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How Are Gender and Sexuality Significant to the Study of Visual Culture?

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university of essex | SC291-5-FY | How are Gender and Sexuality Significant to the Study of Visual Culture? | | Word Count: 2,312 | 1004894 |

How are Gender and Sexuality Significant to the Study of Visual Culture?
In this essay I plan to explore the meanings that are found within the concepts of gender and sexuality and the presentation to which they are given in all types of visual culture. I wish to look into the reasons behind the current stereotypes of gender and sexuality which are used in day to day life. The origins of such clichés and the reason why stereotypes are so heavily used in visual culture, to try and understand the disadvantages and advantages they bring to the media. I will begin by trying to give an explanation of the definition of the terms, gender, sexuality and visual culture.
Gender is often depicted to a simple non-complex term which is based upon an individual’s biological sex. Thus presenting the theory that the sex of an individual will biologically predetermine their mannerisms and actions; behaviours that are associated with being male or female. Although it is necessary to understand that there are differences between men and women, to assume that all behaviour can be categorised as male or female could be considered to be ignorant. In more recent times gender has become less fixated upon the biological sex of the person and is more determined by the individual themselves (Kirsch, 2000). Sexuality is the term used to demonstrate the type of person an individual is sexually attracted to and would like to pursue. The idea of sexuality is divided into three types’ heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. Heterosexuality defining those who are attracted to those of the opposite sex, homosexuality referring to those who are attracted to people of the same sex and bisexuality denoting to those who are attracted to...

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