SEX AND SOCIOLOGY
Sociologists are social scientists who study essentially, human group behaviour, behaviour in which groups are formed deliberately (a company), by request (voters), by force (prisons), or by common indicators (social classes). People are born a particular sex, male or female, but what interests sociologists is how one’s genetic sexual identity evolves into an acting public identity, by men and women known as ‘gender’ – the “socially formed traits of masculinity or femininity” [Giddens et al, 2009: A6].
So it’s how the socially constructed male gender, man, and the female gender, woman, socially interact that really sparks intense research by sociologists. Thousands of studies have been done around human sexuality (being characterized by one’s sex): sexual orientation (gay/lesbian), sexual abuse, sex segregation, sexual harassment, sex roles, sex trafficking, diversity of sexuality, diversity and sexuality, love and sexuality, and procreative technology and sexuality.
Sociologists have studied at what age sexual activity begins, problems in having sex and experiencing orgasm, sexual differences in sexual enjoyment, sexual permisssiveness across cultures, the role of prostitutes, social issues facing gays, lesbians and bisexuals, determinants of sexual orientation (nature versus nurture), homophobia, contraception methods across cultures, fertility drugs/in vitro fertilization/artificial insemination/hormone treatments, genetic engineering, and the abortion debate in society. Sociologists also study traditional versus modern medical systems of health care, complementary versus alternative medicines, doctor-nurse interactions, professional ethics and sexuality, hospitals as organizations/institutions, sex and aging, sex and politics, the double-standard, sexuality issues within the family, sex and the law, sex and the military, sex and subcultures, sex and religion, sexual deviance, and many more aspects.
Sociologists wonder why people do what they do, and are curious about patterns of behaviour in society that are sustained for hundreds of years, or for only short periods. As such, like their close colleagues in anthropology, they use scientific methods (i.e., statistical analysis) to generate, de-bunk, and further explore, hypotheses about human behaviour. Consequently, sociology is one of the most fascinating and satisfying areas to work in.