Net ID: Human sexuality
Part 2: Description of the Event
Title of event: I’m Taboo Event
Human sexuality entails the ability of humans to acquire an understanding of sexual desires and reactions. Individuals tend to express sexuality both physically and emotionally, but one of the most vital factors in sexuality is gender. In many events, humans tend to express sexuality depending on the time, participants, and environment. The issue of sexual pluralism is rarely discussed in the public, since it is perceived as a taboo by the society. However, in Illinois University in Champaign County, student bodies have organized an event dubbed “I’m Taboo” to discuss issues that seemed unspeakable to the public and to offer voices to the taboos. Before the end of the semester, one of my colleagues requested me to attend a campus event named “I’m Taboo” in our university.
Date: The event was held in November 13, 2015
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Women’s Resource Center, Wright, Illinois University in Champaign County. The organization is particularly involved in offering counseling and other supportive services to women, children, as well as men, who suffer from domestic violence and sexual assault.
Name of all organization(s) (co)hosting event: The event was organized and hosted by the Women’s Resources Center.
Guest speaker(s) full names and titles: The event was presented by Jodi Thomas, a Clinical Psychologist from the University of Illinois. Thomas is also a qualified clinical counselor, whose professional interest covers on women’s issues, sexual identity, and gender identity. Other guests included heads of departments, and women’s representatives from various faculties.
Goal of the event: The goal of the event was to explore diverse sexualities with an aim of bringing the unspeakable issues to the light. In most cases, people live in a society that rarely supports sexual pluralism. They fear to express their sexual desires in order to avoid harsh judgments and discrimination. According to Thomas, the silence that comes from people who support sexual pluralism may create fear, which should not be there in the first place, as the world is moving to a new dispensation, where everyone is respected, regardless to his/her religion, race, origin, or sexual orientation. When people gather on the streets to seek their rights, they express their power over authority, and the majority cannot deny them their rights. The event was aimed at offering students of all genders a platform to ask questions and clarify issues related to sexual health education, which include sexuality, social well-being, and healthy relationships.
Talking about homosexuality, lesbianism, and sexual desire variance, is a taboo in many communities. However, talking about sexual “pervasions” can assist in making sexual freedom possible. Individuals begin to learn about taboos while they are young, but peer influence makes them change their perceptions on certain taboos. People should not find it illegitimate to declare that they are not attracted to individuals of their own gender, or have never engaged in sex with people of their own gender (Drucker 386). The presenter expounded on sexual identities, and how some identities could pose health risks to individuals.
Varieties of people attended and how many were there: The event was free and anyone could attend, but, of course, one had to be above eighteen years of age to attend an event that discusses issues that seemed awkward for the society. More than 500 students and a couple interested residents attended the event, which was termed as the best course in eradicating discrimination on sexuality.
Atmosphere at the event and how I felt: The event was lively, as every participant was keen to listen to various speakers, who graced the occasion. The event brought together students from different cultures, origin, as well as sexual orientations. In addition, students were allowed to ask questions, no matter how awkward the questions seemed to be. Students are always eager to learn things that they do not learn about in their communities; thus, the event offered a better chance to discredit some sexual stereotypes and harmonious coexistence in the school environment. I never felt misplaced to be in such an event, as it enlightened me on issues that people never discuss in day-to-day life, despite being practiced for a long time.
The event “I’m Taboo” had a strong relationship to human sexuality because it highlighted on subject of sexual identity and barriers to sexual pluralism. In understanding what a taboo is, one requires a perception of sexuality and its influence in human behavior. According to Vern Bullough and Bonnie Bullough, a taboo is a “forbidden act that calls forth learned feelings of fear, dread, shame, and guilt” (348). For many people, same-sex sexual intimacy is considered as a taboo; hence, people hardly discuss such issue. Lack of education on such issues makes social changes on sexuality hard to attain. Knowing about sexual plurality can help individuals to understand each other in community, in addition to increasing their awareness of health implications from certain sexual practices.
Individuals should be afforded a forum to discuss “unspeakable” issues that pertain to human sexuality. Human sexuality has always been a complex behavior that influences individuals’ aspects of lives that include physiology, cognition, and learning. As people’s culture change, so is their sexuality. What the society used to perceive as taboo has become a norm in many people’s mind. The event “I’m Taboo” was set to discredit sexual pluralism as a taboo, and how the community can benefit from people with different sexual identities.
Bullough, Vern L, and Bonnie Bullough. Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.
Drucker, Peter. Warped: Gay Normality and Queer Anti-Capitalism. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015. Internet resource.