Presentation Title

A Need For Sexual Education and Sexual Socialization Reform: A Cross-Cultural Synthesis of Female Toplessness

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented Friday March 31, 2017

Abstract

North American culture is set apart from much of the world based on its hyper-sexualisation of the body, specifically the female body, such that the notion of nudity is at the mercy of social and cross cultural socialization. Examining the many different cultures around the world reveals that North America’s political inclinations and sexual predilections are far behind on the issue regarding the sexualisation of the female body. These sexual social inclinations and predilections place undue pressures on women and in that vein discourage them from exposing their breasts in public, despite the opposite being true for males, and thus further disenfranchising women. In many other societies and cultures around the planet, for example, the view of female breasts being sexual in nature does not appear as openly and/or predominantly. Given this perplexing contradiction, our paper delves into other cultures around the world (five in particular) and the legal ordinances permitting women to go publicly shirtless. Our paper thus argues the need for the de-stigmatization of exposed female breasts, and the need for clear and proper country wide legislation in North America. Our approach utilizes a comparative synthesis drawn on North American, Nigerian, Japanese, German, and French culture. Examination of these cultures reveal that socialization plays a key role in determining how people around the world view exposed female breasts. This suggests a requirement for better sexual education (e.g., 3rd wave feminism) in primary and secondary schools and perhaps over time, a greater socio-cultural political awareness of the powerful role of socialization within any (including our own) society.

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Faculty Advisor

Daniel Dorogi

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A Need For Sexual Education and Sexual Socialization Reform: A Cross-Cultural Synthesis of Female Toplessness

North American culture is set apart from much of the world based on its hyper-sexualisation of the body, specifically the female body, such that the notion of nudity is at the mercy of social and cross cultural socialization. Examining the many different cultures around the world reveals that North America’s political inclinations and sexual predilections are far behind on the issue regarding the sexualisation of the female body. These sexual social inclinations and predilections place undue pressures on women and in that vein discourage them from exposing their breasts in public, despite the opposite being true for males, and thus further disenfranchising women. In many other societies and cultures around the planet, for example, the view of female breasts being sexual in nature does not appear as openly and/or predominantly. Given this perplexing contradiction, our paper delves into other cultures around the world (five in particular) and the legal ordinances permitting women to go publicly shirtless. Our paper thus argues the need for the de-stigmatization of exposed female breasts, and the need for clear and proper country wide legislation in North America. Our approach utilizes a comparative synthesis drawn on North American, Nigerian, Japanese, German, and French culture. Examination of these cultures reveal that socialization plays a key role in determining how people around the world view exposed female breasts. This suggests a requirement for better sexual education (e.g., 3rd wave feminism) in primary and secondary schools and perhaps over time, a greater socio-cultural political awareness of the powerful role of socialization within any (including our own) society.