Academic Papers of Curtis M. Kularski

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Social Construction of Sadomasochism and Fetishism

Theoretical Approaches to Sexuality WGST 6601
Graduate Certificate in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Fall 2011


The social constructionist view of sexuality is framed around the concept that sexuality is a construction of social and cultural influences, and that sexuality is fluid. This paper puts forth the concept that social construction is applicable to all forms of sexuality, not just the normative and intercourse driven forms of sexuality. Non-normative, non-genital centric sexual behaviors and sexualities are also socially constructed. Sexuality is influenced by social forces and in turn sexuality shapes the social landscape. Sadomasochistic and Fetishistic sexual identities are formed through processes of socialization, social learning and community formation. This paper explores the creation of subcultures as a necessary part of the maintenance of the identities, the influence of the identities on majority society and the ways in which the gender hierarchy plays a major role in constructing alternative sexual identities.

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