ISSN 1944 ¨C 6683
Volume 4, No 2, June 30, 2011
Publisher: NG Man-Lun, M.D.
Advisor: RUAN Fangfu, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief Editor: DENG Mingyu, M.D., Ph.D.
World Association of Chinese Sexologists
Room 1801, 18/F, Capitol Centre, No. 5-19,
Jardine¡¯s Bazaar, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
International Association of Chinese Medical Specialists & Psychologists
36-40 Main St., #209, Flushing, New York 11354, USA.
Tel: (718) 820-9320, Fax: (718) 886-5228
People First, Gay Second: Gay Marriage in New York State
¨C June 25, 2011
COMMENTARY | Gay marriage has been approved by lawmakers in New York state. The discussion is likely to continue as those in opposition wrangle into obscurity. But there are many reasons that New York should have been the first to approve gay marriage in the social scheme of things. Anyone with any knowledge of recent history would have to concur.
New York is a vast and dynamic place. Of course there is New York City but there are also the Catskill Mountains, there is the domestic side of Niagara Falls, there is the history of Syracuse, there is the majesty of the Five Ponds in the Adirondacks. There is the East End; there is the Great South Bay. There is the mythology of Montauk Point, there is the prosperity and commerce of Westchester County, there are the Finger Lakes and Seneca Falls and there is the spontaneous relaxation of Yonkers Raceway.
More than anything, though, there is New York City. Eight million or so socially liberal progressives who have an individual agenda. Some people come to New York City to seek fame, some people come to seek riches, some come to shut off from their former lives and most to embrace their future life.
Be you liberal or conservative though, in New York City, you invariably know someone who is gay. You probably know a lot of people who are homosexual. You've come to know them as people first. Or maybe you thought they were gay before you knew them, but you came to know them as people.
People first, Gay second.
As every student of gay history knows, New York City was ground zero for the gay movement in America with the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Gay people wanted equality then and they still want it today. The Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street is still there ("Where Pride Began") and there will likely be a lot of carousing in the coming weeks.
But New Yorkers shouldn't make other New Yorkers feel self-conscious as the day's move on. The gays who are most likely to embrace this gay marriage decision with the greatest degree of comfort likely haven't even stepped out of the shadows yet.
Maybe even they haven't stepped out from the closet.
Sex Rights in Greater China, 2010 (Excerpt)
Center for the Study of Sexualities, National Central University, Taiwan
This is the third year that we formulate this annual report, and certain topics¡ªsuch as sex work, gender variance, female sexuality, teenage sexuality, diverse forms of marriage, gender/sexuality legislation, etc.¡ªhave emerged as common topics of interest for different areas of Greater China. The various cases in these areas obviously impact upon gender/sexuality norms already in turmoil in recent years, raising controversies and debates that would further sediment into new feelings, new values, new discourses, and new practices surrounding sex. Different areas of Greater China may have different socio-cultural-emotional structures, yet certain effects of convergence are bound to bring forth different impacts on the increasingly frequent interaction among the areas.
Here are the observations on sex rights in greater China for the year of 2010, derived from three separate sex rights reports, respectively from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China.
1. Sex rights for youths are increasingly repressed:
Individuality and autonomy are important developments brought upon by contemporary capitalism. To create greater markets and new consumer populations, some department stores in Asia have even created, in addition to the usual floors for women, men, young adults (16-18 year-olds), special floors for 8-12 year-olds, directly calling upon youths to occupy subject positions very much similar to adults in consumption habits. The individuation of desires and their gratification in the process of consumption help to induce a sense of self-determination that gets reinforced in daily consumption routines. The resulting subject formations are quite contrary to the UN decree that all youths under the age of 18 been designated as ¡°children.¡±
Although individuality and autonomy, strengthened through daily consumption, have become clear emotional states of youths, concomitant developments in their bodily desires and their explorations in sexuality are greatly repressed. In 2010, sexy photo albums by Hong Kong young female models were banned from the annual book expo, just as in the 1980s Taiwan had banned the sale of sexy photo albums of one 18-year-old female model as well as a body sculpturing advertisement that featured a 15-year-old female model. Still, young girls braved the repression and continued to put their sexuality on display, experimenting with all kinds of poses and acts. On the other hand, stringent measures were instituted in 2010 in Taiwan that banned the organization of homosexual clubs on high school campuses, thus greatly stigmatizing the cultivation of young homosexuals in their studies as well as social lives. Significantly, these measures were issued in the name of child protection that firmly asserts the naivety of youths and their necessary separation from sexual things. In the meantime, Hong Kong amended its laws concerning the sexual agency of 14-year-old boys so as to make it possible to criminalize their unlawful sexual activities. The question is: if their sexual agency could be understood as a potential for criminal activity, then shouldn¡¯t that agency be also understood as their right to self-determination in consenting to sexual activities? Perhaps, the charge of statutory rape should be reexamined on the ground that it severely inhibits children¡¯s sex rights.
Adults have been known to institute new legislations in the name of child protection in an effort to reinforce adults¡¯ own power of supervision rather than for the benefit of children. Worse, in an age when child birth is dwindling, the cause of child protection has become a convenient tool for conservative Christian groups to arouse social anxiety and populist hysteria. Various legislations in relation to sexual assault and sexual harassment are shrinking social space for the sexual activities of youths, distorting understanding of erotic interactions and negotiations, and depriving youths of their opportunities of practice and exploration of sexuality. In 2010, conservative groups in Taiwan raised ¡°The White Rose Movement¡± in protest of the lighter sentence of a case of child molestation. Populist demands for retribution further pushed for law enforcement to comply with ¡°people¡¯s feelings¡± that would result in harsher punishments. Such populist-based measures are strengthening existing prejudices and discriminations, making it increasingly difficult for the realization of children¡¯s sex rights.
2. Gender nonconformity challenges the high wall of dimorphism
While concepts of gender crossing and gender variance have become available, mainstreamers still apply severe social exclusion to transgendered subjects. In 2010, we observe the efforts by transgendered subjects to contend traditional systems of marriage, employment, and gender display. In Hong Kong, one MTF fought for her right to marry despite media exposure and hostile gossip. Time and again, she went to court to contend marriage laws, asking the law to reflect upon its heterosexual assumptions and to consent to letting transgendered subjects share social resources and happiness. In the meantime, one MTF in Taiwan also came out to challenge her employer, a very famous hospital, for depriving her of the right to work when she started going to work in women¡¯s clothes. The case resulted in the hospital being found to have committed sex discrimination, thus setting a precedent for future cases. Thanks to the courage of these two individuals who case forward to challenge the institution, the common difficulties of transgendered subjects have finally become visible and credible.
While employment and marriage make up conditions for the subsistence of transgendered subjects, it is their self-presentation and cultural accumulation that makeup the core of transgendered identity. In 2010, images of young transgenders in the fashionable culture of ¡°fake ladies¡± became wide-spread throughout the internet. While such images may be faulted for reproducing gender norms of femininity, such criticism overlooks the fact of the protruding male organs underneath the clothes, which often leave transgendered subjects in trouble with their lovers as well as the police. Of course, playful explorations of gender crossing raise social anxiety, as demonstrated in the call to ¡°Save the Boys¡± in China in 2010 when people are encouraged to raise boys as boys. As to the newly installed restrooms in one university in China that featured special devices that help women urinate standing up, the needs of gender crossing subjects coincide with the multitude of women who suffer from long lines in front of the restrooms. Obviously it would take erasing gender from the restrooms to create convenience and freedom for all.
3. Even the most traditional institution of marriage has to face new negotiations and practices£º
New ideas and practices in relation to marriage are rising in the Chinese world in 2010 to complicate the operation and continued existence of marriage. In China, match-making TV shows have become widely popular as family-negotiated marriages decrease in the cities and young people struggle to win their mates through their own individual qualities and assets. Critics worry that the popularity of such shows would make marriage choices materialistic and superficial. Yet such pragmatic choices have always been a feature of marriage in gerneral, though often camouflaged by warm words and romantic musings, and now put on open display by such shows. The often obnoxious, snobbish selection process in such shows exposes existing social prejudices but also brings forth opportunities for reflection and criticism that may further spread and sediment into new values, new practices of negotiation, new culture of self-presentation, etc., thus resulting in changes in future marriage partners and their expectations.
The darker side of intimate relationships also came to the forefront in 2010. One highly profiled case in China exposed the amazing intensity of domestic violence and the necessity for state intervention in marital problems; in fact, the indifference of the police in relation to this case has been severely criticized. Upcoming proposals and discussions of revisions to mainland China¡¯s ¡°Marriage Laws¡± illustrated the realities of present marriages in all their instabilities, affairs, and the impact of surrogate mothering. In addition, transnational marriages have been increasing every year in Taiwan. The great number of foreign spouses continue to suffer prejudices and discrimination due to their class position or the marginal status of their countries of origin. Newly arrived foreign wives not only have to endure great difficulties getting used to the new environment, but have to suffer imposing and discriminating questioning by the immigration officer. Judging from the above, the actual process of married life is now experiencing more and more rights-oriented issues that work to erode the romantic coloring over marriage. Sex is also extending further and further beyond the confines of marriage and other intimate relationships through social channels created by the internet and other technical devices.
4. Sensational news of sexual matters flare up emotions that obscure facts
Sex-negative cultures often describe sex as dirty, immoral, sinful, lustful, along with other negative values and emotions, making it difficult for sex-related knowledges and discussions to enter the public realm. Yet we also live in a consumer society where sexual desires are used to promote consumption and the media depend upon sex-related news to draw readers and viewers. In such a case, sex-related matters are easily made into news to flare up fierce emotions that further grow into sex panics whereby conservative morality again finds an opportunity to assert itself. The concomitant existence of rigid sexual morality and the prosperity of tabloid news media aptly presents the presence of such a historical contradiction.
Gender/sexuality related issues listed in this report have all been presented in sensational reports in the media. Whenever such matters emerge, the media always zoom in on those involved, isolating the matter as an amazing piece of news that would lead to further consequences. Sexy girls are already walking the streets everyday, yet media report of their photo albums can make sensational news that end up in the banning of the albums. Consequently, the media are increasingly used by populist groups to promote conservative moralities and conservative legislation, hijacking the legal system through the creation of a seeming social consensus over a seeming social crisis. In the age of the internet, the media conveniently seek news in the internet world, magnifying playful activities in private spaces into sensational news that end up demonizing those involved and dramatizing routine activities into possible violations of laws. The sensational news about a Nanjing professor who helped organize swinging gatherings is one such example.
Of course, social panic and social anxiety cannot be completely attributed to the media. After all, sometimes the media have also succeeded in bringing marginal issues and views to the public. Photos of the parading of arrested sex workers in the streets by Chinese police and of the arrest scene that featured panicking sex workers helped call attention to human rights violations and help change public opinions. So, part of the problem may be media sensationalism, yet the main problem is how conservative groups utilized such reports to create sex panics that lead to stringent laws. And this is where sex rights activists should focus their resistance.
Prospect: the reorganization of basic emotions
Throughout the year, various gender/sexuality related matters and discussions have impacted upon the basic emotional state of the public, and the debates and outbursts and condemnations surrounding such matters will continue to affect our sexual attitudes and sexual practices. The present trends remind us, more and more non-sex-related matters are also changing public emotions through the sensational news about individuals torturing rabbits, cats, dogs, etc. and the fierce public condemnation that followed. For such matters all work to make public emotions increasingly delicate, to such an extent that any deviations and non-normative acts are habitually felt to be resentful. Such emotional states will also form new restrictions and reactions toward sex rights.
Major sex rights issues in Hong Kong, 2010
1. Sexy photo albums by young models banned from book expo.
2. Rich heir¡¯s surrogacy case cloudy up the issue.
3. Trans challenge to marriage laws failed.
4. Alleged rape case of controversial political figure raise controversy.
5. Abolition of legal clause incapacitating 14-year-old boys proposed.
Ten most important sex rights issues in Taiwan, 2010
1. Child protection law violates freedom of press.
2. Sexual assault verdict raises controversy as populist movement demands legal reform toward stringent punishment.
3. Sexual stigma troubles AIDS research funding.
4. Government makes plans for legalization of sexual transaction.
5. Taipei Education Bureau decrees that no homosexual clubs be created on high school campuses.
6. Trans computer engineer fired from work for wearing women¡¯s clothes to work.
7. Difficulties in life force homosexuals and transgenders into committing suicide.
8. Foreign spouses disrespectfully questioned by immigration officers.
9. Housing project discriminates against singles and homosexual couples.
10. Private activities in private spaces increasingly bring upon criminalization.
Major gender/sex rights issues in mainland China, 2010
1. Diary of tobacco bureau chief exposed and flares up public outrage.
2. Match-making TV shows reach fad status and impact upon mating culture.
3. Woman dies after repeated domestic violence and police indifference.
4. Nanjing professor prosecuted for helping to organize swing parties.
5. ¡°Save the Boys¡± publication signals return of gender norms.
6. ¡°Fake ladies¡± widely appreciated on the internet as well as in the TV media.
7. 16-year-old girl jumped to her death resisting molestations by 5 men.
8. Xi-an university installs toilets for women to urinate standing up.
9. Media exposition of arrested sex workers being paraded in public raises public concern.
10. New marriage laws tackle questions of ¡°the other woman¡± .
Historical Review: Contribution of Clinical Psychology in Normalization of Homosexuality
Mingyu DENG, M.D, Ph.D.
Institute for Oriental-Western Human Sexuality, New York, USA
¡¾Abstract¡¿ Psychology was one of the first disciplines to study homosexuality as a discrete phenomenon. In the late 19th century, and throughout most of the 20th century, it was standard for psychology to view homosexuality in terms of pathological models as a mental illness. That classification began to be subjected to critical scrutiny in research which consistently failed to produce any empirical or scientific basis for regarding homosexuality as a disorder or abnormality. As results from such research accumulated, professionals in medicine, mental health, and the behavioral and social sciences reached the conclusion that it was inaccurate to classify homosexuality as a mental disorder and that the DSM classification reflected untested assumptions based on once-prevalent social norms and clinical impressions from unrepresentative samples comprising patients seeking therapy and individuals whose conduct brought them into the criminal justice system. The research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality. The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal variation of human sexual orientation. In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. The American Psychological Association Council of Representatives followed in 1975.
¡¾Key words¡¿ Homosexuality; Psychology; Mental health
Homosexuality Studies in Western Anthropology
Kai WANG and Haimei SHEN
U.S. Population Services International Organization
¡¾Abstract¡¿This essay places the anthropological study on homosexuality in western social movement background, reviews the transformation of theories and research paradigms, and focuses on the main topics and controversies during historical western homosexuality studies. In addition, this essay points out the importance of academic institute on the development of homosexuality studies, and finally gives reflection and expectation of theory and methodology on homosexuality studies in the future.
¡¾Key words¡¿ Anthropology; Homosexuality; Essence; Constructed by Society; Cross-cultures; Gay Community; Reflective
Early state of Homosexuality and Evolution of Naturalism Conception
The National Library of China, Beijing 100034, China
¡¾Abstract¡¿Prior to the birth of systematic philosophy of human being, non-conscious naturalism conception makes early homosexuality in a thriving state. In this aspect, Chinese Gino love culture provides us with a typical prototype. When people entered into the traditional society, people became more complicated in their thinking. The role of natural law surpassed naturalism. The excessive pursuit of order and law indicates the lack of confidence in human being's self control. One of the manifestations is the suppression of homosexuality. When the society comes into the stage of negation of negation, naturalism begins to win over natural laws. It is predicted that homosexuality could reenter into a thriving state and could coexist harmoniously with heterosexuality.
¡¾Key words¡¿ Homosexuality; Naturalism; Natural law; Yin-yang conception; Gino culture
The Homosexual Community¡¯s Moral Dilemma Struggling in Traditional Culture of China
Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicinne, Guangzhou510006, Guangdong, China
¡¾Abstract¡¿ The article briefly describes the causes of homosexual and discusses why the homosexual community go to a moral dilemma struggling in the traditional culture of China£¬and then to arouse public awareness of homosexual.
¡¾Key words¡¿Homosexual; Traditional Chinese culture; Moral dilemma
Attention Comparative Study between Male and Female in Subjective Sexual Arousal
Peking University Health Science Center
¡¾Abstract¡¿ Objective Compared the attention between male and female through the auditory event related potential (AERP) research when they were relax and in subjective sexual arousal. Methods 30 females and 30 males were enrolled and assessed with Multiple Indicators of Subjective Sexual Arousal when listening the sexual auditory material. The AERP was noted and analyzed by Brain-Product BP-ERP workstation when these females were listening to pure-tone, relax music, and sexual auditory material. P3 latent period was statistically analyzed with single factor repetitive measure variance analysis and P3 amplitude was statistically analyzed with K related samples test. And the number of oddball target stimulation they had heard was noted. Results (1) The result of Multiple Indicators of Subjective Sexual Arousal showed that they had both got low moderate subjective sexual arouse. (2) Females¡¯ P3 amplitudes were significantly lower in sexual auditory material than in relax music£¨P<0.01£©, and the latencies between these two backgrounds were no significant differences[(436.8¡À94.3) ms vs(427.3¡À94.4) ms£¬P>0.05]. (3) Males¡¯ P3 latencies were significantly longer in sexual auditory material[(447.5¡À47.2) ms vs(417.2¡À53.1) ms£¬P<0.01] than in relax music, and the amplitudes between these two backgrounds were no significant differences£¨P>0.05£©; (4) In the Odd-ball model, the lowest accuracy rate was under the sexual auditory material background£¨P<0.001£©and male were higher than female (P<0.05). Conclusions In the same level subjective sexual arousal, females deliberately attention toward outside stimulation were obviously decreased and they pay much more attention on the feeling of their own; But males deliberately attention toward outside stimulation were maintained to a certain extent.
¡¾Key Words¡¿ Sexual psychology; Subjective sexual arousal; Attention; AERP; P3; Cross-sectional studies
On How to Exceed Contemporary Wrong Ideas of Sex Education in China
WANG Xuefeng and GAO Chang
Central Institute for Correctional Police, Baoding, Hebei, China
¡¾Abstract¡¿ The sex education as a kind of educational activity should be all-sided and long-term, but there exist some conflicting views about it, mainly including comprehending it as sexual knowledge education, sex education in schools or puberty sex education. These narrow sex education ideas have done harm to the broad and in-depth development of China¡¯s sexual educational work, and therefore, the idea that we must exceed the wrong ideas of sexual knowledge education, school¡¯s and puberty sex education is offered here on the basis of analyzing at large the attributes of sex education.
¡¾Keywords¡¿ Sex education, Wrong ideas, Exceeding
Health and Gender Education in Sexuality Education for Adolescents
Department of Sociology, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, Yunnan
¡¾Abstract¡¿With the dramatic changes of social life, great changes also take place in values on sexual behaviors. As people show increasing concern about AIDS, sex knowledge spread obscurely and unsystematically began to enter into the education field of many countries in the world. Educators begin to put more efforts into sexuality education for adolescents, but they seem to disagree greatly with regard to the content, approach and effect of sexuality education. The author believed that comprehensive health education and anti-stereotyped gender education, which conform to basic principles of sexuality education, could make more adolescents know about human body and sex, and free them from personal and societal tragedies caused by sex ignorance.
¡¾Key words¡¿ Sex education; Health education; Gender education