Negative sexuality as a passive social attitude Cover Image

Negatywna seksualność jako bierna postawa społeczna
Negative sexuality as a passive social attitude

Author(s): Marta Płonecka
Subject(s): Gender Studies, Sociobiology, Sociology of Culture
Published by: Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: positive sexuality; negative sexuality; social attitude; Polish culture; sexual education; philosophy of politics; psychology; sexology

Summary/Abstract: Negative sexuality is a sexuality that isn’t a part of feeling of identity and self-acceptance. It is burdened with feelings of shame, guilt and threat. In Polish society there is an atmosphere of negative sexuality. There is a lack of tolerance towards diversity and sexual freedom, understood as free expression of the self. It is a situation which threatens the psychological well-being. The deprecation and normativization of human sexuality is ensnarled in relations of power which petrify the social status quo. That leads to totalitarian management of our sexuality and maintenance of that status due to psychological mechanisms of submitting to totalitarian powers. To show these processes I refer to such thinkers as Michel Foucault, Erich Fromm, Theodor Adorno, Wilhelm Reich and Karen Horney. Such reality is also a result of social processes which shaped it. Influential here were the processes related to power and culture. Negative templates have been present in our culture for long time, a fact which I exemplify by analyzing Polish culture through the Polish cinema of the People’s Republic period. Today, passive social attitudes have resulted in continued cultivating of these negative social norms. I show alternatives to the atmosphere of negative sexuality, describing the movement for positive sexuality and its benefits for psychological health of individuals and society. While I throw doubt on the possibility of a popularization of queer theory in Poland, I also show some universal strategies of resistance against those exercising power over human sexuality. I describe the phenomenon of bioresistance and freeing physicality drawing on the example of works by Krzysztof Pacewicz about the theories of Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben. In more practical terms, I analyze the present condition of sexual education antidiscrimination movements in Poland. In my work I want to show that a sexually positive life attitude, which means a life of acceptance of oneself and others and creation of a nonviolent space, enables universal self‑acceptance and self-development. It is also a proactive social attitude because it requires intellectual and political involvement in regard to emerging reality. I believe that positive sexuality supported by positive sex-ed and social involvement is a very important element of resistance against power relations.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 09
  • Page Range: 1-35
  • Page Count: 35
  • Language: Polish