HSB Lecture 12b Informal External Regulation Social Norms

Okay, continuing on with regulation of sexual behavior. Let's talk about informal regulation. And the way we often classify.

This is as social norms. We'll, talk more about that. So think about all the messages you receive and have received over time and will continue to receive about how you are supposed to behave, sexually right messages that you get from your family growing up and still now things that you get from media films and television. What are the messages you get from your friends and.

Your peers, what about your community at large right? What about your religious community, if you're part of one and so there's all these different messages right? And a lot of them are sometimes in direct conflict with each other. So like what are you supposed to do? So right? So this is an example, uh of a purity ball, right? So many religious communities or local communities will put a lot of importance on a female-bodied person, not having sex until not becoming sexually active until they are married.

Right so staying pure, uh, for whatever that means and so there's, oftentimes a lot of ritual tied into that, um. And a lot of importance placed on that in many cultures for reasons that we've talked about before, right? Then you get something like this. Let me get my head out-of-the-way right where it's like, oh, no, you're supposed to be kind of simultaneously, looking like a little girl and like a steamy sex pot. I mean, it's, just like okay.

So on the one hand, you're supposed to be virginal and pure and. Chased and on the other hand, you're supposed to be desirable and sexy and perky, and somehow like a woman and like a child yet, all at the same time. So all of these different messages right here's.

Another one right? So this idea of kind of the Madonna , complex, right. So we kind of have this double standard for women that they're not supposed to want to have sexual desires. If they are, they're, they're, a horror, right? They're, they're, they're, trashy. They have no class they're, promiscuous, they're. A , um, but then sometimes too, if they're not sexually active, then we'll say, well, maybe not that you're, the Madonna, and you're, the paragon of female virtue, maybe you're uptight, maybe you're frigid, right so it's like, oh, you just can't really win here.

Um. And so the classic is the movie grease, which has incredible dance and song numbers in it and is fabulous for that reason. But if you kind of look at the message behind the movie for those of you who know it so sandy, our main character, the. Whole trajectory of the film is that in order to get the guy, she has to stop being a goody, two shoes and turn into a slot right, that's the happy ending of the story. Um.

So we have all this kind of crazy messages. We get about how you're supposed to be, especially if you're a female-bodied person, but we also have, um, lots of other messages right. So that women in general are just sex objects that the worth of a female-bodied person is just as somebody to have sex with how attractive they are, how sexy.

They are how accommodating they are right? And this is demeaning right to women. And she has no agency in this picture she's, not in control of her sexuality, right? She's made herself completely, uh, subservient to in this case, the camera, uh. But this image of women is just sex objects, right, um. And again, you know, it's all about how good you can be in bed right? That's determining your worth as a woman in many ways in our current culture, and it even goes so far.

Sometimes as to glorify when you take. A look at this image, right? This kind of looks like a scene from a gang, rape, right so we're constantly bombarded with all of these images. I think they say, the average person sees something like a thousand, uh media advertisements per day. And these influence the way we think about ourselves. And the people around us, we do it to men too, right so here's Jacob from the twilight series of movies right? So men have to be very hunky and built and uh, you know, very muscular and well-developed.

And then if is. They're, not, or if they're not studs who've had a lot of sexual partners, then we make fun of them right as dweebs, and you know, the 40-year-old virgin and all these types of things. So we also have these kind of impossible expectations for male-bodied people as well, not a lot of allowance for just being a human with all of our flaws. So these things work together to create social norms, right? This is your idea of what's, typical and what's acceptable. So human beings are, um. Let me come.

Back to make it, I don't know, maybe this makes it more interesting or interactive. I don't know if you see my head, okay, so we're really social animals, and we base our behavior off of the behaviors of the people around us. We see this all the time in many facets of behavior. So it's, not in today's media saturated world, it's, not just what the people around. You actually are doing its. Also, what you think everybody else is doing, which is to a large extent shaped by your media exposure, right?. So you can think for a minute and try to think you know, what are some movies or TV shows or ads, memes other things that have really shaped your generation's views on sexual behavior for my generation, the movie Greece was one of them right?

Um as was little house on the prairie right? So, you know, we have all these different types of uh ideals kind of put upon us. So what are the things that have kind of shaped your expectations or ideas about what everybody's doing and what's acceptable? And. What's normal or typical, all right. So these are what we call social norms. And so what we do in class.

And so those of you who are in class, will know this I'm going to ask you what percentage of college students do you think in the past year have been sexually active in any way they've had oral vaginal or anal sex and of those right over or actually overall, how many college students have had four or more partners in the past year? How many have had vaginal sex, and how many have had anal sex in the. Past year, so if you weren't able to come to class, and you're doing this at home, right you're going to write down what you think what your best guesses are for the answers to these questions, let's, see how we do. Okay. So this is actual surveys of college students. So the American college health association does this every year or two, and they survey tens of thousands of college students about their behaviors. And they ask about a lot of things, including sex.

Let me get my head out of the way. So this. First question, they're, asking college students, how many sexual partners they've had within the past year?

Now this particular question, um, includes oral sex as sex. So even if you just performed oral sex on somebody that would count as a sexual partner, so let's see what kinds of answers they got. So you might be surprised about 33 percent of college students said, they had had zero sexual partners for oral vaginal or anal sex within the past year. So that means on the flip side that only 67. Of them, which is still more than half right? But 67 of them had had some type of these sexual contacts. So I always point this out to people because when I teach, this course, I meet many students who are not sexually active, and they feel like they're, the only one, but I'm here to tell you that actually about a third of college students are not sexually active all right that is normal.

Okay. So those remaining right, the vast majority have just had one partner in the past year. So about 43 percent. Overall 10 percent have had two six percent have had three and about nine percent overall have had four or more partners in the past year. So take a look at what you thought, the answer to four or more partners in the last year was and compare that to the true number, which is nine percent right and think about why if you were right? Or if you were close, why you were right or close. And if you weren't, why not?

Okay, these are the answers to the other questions. Now, the way they asked, it is kind of weird. So they only asked this question of those people who already said, they'd had a sexual partner, which was only 67 of all students, and then they asked whether they'd done it at all and um, never or within the last 30 days right?

So this first one is oral sex. Let me just get a little pen color here. So you know, 31 of college students said, they have not had oral sex in the last year.

And some of them about 27 said, they had had oral sex, but not in the last 30 days. And then 42 of that, 67 said, they had done. This in the last 30 days. So this table is the primary data, but it's a little difficult to interpret. So I kind of fixed that for you in the next slide. Okay. So out of every 100 students in this survey, you remember that 33 of them, 33 were not sexually active, no oral vaginal or anal.

Sex. 67 were of those 67 right. We have the following different behaviors. So out of 100 students total 46 have had oral sex.

So that means 46 of college students have had oral sex in the past year, that's fewer than half.44 have had vaginal sex again, fewer than half and 15 have had anal sex and what's interesting. And I forgot to kind of point it out to you in the previous slide. And when I'm recording it doesn't, let me go backwards, but both male and female-bodied. People engage in anal sex. So sometimes people think it's just for gay men, but it's, not, um. There are several reasons why female-bodied people do engage in anal sex. One of them is just because they enjoy it.

Another is because there's less risk of pregnancy. And then another is that in some kind of belief traditions or perhaps personal coping mechanisms. Some people feel that having anal sex, uh, you're, still a virgin. If you haven't had vaginal sex, so some people will have anal sex, because they feel like they're still a virgin as long as they haven't had vaginal sex.

So those are the actual numbers. Well, how did you do right? Were you close? Were you not close? And why right?

Why do you think your numbers? Your responses were the way they were. So this whole.

Concept of social norms and were kind of just, um brainwashed, almost by the media that we're surrounded by. And we are also very much informed by the people with whom we are close. So if the people with whom you are close are engaging in behaviors that are very different from the rest of the population. You may assume that that is normal. So, um, here is more data from the study just kind of showing that a lot of times people's perceptions are very far off from reality. This is about alcohol use.

And so over here on the side, they asked the college students, how many people do you think have had alcohol in the last 30 days and students said, they thought on average, 94 of college students had alcohol in the last 30 days. The true number is 64 right again, just like with sex, you think everybody's having sex, you think everybody's drinking in college, not at all right so more than 20 of college students, don't, drink alcohol at all right. And the vast majority of those who do right either. They.

Haven't had anything to drink at all in the last month, or they've only had drinks on anywhere from one to nine days. Okay. So if you know someone or you are someone yourself who is drinking between 10 and 29 out of 30 days or all 30 days, right every day you are in the very small majority, right, you're way up there way beyond everybody else in terms of your alcohol use. So you might want to take a look at that. Similarly, they asked people about marijuana use. And I love this one.

Now, this data was. Before this one was actually I haven't updated this since Colorado changed their law. So students thought that 85 of college students were getting high.

And the reality was that fewer than 20 were right. So a lot of times our perceptions and reality, don't match up it's, our perceptions that often end up driving our behavior. Okay, so we've talked about external factors. Now in terms of sexual regulation, the formal ones which are religion and laws. And then we just spent time talking about informal.

Regulation, right this kind of social norming that happens because of media peers, parents family community, your religious community, all those types of things. And then another factor that's really important that we're going to talk about in the next mini section is consent. So that's coming up next.

Dated : 22-Mar-2022