Thursday, 24 February 2011

A student blog: Keele World Sociology Society - Sexuality discussion

The Keele World Sociology Society has a number of events planned for this semester, which are open to all Keele students.

The first event of this semester focusses on 'sexualities' and here Alex, a committee member, reviews the evening:

"On the 15th of February Keele World Sociology Society met in conjunction with Keele Afro-Caribbean Society -a special event! - For an evening focused upon sexuality. We started the group with a talk from Glenn Hussey from Keele Life Sciences department, who talked on topic Sexuality. I think all the attendee's are in agreement that Glenn was a fantastic and hilarious speaker to whom we're eternally appreciative! :)

After an interesting question and feedback session with Glenn we moved onto an open debate which was very active and respectful, it went excellently well!

Thank you to all involved, including a cohort of people from Keele LGBT society who came to voice their opinions as LGBT people, and really added depth to the debate!

Several pertinent issues were raised in the debate which occurred on the 15th of February, at the Keele World Sociology Society Meeting, on the topic of sexuality. Initially, general comments were made that from a philosophical perspective, consent and the idea of sovereignty of the body is an unsustainable justification for sexual activity. The person who made this point cited illegal sexual activities which may be consenting, but are still prohibited. The idea of 'harm' was also raised, when can a sex act be socially/individually harmful? Leading on from this point attendee's raised the question of if or how individuals should defer to society on matters including sexuality. Should people submit themselves to social scrutiny and manage their behaviour based upon it? Or does the doctrine of individual liberty support sexual activity which is engaged in entirely without reference to social register, notwithstanding the harm principle.

Another interesting point was also how individualistic some people perceptions of what homosexuality meant/'what homosexuals are'. Many people would raise a point in the debate and another person would interject to state that their understanding of the issue is entirely wrong, despite the individuals who initially raised the point believing that what they said was a non-controversial fact. i.e. What activity qualifies as 'sexual'? Is sexuality conditioned by environment, genetic-if indeed there is such a clear divide! - or both combined? And are religious statements about homosexuality accurate/truthful, and, if so, should they carry as much weight as an empirical 'scientific' fact in the public arena?

Ultimately the debate was very fruitful due to wide participation, a civil debating style, and the fact the it was clear during the debate that many people had scrutinized their beliefs and re-formulated them owing to other peoples points of view!:)

As always, our events will occur on every Tuesday in room CBA1.103 at 6.30pm and of course we understand that not all people will want to be loud and forceful in their opinions; many people have a good time coming along and quietly observing too!

Thanks again to all involved, and thanks in advance to all those attending next week!"

The society can be contacted via email -

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