Crash Course on Human Sexuality

Many of us tend to (or used to tend to) view things in a binary way.  This has many causes.  Our languages create this tendency, because it is essentially a system of identification based on negative qualities, meaning “up” doesn’t mean very much more than “not down or left or right.”  We have to be careful though, to realize that the world is a complex place. Reality resists simplicity.  We must acknowledge the people whose feelings, beliefs, and identities exist regardless of the binary box our society tries to put them in.

This may seem extremely abstract, but it’s something that impacts millions of people every day, especially when it comes to sexuality.  So in the interest of spreading the knowledge about human sexuality and the beautiful, complex thing it really is, here’s Hank Green giving you a crash course.

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2 Responses to Crash Course on Human Sexuality

  1. Keri Williams says:

    This is an interesting video. I am a very binary thinker, not just in this, but in many other things. This represents a paradigm shift for me and I’m glad you’ve introduced me to this. I will be thinking about it….

    • Cody says:

      Quite a few people are binary thinkers, without knowing anything different. Binary thought is simply the way our language functions to help us make sense of the world. Words and concepts are not defined by what they are, but rather by what they are not. For example, how would you explain the concept “up” without “down?” The problem with this sort of thought however, is that it does not reflect reality. Human sexuality is a great example of this. Our rigid ideas of gender as being male/female and sexuality being straight/queer do not reflect reality at all. Someone might be intersex, being both male and female. And they might be asexual, or completely bisexual, instead of straight or queer.

      This sort of binary thinking seems useful and largely harmless, but once you realize the political aspect of it, it becomes immediately apparent how important it is for people to understand these realities. If you’ve never come across anything like this, it can be a bit of a “paradigm shift,” indeed, but rest assured that many have been in your position before, though these ideas aren’t new.

      If you’re interested in the concepts of binaries and how they are a poor reflection of reality, look up the work of French philosopher Jacques Derrida and his Deconstruction theory. In a nutshell, this theory states that the hierarchical structures of power and authority rarely have power legitimately. These structures, after examined, are based on concepts (like the male/female binary) that aren’t logical or realistic at all, so the power structure crumbles. Anyways, I hope thinking through these concepts proves fruitful. Cheers.

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