Sociologists and social psychologists, in a wide-ranging survey of research published this week in Psychological Science, have used the sociological imagination to dismiss a range of sexual practices and assumptions that are embedded in the ways people have sex and relationships.
The survey, conducted by the American Sociological Association and the National Association of Social Workers, was prompted by the release of a new book, Sex and Psychology: The Sexuality of Norms and Values, which argues that sexuality is a social construction.
The study found that many sociologists have interpreted sexual practices as simply a set of social rules that define who is and is not allowed to engage in sexual activity.
This has led many to claim that “sexual norms” are somehow more valid than those of biology or the “norm” of sex.
In reality, it is the sociologist who is defining and validating the sexual norm.
In a related survey, the National Organization for Women found that a third of women in the U.S. believe that “sex is a matter of choice, not choice of sex” and that “men have an inherent right to be treated as equals and not treated as victims.”
Yet a third report from the Institute of Marriage and Family Research, published in February, found that women are more likely to view sex as a choice than men.
This suggests that sexual norms and sexual practice are often constructed in ways that are not based on reality, the report states.
The findings underscore how sexual practices can be a powerful tool for advancing gender equality and the promotion of equal rights and opportunities.
But sociologically, it also shows how some social constructs are used to deny women the right to have sex, the study notes.
“It is the social construction of sex that is the most troubling and problematic,” said Rachelle Anderson, a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico.
“It is also the most likely to perpetuate the idea that women should be treated like victims.”
The survey asked 2,000 people whether they believe that sex is a choice or a social construct.
A further 5,000 respondents were asked whether they thought that sex was a matter for the person to decide.
“We can see how that is not the case.
In fact, the social construct of sex is the way that gender inequality is perpetuated,” Anderson said.”
The question that we have to ask is, how do we change the social constructs and how do they change when it comes to sex?”
This study is important because it raises important questions about how to move beyond gender equality, said Emily Rauch, a professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College who studies how social constructs influence our understanding of sex, sexual orientation and sexual identity.
“When you have a social structure, you can have a way of seeing it that is different from the way we think about the way the world is, and that can be problematic,” Rauach said.
“We have to be careful about using the sociology of sex to advance a particular point of view.”
Sex and Gender has been described as “the most comprehensive survey of sexual practice in the country” and “a watershed in understanding sexual practices.”
“I’m glad that sociologist Rachelle and the other authors are coming out and saying that this is not just a sociological construct,” said Michelle Goss, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a group that has been pushing for changes in the law to make it easier for gay men to marry.
“This is a real change in the conversation about sexuality and the sex industry, and I hope it will lead to more accurate and nuanced sexual health information.”
Rauch said that she and other activists have been working on this issue for years.
She noted that the research was funded by the National Science Foundation, which “is a big supporter of social science.”
The report highlights a number of issues, such as the way sex is defined and the way people have sexual experiences, that have been used by sociocultural anthropologists, including sociobiologists and anthropologists of science.
The survey asked respondents to provide information on their gender, sexuality, age, race, religion, class, and level of education.
The report found that while most respondents agreed that sexual orientation was not a matter to be decided, there was widespread agreement that people are more often willing to say that they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
“I think the most telling finding in the study is that people have this belief that there is a sexual norm for their sex that has never been proven or demonstrated,” Anderson told ABC News.
“And that the more you study that norm, the more it seems like you can find it.”
The sociology of sex also revealed how people have different perspectives on sex.
More than one-quarter of respondents (25 percent) said that “gender does not make much difference in how someone is attracted to another person” and said that the attraction to another’s