Views Of Intimate Sexuality Changed Sociology Essay

Chong Yin Hui

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Chong Yin Hui (angushui0618@hotmail.com)

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To a small extent that the Chinese view of intimate sexuality is differ from the western one. They get many common areas in this topic.

The views of intimate sexuality changed among these thousands years. And in this essay, contemporary views will be the main part of investigation.

Before we start the analysis, it is more appropriate to define the two key terms- intimate and sexuality. Intimate, similar to intimacy, which can be defined as relationship providing closeness as well as lovely experience [1](Bruce, 2009). On the other hand, sexuality includes not only experiences of sexual preference, religion and ethnicity[2], it also long maintains controversial place of moral confrontation apart from happiness and desire [3]. Intimate sexuality is easily associated with the warm and close relationship; its sphere includes the aim of having sex, sexual orientation, moral consideration and religion etc. Furthermore, it also involves the views towards prostitution, contraception as well as sex behavior.

It comes to the part of difference. One of the most obvious dissimilarities is their view towards prostitution.

For Chinese, particularly women, treated chastity as the most important thing in their life. Dying from hunger is a small thing, losing your virginity is a big thing (餓死事小, 失節事大), which is a famous traditional saying in Chinese society. This reflects how the general public view female virginity. Except husband, having sex with the others are not encouraged and even forbidden. In nowadays, this concept is still affecting Chinese. And they treat prostitution as casual and erotic. In Chinese society, if a woman is found involving in prostitution industry, they will be labeled as casual as well as indecent women and being discriminated.

Moreover, in contemporary China, many Chinese feminists discontent with prostitution as they think prostitution is an oppression of women. A Chinese organization Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaged in Revolt (WHISPER) claimed prostitution is just an industry that torturing women and no women should participate in sex industry. And Chinese probably treated prostitution is a tool that exploiting female[4].

On the other hand, although there are still a part of westerners refused to accept the existence of prostitution, westerners are still generally more open minded than Chinese towards this issue. Some westerners are feeling more acceptable towards woman working in prostitution and even relate to liberty. Westerners are not really treated virginity as important as Chinese, some of them advocate individualism as well as personal freedom. Much more westerners’ voices shout out in these few decades stating that we should respect their liberty, they gain the freedom to provide and sell sex service to the others[5]. According to a detailed research and observation done in Britain, its aim is to get a deeper understanding of more than two thousand female workers in Britain sex industry. Many of the interviewees claimed involving in prostitution is voluntary, they insist they all are adults and they have freedom to make their decisions, they hope people can respect their preference[6].

Also many westerners treat prostitution as job, profession. They believe it also associates with personal right. Lots of prostitutes’ right organizations are set up in western countries including the International committee for Prostitutes Rights in 1985. Those organizations claimed that there are also benefits that sex industry can give; at least it provides job opportunities [7]. Prostitute’s right is also a kind of human right and it is claimed that respects should be given to sex workers, as it is also a kind of professions.

Therefore, we can see Chinese view prostitution as damaging female virginity as well as woman oppression, while many of the westerners view it as a way of liberalism and professional, they think they should respect sex workers preference also rights.

Then it comes to the part of similarity. We will try to discuss their views towards sexual preference, particularly their perspectives on homosexual. Actually, both Chinese and westerners gain a relatively negative attitude towards homosexuality, and majority of their views are still reluctant to accept this issue.

Both of the general Chinese and westerners treated homosexuality as evil and vice. Undoubtedly, in Chinese society, homosexuality was relatively common and generally accepted in the ancient time.Butterfly is a popular and famous literature about homosexual love, and Wen- Ti in Han Dynasty was a typical gay example. After we observe those cases, homosexuality was generally accepted in ancient China and people often owned relatively open- minded attitude towards it. Therefore, some scholars will treat the ancient time as the ‘golden age for homosexual in China’[8]. However, this phenomenon tended to deteriorate in modern age, especially in early sage of PRC, which was the struggling era of China and the west. At that time, the western world tried to voice out the respect of homosexuality and Chinese gay individuals started to have the same tendency. Nonetheless, because of the confrontation with the western world, the Chinese government largely demonized homosexuality as evil, inappropriate example of western civilization [9]. One of the typical examples in China is Mr. Lam Yi Lok’s speech, stating that homosexuality is equal to evil crime like drug- addicted and implied those homosexual ones need medical treatments to change their mindsets.

In western view, as it is mentioned before, sexuality is related to religious background. And lots of westerners believe in Christianity that homosexuality is forbidden also treated as a crime in the Bible. Resentments in western world are still common in 21stcentury. For example, there were religious anti gay movement held in the USA on 13th September 2001. They blamed the homosexual ones secularized the Americas, describing them as hateful, obscene and even compare them with the 911 incident terrorists [10](Guillermo, 2008). Rightists and some Christians are still holding anti homosexual movements till now. As a result, we can see lots of Chinese and westerners treat homosexual as evil and inappropriate.

Additionally, both Chinese and westerners believe the homosexuality will threaten their family value. For Chinese, they were largely influenced by the ideas of Confucian; they advocated the importance of forming ‘normal’ families, as well as adults’teachings on children. One of the examples helps to support the above statement was the recent controversy over the consultation of regulation against homosexual discrimination. Many citizens and organizations especially The Society For Truth And Light long disagree with what the gay and lesbian does. They shouted out their discontents as they believe it not only affect the education on children, as well as ruin model family format which first combine by male and female. They claimed clearly that they must let their children know what a typical Chinese family is, also assure them to let the family format pass on the torch. As a result, more or less they refused to accept homosexuality because they are afraid of they cannot continue to maintain their ideal family format, also they fear the prevalence of homosexuality will set up a bad example for the children to learn (Chen, 2002). To draw up the above analysis, Chinese generally treated homosexual as inappropriate, evil, disgusting and unacceptable, and they gain a relatively large resentment on homosexuality.

On the other hand, although there is regulation protect the right of those sexual minorities; many westerners still fail to accept it as this violates their family values. They believe that it may threaten the nuclear family size as they think this family size is the best format for their society and the family value will be polluted if they allow homosexuality. Apart from the consideration of family value, they have the same fear with Chinese is it affects the growth of children. Some conservationists treated homosexuality as a danger similar to HIV and drug- addicted that will harm the healthy mental as well as physical growth of children (Jeffery, 1998).

In short, we can see Chinese and western views are the similar. They believe the homosexuality will ruin their family value long advocated as well as affect the growth and education of children in the future.

Intimate sexuality is also related to morality, so second part comes to the views of some moral issues in intimate sexuality. Morality is some common beliefs that have long been set up in order to judge matters are correct and suitable or not. The view towards incest is one of the discussion areas.

Incest means having sex with family members including brothers and sisters, grandparent and grandsons etc. [11]. Both Chinese and westerners feel unacceptable and shamed towards this issue, and they think this must not happen in the society.

For Chinese, Confucian ideas have been long advocating for more than two thousand years, especially after Sung and Ming Dynasty, more rules and regulations were added into the Confucian ideas. Chinese treated the relationships and respects among family are important. They disagree strongly with the sexuality between teachers and students, family members, emperor and subordinate, these actions are completely violated the morality and Confucian regulations. Even couples in the same surnames, they are not encouraged to get married, let alone the sexuality among family member. Harsh punishments were set up long time ago to prevent incest happen, including physical punishments and sending to the jail. A Chinese literature Thunderstorm talked about this issue, and the author Cao Yu said this story reflects the barbarian part in our mindsets, and it brought controversies in the Chinese community [12](Cho, 2002). And most of the Chinese claimed it is absolutely unacceptable.

For westerners, the Bible forbidden incest and they follow those regulations. They treated it as completely not civilized, and this set a wrong example in the society [13]. Therefore, many western countries set up laws to prevent incest happen and sent those violate the rule to prison. And general publics felt shameful to those fall in love and even have sex with their family members. American television program Jerry Springer Show interviewed a pair of grandmother and grandson that have fallen in love. When they admitted they had sex and grandmother said she was willing to go to prison because of this, the audiences showed discontent and expressed angers as well as shameful on what they did. Moreover, in 2006, an incest case happened in Austria, which shocked the globe. The father had sex with his daughter and even knocked her up for more thirty years that caused his daughter born 7 babies. At last, the father admitted what he did and faced life imprisonment. But this case completely showed westerners felt shameful, angry and unacceptable towards incest.

Therefore, we can see that both Chinese and westerners feel shameful and unacceptable towards some intimate sexuality violated the morality, particularly incest reflects the barbarian as well as uncivilized part of human.

The third one comes to the aim of having sex. Actually, in nowadays, Chinese and western still have the similar view of having sex. They are not focusing on the procreation heavily. They treat having sex is for pleasure, desire and help to maintain good relationship which they generally accept contraception.

China was an agricultural society in the past and they treated procreation is the ultimate goal for having sex as they need labor force. However, because of rapid economic development, Chinese quality of life increased and they don’t need labor force for production anymore. And pleasure, desire is what they need during having sex, and many Chinese couples no longer consider procreation as important anymore. Instead, they even think having babies are creating financial burden for themselves. In fact, when we have a deeper investigation on Chinese population, we can observe there are serious aging problem. Undoubtedly, the introduction of one-child policy is one of the major reasons causing this situation. Nonetheless, couples’ reluctant to give birth also plays a key role. ‘ Having sex is the most joyful moment and it worth thousand of gold’ (春宵一刻值千金) is a common description of having sex for lots of years, and therefore Chinese nowadays change their goal of having sex as satisfy their desire and gain pleasure for it. One of the examples is the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, they put effort to educate more contraception methods including emergency contraception and the importance to use condom when couples don’t want to give birth. Those measure we can see Chinese don’t treated procreation that important nowadays.

As the western society become more advance, majority of westerners don’t treated procreation as the only aim of having sex. Desire of sex, is similar to the desire of food, which we must satisfy our biological fulfillment [14]. They will rather treat having sex as a fulfillment of desire and gaining pleasure from it. General public accepted the idea that having sex is not for giving birth from the common of DINK families. DINK, means Double Income No Kid, have become popular since the second half of twentieth century. Westerners also gain the same worry with Chinese, that they fear giving birth to babies created burden of livelihood for them. And therefore, they change the attention of having sex as finding pleasure. Therefore, condom and other contraception methods including medicine are commonly used among westerners during they are having sex.

Sex toy industry is more popular in both Chinese community and in the west. Anal bead, love eggs and double penetration dildo etc., those sex toys are help to get climax as well as more pleasure through having sex. Therefore, we can see both Chinese and westerners put joy, excitement as well as happiness as the first priority of having sex, but not procreation anymore. Also, they generally accept contraception including using condom.

To conclude, to a small extent Chinese view towards intimate sexuality is differ from western one. For difference, Chinese treated prostitution is damaging female virginity as well as a way of oppressing women; while many westerners may think joining prostitution is refer to the liberty, freedom and personal right. They even may consider prostitution as a profession which offering job opportunities. However many of their views are often similar. For example, they both treat homosexuality as evil, vice, damaging family value and harm to children growth. In the issue of incest, they both considered this ruin the morality and consider it as barbarian, uncivilized acts. Moreover, they similarly think the aim of having sex is not only procreation now, instead they generally accept contraception and treat pleasure, satisfying desire and gaining excitement as their first priority of having sex

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