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Essay analysis on sexuality, identity and homosexuals

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  1. Halperin's is there a history of sexuality
  2. Capitalism and gay identity vs Transformations of homosexuality-based classifications
    1. A distinction between social construction and essentialism
    2. Social construction
    3. The essentialist view of Greek pederasty
    4. The relationship between essentialism and social constructivism
  3. The uses of erotic
    1. Distinction between erotic and pornography
  4. Contrast of Rich's 'Compulsory heterosexuality and lesbian existence' and in Rubin's 'Thinking sex'
  5. Conclusion

In Halperin's ?Is There a History of Sexuality?, he explains that sex as an act is a natural and universal phenomenon and thus has no history. On the other hand, he clarifies that there is a history of sexuality, although it is a fairly recent history and is socially constructed. By this, he means to enlighten his readers to the fact that sexuality is not fixed, but rather is constantly changing and that sexuality exists differently in different contexts throughout history.

In Greenberg's article, ?Transformations of Homosexuality-Based Classifications?, he argues that the modern homosexual identity has emerges as a result of continuously shifting categories and constant transformations over time. Like Halperin, Greenberg gives an extensive timeline of ?homosexual? categories within their historical context.

[...] Pornography on the other hand, creates and maintains women's sexual oppression. Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling, as it is visually based and superficial. Lorde relates pornography to men and men's oppression of women and the erotic is tied to women and feminine power. I agree with the distinction that Lorde makes here. Although much of what is categorized as pornography is exceedingly demeaning to women, this is not to say that all sexual media should be expelled. One great example of a celebration of the erotic is the work of Annie Sprinkle. [...]


[...] Greenberg believes that sexuality is fluid and constantly changing throughout history and attributes the modern homosexual identity to a transformation over time. D'Emilio, on the other hand, acknowledges only one paradigm shift. He believes that the homosexual identity was born out of free labor and capitalism and draws a distinct line between pre-modern and modern sexuality. Jagose makes a distinction between social construction and essentialism as ways of explaining identities that is echoed in many of the texts that we have read. [...]


[...] Many men partook of this practice while still having wives and children. Halperin explains that because this identity is constantly shifting, each point in history has its own form of homosexual activities with constantly shifting significance. Rich presented a though-provoking idea regarding the relationship between essentialism and social constructivism. As an essentialist view, Rich introduced her conception of the lesbian continuum on which all women naturally fall. On one end of the continuum are plutonic friendships between women while the other end facilitates sexual attraction between women. [...]

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