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DeLamater & HasdayPage 5

which emphasizes marital relationships as the appropriate context for sexual intimacy. Religious leaders utilize this discourse in public statements and official documents; clergy base interactions with parishioners on it. Economic institutions promote capitalism; income requires employment, and households (families) require income. Thus, the economy has profound effects on patterns of sexuality, especially marriage and childbearing (Teachman, Tedrow & Crowder, 2000). The family has traditionally been a strong institution, supported by both religion and the legal system. It is associated with a discourse that emphasizes family functions of support and childrearing, norms of fidelity, and the incest taboo. Medicine has become increasingly important in the conceptualization and control of sexuality, a trend referred to as the medicalization of sexuality (Tiefer, 2004). The medical discourse defines certain aspects of sexual functioning in terms of health and illness, and prescribes treatment for problems of sexual functioning. The influence of this discourse has increased dramatically with the marketing and widespread advertising of drugs to improve sexual functioning. Finally, there is the law, which defines certain sexual practices as illegal, and creates procedures and institutions of social control that are used to enforce the law. Ultimately, the legal system reflects the interests of dominant groups in the society.

Scripting Theory

The premise of scripting theory is that sexual behavior (like almost all other human behavior) “is the result of elaborate prior learning that teaches us an etiquette of sexual behavior” (Hyde and DeLamater, 2006: 40). Simon and Gagnon, the developers of scripting theory in the 1970s, explained that, “Without the proper elements of a script that defines the situation, names the actors, and plots the behavior, little is likely to happen” (Longmore, 1998: 51). Socially learned sexual scripts tell people who to have sex with (e.g. what the race, gender and age of an appropriate sexual partner should be), when and where it is appropriate to have sex, and what

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