What is the difference between sexual socialization and sexual subjectivity?I'd like an example of each.

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Jessica Pope | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Sexual socialization refers to the way we are taught to demonstrate our sexuality. It includes the messages we get from media, parents, teachers and religion. Sexual socialization is how we learn what's socially appropriate when it comes to sexuality. 

Young boys often touch and manipulate their penises in public. At some point, their parents start telling them not to do that. So boys learn that this behavior is inappropriate. That's an example of sexual socialization.

Sexual subjectivity refers to the internal experience of our own sexuality. It's how we feel inside. Sexual subjectivity encompasses things like sex drive, sexual orientation, and sexual identity. Some people have no subjective experience of being sexual. People with an absence of sexual subjectivity sometimes identify as asexual.

Some experiences and orientations of sexual subjectivity are more accepted than others. Heterosexuality, the subjective experience of being attracted to a member of the opposite sex, is widely accepted. Paraphilia, the subjective experience of being sexually attracted to inanimate objects such as walls, cars, or pieces of furniture, is not. 

The line betweand acceptable and unacceptable is always changing. Paraphilia is currently listed as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders. Some advocates of sexual liberation argue that it shouldn't be. In general, the trend seems to be toward a wider range of acceptance. For example, homosexuality, asexuality, sadism and masochism were removed from the Diagnostic manual in the 1970's.

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