of Sexuality Essays

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The Repressive hypothesis states how we currently live in a sexual repressed society. The repressive hypothesis also states that sexuality needs to be liberated, or that it does not have to be repressed. Identifying with ones sexuality is the key to unlocking ones identity and one’s happiness. The repressive hypothesis initially implies three edicts; that derive from our repressed society. According to the repressive hypothesis, specifically in the repressive culture we live in, the first edict explains how all sexuality must be silenced in all occasions, for the mention of sexuality is taboo. In modern times, specifically within the 17th century, it was also important to keep sexuality “hush-hush”, only those who belong to the lower class speak about sexuality. The second edict explains how sexuality needs to be hidden. If two individuals do choose to engage in sexual acts then it must be done privately, and only in the bedroom. The third edict explains how sexuality itself should be denied existence. The existence of sexuality does not existence in children or in women, women are often described as being asexual. The sexual act of a woman should also only be for means of reproduction. The repressive hypothesis is based on the three edicts listed above, again implying we live in repressed society.
Michel Foucault, a French philosopher chooses to critique the repressive hypothesis. He believes that the way in which sexuality is expressed, by different philosophers, is the wrong way to think of sexuality. Through his philosophy his main goal is to question sexuality itself and for society to question the idea of the sexuality options given. Foucault has participated in many revolution such as women and gay revolutions and in the ...


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... to the example of making prisoners socially acceptable through surveillance. The use of surveillance was the then adopted in many other institutions, such as asylums and hospitals, as a way to control and maximize surveillance; creating sexuality in an indirect way.
Foucault ultimately believed that the repressive hypothesis held a constraint on an individual’s sexuality. Through history the reader is allowed to see how “sexuality” emerged and how the forms of sexuality were given to use, the use of surveillance and the use of confession allowed sexuality to emerge and it also allowed the new constrains of sexuality to emerge. Foucault believe that an individual should not solely focus on ones sexuality, although it is important in order to identify oneself. He believed that one should understand the history of sexuality in order to understand sexuality in a whole.

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