Lecture on 4/23 at UCLA: Promoting Public Awareness of Gender and Sexuality Issues In China: A Case Study
Thursday, April 23, 2015
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Bunche Hall 11377
As China becomes more open and people’s values change, the prevalence of sexual issues that need exploration has increased. Sex topics include pre- and extramarital sex; sex
industry, homo- and bisexual behavior, sexual assault, etc are more open discussed in sex studies at colleges, media reports, formal publications, on-line information, extensive public health education, and public displays of affection. However, there still
lacks consciousness of gender perspectives and insights among academics, mass media and general populations. Gender double standards and negative perspectives on sexuality are still dominant in people’s understanding of sex-related issues; self pleasure and
female sexual desire are still not socially acceptable. This talk will illustrate a two year project on public advocacy on masturbation discourses which contributes to the proliferation of collective discussions of alternative sexual activities and individuals’
sexual representations. Through one and a half year of maintaining a Weibo site which focuses on the topic on masturbation from 2012 to 2013, collecting comments from the fans and organizing off-line workshops on the same topic, the project explores people’s
understandings of masturbation, their desires and their way of expressing themselves. Compared with a qualitative research on women’s discourses on masturbation in Shanghai in 2005, the focus of the analysis is on how different the girls talk about their masturbation
experiences. By analyzing girl’s narratives about masturbation, especially the technique on how to get orgasm, the talk suggests that girls actually use “sex knowledge” as a way to empower themselves and to challenge heterosexualities and heteronormativities.
Dr. Yuxin Pei, a current Fulbright visiting scholar at
USC’s school of social work, is an associate professor from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China. She had performed pioneering work promoting the concepts of gender and sexuality in social work. Recently, her research on how to publicly promote sexuality
discourses has received much attention from the media in and beyond China.