A model of sexual constraint and sexual emancipation

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In the United States, public concern in sexual matters and stigmatization of sexual identities make people retreat into privacy. This sexual constraint makes people experience shame and guilt. According to Scheff, shaming is a cause of violence. In contrast, German society shows less public concern and social opposition in the sexual-erotic domain. This sexuality allows privatization as independence and creates sexual emancipation. Consequently, Germans associate less shame with their sexual identities and will be less likely to introduce violence into the sexual-erotic domain. This article develops a recursive cultural/structural model to investigate and explain cultural, subcultural, and historical differences in sexual constraint and emancipation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-270
Number of pages16
JournalSociological Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2005


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