Human Sexuality and Sexual Terminology

An Academic Paper

Human Sexuality and Sexual Terminology
Photo by Alejandra Quiroz on Unsplash

Note For Reader

This was a paper I wrote for a Human Sexuality class during my freshmen year of college. It all remains true this day, so I wanted to share it with those who may have in interest in reading a perspective on this important topic.

Human Sexuality Terminology and Perception.

As a child I was lucky to be surrounded by role models who were not shy about discussing sex and the many aspects involved. As expected, the terminology used was appropriate for a child’s ears. The male genitalia were referred to as a “tally-whacker” in earliest years, and then later a “pecker” into my teen years. I was also fortunate that my parents did not take the traditional approach of simply stating that I should “keep in my pants” as many parents seem to do. The purpose-as perceived by my family- was explained alongside the physical and how-to portions of the subject. Perhaps the efficiency in which my father was able to have “the talk” with me may have come from his experiences of having told my older brother the same information, and also simply his time in U.S. Marine Corps. My father being a United States Marine had a lot to do with how I approached topics in my life, by virtue of simply growing up with in military communities. The topic of sex and sexuality was not freely brought up; however, it was also never brushed off.

I would conclude that it was this willingness as I grew older that has contributed to my willingness to discuss sex openly with anyone who wishes to inquire about it. Though many would surely disagree I feel that instances such as Mercer University’s senior administrators proclaiming that the desired research on sexuality by a staff member and students was “not appropriate at a Baptist institution” (Greenberg, Bruess and Conldin, 2011, p. 6), to be a growing problem as well as a clear sign of human fear and ignorance on such topics. Comedian George Carlin once said, “We think in terms of language, so to control language is to control thought.” Parents will- in essence- attempt to control their children’s thoughts by using certain terms around them. In this same way the media and those who would try to force their opinions and beliefs onto others will use carefully chosen terminology to control the thoughts of others.

Notice that I have only mentioned terms that were used to discuss the male genitalia and have made no mention of terms for female anatomy as well as sexual functions or sexual behaviors. The simple reasoning for this is because as a child these things were not mentioned. These factors were not discussed because my brother and I never posed questions about these things to our parents. I cannot honestly say where my brother received information on these topics, however it would be fair to say that all my questions and information on the topics listed above came from my older brother. I like so many other young men simply learned by observing and listening to the sibling who experienced life several years before me.

Obviously, at my current age of forty, I no longer refer to my sexual organ as a “tally-whacker” having realized that such a term not only sounds funny, but is capable of invoking some rather odd perceptions of that part of my anatomy. Admiringly, I on occasion still refer to the male genitalia as a “pecker” in the company of friends. I like so many other American males am rather guilty of using more vulgar terms for the anatomy of both sexes, though I make every effort to lessen the frequency in which this happens. In the company of my parents, despite my age, I still use milder terms as well. If my mother is not present, and around me stands only my father and brother, then the terms become slightly harsher in nature, simply because I was raised to be a gentleman and harsher terms were never to be used in front of a lady. This lesson has stayed with me, though time itself and experiences away from family have caused all else to change. In cases of communicating with a potential love interest, the best way I am able to explain my use of terms in regards to sex and sexuality is simply that I will adapt my language to what I know of that particular woman. I will make every effort not to offend or even scare a woman I am interested in, while allowing her to see a portion, at least, of who I am in terms of sexual belief and communications. When friends are my only company my language will again be chosen according to the individuals’ personalities and beliefs, as well as their genders.

I am not a father and not certain I will ever be one. However, I have been placed in what would equate to a step-father role before in my life and have actually been approached with questions regarding sex and sexuality by small children. Everyone knows that it is easy to find information about sex on the internet this day in time; couple that fact with the ever-growing amount of small children who are knowledgeable about the internet and how to access it and you will find that perhaps the growing number of pregnant teens may be due to young people gaining false information from online sources and not being told correctly by parents. Because of this, I have always asked if the child has looked this topic up and if so, what did they find out. There are of course sites which can be found on the internet that will provide accurate information and because of this I feel it is important to encourage young people to research with the internet but pay close attention to where this information is obtained. Many factors can be found as far as what to look for in a website; however the most important I believe is “what the purpose of the site?” (Greenberg, Bruess and Conldin, 2011 p. 10) simply because information websites like ecommerce sites are written and built to direct you toward the site owner’s goal.

The comment was mentioned that “that if one claims, ‘nope I am a what you see is what you get kind of person’ they should complete the assignment this week.” (Lecture #2) which implies that that comment would be inaccurate in the grand picture of human behavior, especially as it relates to sexual terminology. I would have to say that that statement is subjective, in that, everyone will see you differently. Your parents will see you as their child, and therefore if you soften your language in their presence then what they see is in fact what they get. As a day progresses and you find yourself in the company of your friends, they undoubtedly see you as a companion for social fun, so again, what they see is in fact what they get. This statement at its core is in fact accurate to my way of thinking. By this figuring one has to wonder, is sexual terminology a large part of how people perceive you or is it simply a passive factor in how people truly see you?

REFERENCES:

Greenberg, J.S., Buress, C.E. & Conldin, S.C. (2011). Exploring the dimensions of human sexuality (4th ed.). Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Lecture Week #2

humanity
Timothy A Rowland
Timothy A Rowland
Read next: Titty Tote Time
Timothy A Rowland

I’m an every day human Xennial living in the Southeastern United States. I have many interest. I just want to improve your life and maybe entertain you.

See all posts by Timothy A Rowland