Processes of Socialization to Sexuality and Discrimination in the Web Society: An Exploratory Research on Transgender People

Processes of Socialization to Sexuality and Discrimination in the Web Society: An Exploratory Research on Transgender People

Marianna Coppola
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8473-6.ch045
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The diffusion of new media, of online communication, and the increasingly evident overlap between online and offline environments generates a specific question for scientific research on how these contents can represent an opportunity for “emancipation” and at the same time new areas in which can experience processes of exclusion, in particular for the LGBT community. In this sense, social media offers transgender people a wide range of tools and applications to create new knowledge, interact with other people, create new meeting opportunities, or trace new relationships and/or new emotional and sexual experiences. This research work aims to investigate the psychological, relational, and social aspects of transgender people who use social media and dating apps as communication spaces and relational environments in order to outline the peculiar aspects of media consumption, regulatory access and processes of stigmatization, and social discriminations by the web.
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The Evolution Of Sexual Identity: From The Veterosexual Model To The Multidimensional Model

The concept of sexual identity, of the relationship between biological sex and the social construction of gender, of the complementarity between male and female, of non-normative sexual identities and orientations, have been debated in Woman's Studies and LGBT Studies from the second half of the 1980s to the present day, initiating a rich scientific production that has fueled the sociology of sexuality (Piccone Stella, Simonelli 2007; Leccardi, 2002; Saraceno et al. 2008).

Thanks to the interaction with other important disciplines that have sexuality as their object of study (just think of psychology, biology and gender medicine), in recent years the multidimensional concept of sexual identity has been consolidated, overcoming the veterosexual model that had dominated studies and scientific research on sexuality for over three centuries.

The veterosexual model postulates the conception of human sexuality articulating it on five assumptions considered normative and from which to create the ideological and functional separation of normal sexuality from abnormal and deviant sexuality; specifically, the veterosexual model admits as normative

  • 1.

    the anatomical dichotomy between the biological sexes;

  • 2.

    the gender binarism described by the complementarity of male and female gender;

  • 3.

    the heteronormative conception of erotic and sexual attraction;

  • 4.

    the immutability of gender and gender expressivity;

  • 5.

    finally, the reproductive and generative function of sexuality (Ruspini, 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mesosystem: Context where the effects on the individual of social interactions and socialization processes can often be traced.

Exosystem: Situations in which the individual does not participate directly, but in which events and situations occur that indirectly influence and shape socialization processes.

Microsystem: The background and the containment system within which the other contexts necessarily refer to the normative subsystems and is necessarily conditioned and co-constructed with the cultural system of reference.

Sexual Market: Social contexts where sexual interactions are experienced as sexual arenas where sexual behaviors, practices, and expectations between partners are dramatized according to culturally recognized, accepted, and regulated norms and systems.

Transgender: The transgender condition includes those who were born male but feel like women (MtoF), those who were born female but identify with masculinity (FtoM), those who do not assume a precise gender identity and remain suspended in a non-definition of gender (genderqueer), those who reject binary gender assignment (no binary), and finally those who reject a gender identity and do not find themselves in any label (agender).

Transsexual: The term transsexual describes the condition in which a subject with gender mismatch has already begun a process of transformation of their physical and sexual characteristics in order to assume the new gender identity from a somato-biological point of view, as well as legal and social.

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