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  1. #1
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Default Teen Girls and Sex: “It’s like doing homework”

    From: Teen Girls and Sex: “It’s like doing homework”

    In their article ‘“It’s Like Doing Homework” Academic Achievement Discourse in Adolescent Girls’ Fellatio Narratives’, April Burns, Valerie Futch and Deborah Tolman describe how young girls use norms surrounding academic achievement when making sense of their sexual behavior.

    It seems that in cultures that have a dominant discourse of academic achievement, which “… frames the primary purpose of education in terms of the achievement of high grades and standardized test scores, rather than preparation for college, employment or civic participation”, girls can incorporate such values in other aspects of their lives as well, including their sexual behavior.

    The authors found that girls tend to talk about engaging in sexual behavior such as oral sex, in a manner that resembles how they talk about doing homework and test-taking at school: it’s a job that needs to get done, that they need to practice to become good at, and that they expect to be evaluated for. Performance anxieties that girls may have about taking tests at school, including fears of failing and the need to perform (as) well (as others), may have entered girls’ sexual lives.

    Girls’ narratives of their own sexual pleasure, a “positive” discourse of sexuality in relationship, or consequences of sexual behavior such as STIs, pregnancy or rape, were rare. Whereas the physical sexual satisfaction seemed to be of boys alone, girls’ satisfaction was the pleasure in a job done well, and correctly.

    The authors do not imply a direct causal relationship between the academic discourse and girls’ sexual behavior. They also suggest that the planning, preparation, and practice of sexual behavior may be a way to gain mastery and to understand what can easily feel out of control. However, it is an interesting thought that it may not just be sex-education itself, but also what is being taught at school about the importance of achievement, that affects young girls’ sexual lives.

    Burns, A., & Futch, V.A., & Tolman, D.L. (2011). “It’s Like Doing Homework” Academic Achievement Discourse in Adolescent Girls’ Fellatio Narratives Sexuality Research and Social Policy

    Here’s part of the abstract from the actual study. (I won’t post more than the abstract though- I only really ever worry about copyright infringement when a piece of writing includes an explicit request, and this one does.)

    Burns and Torre (Feminism & Psychology15(1):21– 26,2005) argue that an extreme and high stakes focus on individual academic achievement in schools impoverishes young minds through the “hollowing” of their sexualities. We present evidence that such influence also works in the opposite direction, with an achievement orientation invading girls’ discourses of sexuality, “crowding out” possible narratives of pleasure, choice, and mutuality with narratives of competence and skill usually associated with achievement and schooling. We conclude with policy implications for the future development of “positive” sexuality narratives.

    It doesn’t really surprise me. And I don’t know that I’d say there’s a “direct causal relationship between the academic discourse and girls’ sexual behavior” either- because I think the “teach kids what to think instead of teaching them how to think” in itself is a symptom of a bigger underlying cultural pathology.

    But anyway…..thoughts?
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  2. #2
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Why isn't this reaching male sexuality?
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    From: Teen Girls and Sex: “It’s like doing homework”




    Here’s part of the abstract from the actual study. (I won’t post more than the abstract though- I only really ever worry about copyright infringement when a piece of writing includes an explicit request, and this one does.)




    It doesn’t really surprise me. And I don’t know that I’d say there’s a “direct causal relationship between the academic discourse and girls’ sexual behavior” either- because I think the “teach kids what to think instead of teaching them how to think” in itself is a symptom of a bigger underlying cultural pathology.

    But anyway…..thoughts?
    I'm not surprised that the cultural background which involves a skills and competence focus influences other things, I'd be surprised if it didnt and I'm not surprised that it influences sexuality since it is pretty central in peoples lives too. I think that this account resonates a lot with me but I had always thought I felt this way because I was ENTJ.

  4. #4
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Why isn't this reaching male sexuality?
    I don’t know what disturbs me more- that attitude towards intimacy can be “hollowed out” en masse as described, or that it gets “hollowed out” so disproportionately towards male entitlement. I don’t really know why the urge to nurture is stronger in females- I don’t especially have a strong opinion on whether it’s nature or nurture, I haven’t kept up with studies in that regard (most of the time I have a hard time believing the ‘results’ from such studies are interpreted well enough to find the conclusion worthwhile)…..but if there IS a strong element of nature present in that difference then that’d go a long way to explain why this “hollowing out” is affecting the genders differently. Even if it is mostly nurture though- them’s strong forces at work in a developing child’s mind; even people who can claim to carry their own opinions independent of the cultural norms around them are still far more influenced than they’d like to believe (in comparison to sheeple they stand out, sure, but overall we’re all still social creatures who take in pre-existing values to function amongst others). So social norms about gender differences are going to have an effect on what gets produced when attitudes towards intimacy are “hollowed out”.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I think that this account resonates a lot with me but I had always thought I felt this way because I was ENTJ.
    Out of curiosity, can you explain exactly what it is that resonates?
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Out of curiosity, can you explain exactly what it is that resonates?
    The skills and competence idea of sexual relations.

    I know that its how almost everyone I've known since my teens thinks about it pretty much, the idea that its a fun thing which takes no mastery has disappeared and the only thing I'd say is that unless you're a douche bag, which could be male or female too, its not something which is restricted to the female sex either.

    Although perhaps there needs to be a broader net thrown than the academic ideology when you're searching for the underpinning world view or cultural context, publishing maxes out the whole sex and how to literature every once in a while, 50 shades of grey is informing this too and its part of the reason I found it disturbing because if that's the unacknowledged "teach" for people these days its not what I recognise as a good or healthy guide.

    A lot of the latest apps and new technology and must have mod cons are all reading orientated and this will mean that "reading about" will continue to inform thinking and feeling and culture.

  6. #6
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    that's how the game in the sexual marketplace is presented. females, affected in part by female discourse and value markets, provide a majority (how vast it is difficult to tell) of the pair-bonding impetus. having a majority vote of semi codependent F types helps, when F types need more personal commitment to thrive (and probably more support in a non-domestic, abroad sense). and having a greater burden for nurturing offspring, including deeper level hormonal/biological/cognitive changes regarding personal identity when giving birth probably also suggest that there are other factors that females try to negotiate at various stages of the process. i don't think sex can ever be fully divorced from this socio-biological, reproductive context, no matter how much we try to do so.

    also, males are far, far more likely to make decisions based on sexual objectification factors because they're often emotionally retarded, their sexual response system is more immediate and auditioning a different kind of archetypal role. they are also less integrated into a coherent, widely relational socio-cognitive system (also not sure about the precise nature-nurture factors here, but both seem to support this), so many of their actual partner preferences are wildly out of balance and not really grounded in solid relational assessment. plus they're kind of taught they should think those things are okay but need to take a backseat (oh the irony!) to what needs to happen, the real decisions, the work of men. "i don't care if you're not in the mood. i need this! do your job, dammit!"

    it seems pretty clear that there are more sx males than females. this also distorts the overall game by making it so that the "me getting what i want will make me whole" rather than through this relational process we will build something that is whole. much more self-aggrandizement, trying to win, competing for better prizes.

    it's really not surprising that as we focus more and more on achievement and the "objectification" of the game, modeling everything on the capitalist idea of a fair marketplace, totally fucks up the relationality, the F of our gender game. and it's not really surprising that the inter-gender competitiveness we all must employ in order to do well for ourselves would take on this performance rhetoric. females know nowadays that they have to compete in a different way in social spaces because of the assertions of feminist rhetoric, right? they MUST exercise all of their rights. everyone must, or they will not "live up to their full potential." which is based on a hyper-competitive, sx, high risk high stakes capitalist game mentality that is really helpful to setup a highly conservative ideology across other domains of difference (/class). this is the opposite of building qualitative spaces and creating complex female dynamics that share responsibilities and take pressure off of individuals to solely mediate themselves in terms of these competitive economic games. when value is strictly quantifiable.

    in short, the more aspects of everyday life become reorganized by the discourse and ideology of the economic marketplace (and the need to devote more and more to competing within this pseudo-objective (objectifying) system, the more empty we all become.

  7. #7
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    ^ahahahaha
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  8. #8
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I know that its how almost everyone I've known since my teens thinks about it pretty much, the idea that its a fun thing which takes no mastery has disappeared and the only thing I'd say is that unless you're a douche bag, which could be male or female too, its not something which is restricted to the female sex either.
    It likely isn’t restricted to the female sex, but it affects the female sex significantly more. I’d think, if only because males’ physiology- especially during puberty- inclines them to actually want sex more. (Also, what state_i_am said. )

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Although perhaps there needs to be a broader net thrown than the academic ideology when you're searching for the underpinning world view or cultural context, publishing maxes out the whole sex and how to literature every once in a while, 50 shades of grey is informing this too and its part of the reason I found it disturbing because if that's the unacknowledged "teach" for people these days its not what I recognise as a good or healthy guide.
    I do agree that causation should be linked more to underlying cultural values (which happen to inform academic idealogy in the first place), yet I also believe that paying close attention to how cultural values influence academic discourse is important because education is a primary means of transferring cultural values from one generation to the next. What’s popular in social media is, in a way, a direct result of the education people have received. Though it could be said the reverse also holds true somewhat (having media out there to reinforce certain attitudes will make it’s way back to informing education)- education can be actively modified by deliberate reflection, while social media is pretty much entirely at the mercy of consumer vote (and people just aren’t very mindful about the media they chose to ingest in their free time).

    Quote Originally Posted by the state i am in View Post
    it's really not surprising that as we focus more and more on achievement and the "objectification" of the game, modeling everything on the capitalist idea of a fair marketplace, totally fucks up the relationality, the F of our gender game. and it's not really surprising that the inter-gender competitiveness we all must employ in order to do well for ourselves would take on this performance rhetoric. females know nowadays that they have to compete in a different way in social spaces because of the assertions of feminist rhetoric, right? they MUST exercise all of their rights. everyone must, or they will not "live up to their full potential." which is based on a hyper-competitive, sx, high risk high stakes capitalist game mentality that is really helpful to setup a highly conservative ideology across other domains of difference (/class). this is the opposite of building qualitative spaces and creating complex female dynamics that share responsibilities and take pressure off of individuals to solely mediate themselves in terms of these competitive economic games. when value is strictly quantifiable.

    in short, the more aspects of everyday life become reorganized by the discourse and ideology of the economic marketplace (and the need to devote more and more to competing within this pseudo-objective (objectifying) system, the more empty we all become.
    Yeah, I think that “hollowing out” is an effective description [and that it applies to what’s happening more generally to human character- beyond simply girls’ attitudes towards sex- because (imo) of educational discourse: our schools are creating productive cogs]. The ol’ postmodern de-centering of the human subject chestnut. It objectifies the subjective human experience by esteeming the appearance of quality (objectively quantifiable) over the experience of quality (not objectively quantifiable)- disempowering the subject from being able to organically define one’s self and/or the value of one’s own experience. It posits a somewhat mindless craving for the experience of the appearance of quality: mistaking ‘success’ according to external standards as therefore also being ‘success’ according to internal standards. (When value is strictly quantifiable. )
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  9. #9

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    I sort of thought you were saying interesting things there but the last paragraph was a lot of post modern bullshit, the minute I read stuff like that I stop reading. Its not complexity, its just bullshit.

  10. #10
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to dismiss with "complexity" (it seems to me like you're suggesting that was the goal, instead of actually having some underlying point). If you have a specific disagreement with the content, I'd be interested in hearing it. Otherwise, I don't know, I guess I'll just dismiss it as the usual Te 'I don't have any criticism of substance to offer, but I'll make sure they know I don't like what they're saying by using generic and oafish insults' response.
    Last edited by Z Buck McFate; 11-22-2012 at 03:58 AM. Reason: fix grammar
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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