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by | Mar 26

  • Paper 1: Drop Box, Slide Show and PromptsAttached Files:
    • File sexual cultures writing assignment.pdf (224.8 KB)
    • Before you do anything else, review the attached powerpoint presentation.  
      Make sure you know what your topic is, that you’ve read the formatting instructions and guidelines about things like deadlines, the submission process, etc.
      Review the Grading Rubric tab above the Paper 1 tab so that you have a clear understanding of how your assignment will be evaluated and graded.
      Review the Writing Help tab above the Grading Rubric tab (especially the Professor’s tips! – which I wrote specifically for our class) – there are some very simple resources, tips, and strategies that may help with the technical aspects of the writing process.  You do not need to read every handout listed, just skim the titles so that you know there are resources that are readily available to you to help guide you through virtually every stage of your assignment.

      Once you have done all of the above, you are ready to proceed to the PROMPTS.

      PROMPTS:  Follow these prompts to prepare your assignment.  Remember you only have 1000 words, roughly only twice that of the words in this section.  Be concise.  Feel free to label your answers, and/or provide bullet points, rather than attempt to write this as a free form essay.
      Using the slides provided about how to analyze the cultural aspects of sexuality, sexual practices, etc., use your own words to characterize the topic you have been assigned to.  This should take the form of a brief introductory paragraph that highlights the features of the topic that you feel make the topic distinct, unique, or analytically compelling in some way.  Remember that this should be presented as objectively as possible, setting aside all personal opinions and judgments.  Do not position yourself and your own sexuality or experiences in relation to the topic, except if you feel that you need to describe your level of familiarity with the topic (prompt 1, below, can help you flesh out this first part).

      1) Describe how you would have initially defined and characterized the sexual culture in question without looking to any external sources. Make an explicit reference to at least one item on the slide entitled: “who, what, where, when”
      2) After careful, systematic reflection, including a review of the materials provided in this slide set, any relevant course materials, and any external resources you need to refer to, provide a more informed and nuanced characterization of the topic. Copious external research is not necessary, but careful reflection is.  Imagination might be useful to fill in the gaps, as long as you present this as speculation on your part and not “FACT.”
      3) The body of your paper should address the following:
       – BRIEFLY list at least three sexual practices involved (in some sexual cultures, what counts as sex can be quite different than how you might define it)
       – Provide one example of a script, norm, role, and set of expectations relevant to the topic.  Be as illustrative as possible (who are the actors, what is the setting, what is the surrounding context of the example you’ve selected)
       – Identity at least one example of how hegemony, power, and/or influence, impact the power dynamics involved (power dynamics might include who has the power to define the scripts, who is empowered to break them, who sets the terms of the negotiations involved, who has the most cultural capital and who has the least) — you don’t need to address all of these, just select AT LEAST ONE example
       – Identify at least one key dimension of the underlying value system shaping the INTERNAL social norms and expectations related to the topic — by value system, we are referring to the shared values held by insiders (people who practice or identify with whatever topic or culture involved)
      – Suggest at least one way in which the sexual culture reflects, or is a part of, mainstream cultural values — AND/OR — Suggest at least one way in which how it challenges dominant sexual values.  It is perfectly acceptable (and preferable) if you suggest one from each side of the spectrum (how it reflect dominant values, while at the same time, also challenges those values).  
      – Finally, how did writing about this topic fulfill one or more of the overarching goals for the assignment (the goals are listed on the final slide of the slideshow provided)

  • Updated Instructions for Paper 11) THIS IS A CRITICAL THINKING EXERCISE, NOT AN OPINION PIECE OR A RESEARCH PAPER.  This is more like an essay exam and opportunity to demonstrate your critical thinking and analytical skills. It is not a research paper.   Although external references and sources are permitted, they are not required.  Don’t agonize about all of the details, or strive for absolute accuracy — focus on demonstrating that you understand HOW to examine the cultural aspects of a “sexual culture” (which can refer to a group, a set of practices, a specific setting, a social institution, etc.) while setting aside personal feelings, judgments, and assumptions.  Do NOT submit a paper that expresses your opinion about whether or not you agree with a particular lifestyle or sexual practice.  Before you do anything else, read the slideshow I have provided about how we can approach the cultural aspects of sexuality, and then follow the prompts to the best of your ability.  I value substance over form, quality over quantity, and the slideshow is very carefully prepared so that we are speaking the same language, and so that my goals as your professor are as explicit as possible (see the final slide of the presentation).
    2) EXTERNAL RESOURCES:  Again, this is not a research paper, it is a critical thinking exercise.  Feel free to google, wiki, do library research, talk to friends – use whatever resources that you have at hand, or find useful, valid, informative, quick, and easy to access.  If you do utilize outside materials, you must cite them directly (whether you paraphrase or use a direct quotation).  This is the ONLY way that you can protect yourself from issues related to academic integrity (specifically, plagarism).  If you come across conflicting information, use your best judgment to determine how you will resolve that conflict.  You can state the nature of the conflict as it relates to the prompt, without having to decide in such a short exercise, which is more valid.  Or, you can determine what to include based on the nature of the source (is it in a peer reviewed journal? a university press? a published auto-biography? or maybe just written in a more compelling way — its up to you how to evaluate the source and whether you want to refer to it at all).  There will always be conflicting points of view, there is never a full consensus about things even within a social group that identifies with a specific sexual culture, and there is even less consensus from outsiders.  The primary goal is to simply demonstrate that you can bring your analytical toolkit to the table, and to start unraveling the many mysteries of sexual diversity.  Ideally, you have been assigned a topic that is somewhat UNFAMILIAR (this can make it easier to analyze the topic because it creates some amount of distance between your own experiences and perspectives and the experiences and perspectives and practices of others; on the flip side, it might require some digging so that you know enough about the topic to respond to the prompts).  HINT:  Even if you can’t find enough information to answer a specific prompt, just give it your best guess, or even state simply that you aren’t sure about how accurate your statement might be.  As long as you can show that you understand WHAT we are looking for, you will not be docked points. For all intents and purposes, you could make up an space alien sexual culture using your imagination and still complete the assignment, as long as you adhere to the prompts well enough to show you understand HOW the process can be applied to any setting, group, institution, etc.
    If you have been assigned a topic is that is FAMILIAR to you, and that you identify with, it may be more difficult to analyze the topic as objectively as an outsider would.  You might not have to look to any external resources, but you will have to be very self-reflective about your own positions, experiences, etc. and be very careful not to overgeneralize.  

    3) VERY IMPORTANT HINT TO ADD POINTS TO YOUR SCORE: Being able to point out, or even imagine [in writing], how and why an intersectional framework (one that examines different positions with respect to gender, race, class, ability, etc.) would be useful or necessary with respect to a particular prompt is definitely going to ADD VALUE to your essay.  I’m mentioning this in this section in particular because a lot of the materials you might come across will represent some perspectives (or even just ONE) and ignore others, or openly challenge others.  It is not up to you to determine WHO is “right” or “wrong” – they are speaking their own truth, and culture is FULL of contradictions.  You don’t need to do this with every prompt, and its not required, but a simple acknowledgment that culture is not monolithic (even within seemingly small subgroups), is ALWAYS welcome and refreshing.  Overgeneralization is a major pet peeve of mine, and others, so please avoid this when possible.  Even simple phrases such as “Obviously, not everyone experiences or interprets this practice in the same way, but for those who frame the practice as…..”  , or “there is compelling evidence that there is a significant subgroup of individuals experience this practice in a very different way, in that they…”   —  If you have a concrete example for even ONE of the prompts, thats an important goal to strive for.  It will be that above and beyond element we look for when assigning your final grade.  
    4.  CHALLENGE yourself to set your personal feelings aside (I have had several students request alternate topics because the topic they were assigned is outside of their comfort zone).  We are not asking about your personal feelings or opinions (not that they don’t matter, its just that this is not the goal of the exercise).  If you start saying things like “I feel that… (these practices are immoral, distasteful, disgusting, or even start to endorse the topic because it is one that you personally identify with), you are getting off track and wasting valuable analytical space.  We make NO judgments whatsoever as to what you endorse or do not; frankly, this is none of our business.  There are NO right or wrong answers.  You are being evaluated on your analytical skills, and your ability to be precise, concise, and effective in terms of your written communication skills.
    5) IF you did not already have an assigned topic, I have provided a list based on your last name for your reference so that you can identify your topic. The list is posted in the at the very bottom of this section.   No student will be allowed to select their own topic.  You do not need to verify your topic with me through email.
    6) The prompts will provide you with an outline for your paper.  Follow them.  Give yourself time to work through the assignment.  Make sure you understand the prompts, and ask for clarification when needed.  Do NOT wait until the day before the paper is due to ask for clarification, as it is very possible that I will not be able to answer you in time.  Remember that we will have class on the day that the paper is due.  I am available after class during office hours to clarify any last minute issues.
    7) DEADLINE/TIME-DATE STAMP/SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:  You absolutely MUST meet the deadline.  If you have a problem submitting your paper, you can email me your document as a “placeholder” (it will be time/date stamped), and THEN we can figure out how you can get your paper submitted through safe assignment.  Your paper will not be graded unless it is submitted through safe assignment.  MAKE SURE THAT YOU PASTE YOUR PAPER DIRECTLY INTO THE TEXT BOX. 
    If you submit a paper in a formatted attachment that will not open, you WILL receive a zero, because we have no way to verify that the document you submitted before the deadline was actually a completed submission.  We don’t have any way of knowing if your attachment is empty, incomplete, or a perfect final draft.  I have had students attempt to beat the system by submitting files that are impossible to open, who then provide a document later on in another format.  I have know way of verifying if this is the same document, and so, as unfair as it sounds to you, in the interest of all fairness to your classmates, that document will not be graded.

  • FormattingSubmissions should be clear and concise, and no more than 1,000 words in length (excluding references cited and quotations), following the format outlined below:
    • in the upper right-hand corner of your assignment, provide your full name, current date, and the name of your assigned topic;
    • submit in the textbox provided through the dropbox feature, which is linked at the very top of this entire section, DO NOT submit an attached document
    • all papers are run through Safe Assign – 
    • a powerful antiplagiarism program that compares your submission with hundreds of thousands of websites, publications, student papers, etc. in dozens of languages, from ASU to anywhere in the world;
    • write in single-spaced 12 pt Arial font (there is no page limit, only a WORD limit of 1,000 words — and yes, its ok to go a LITTLE bit over, but not much)
    • internal citations and list of references cited must follow APA citation format
    • internal citations for direct quotations must include a page number, such as (Katsulis 2017: 21);
    • quotations, if used at all, should be used sparingly (e.g. less than 10% of your paper);
    • whether paraphrased or presented as a direct quotation, the use of all source materials used MUST be cited (as long as you cite your materials properly, we will have NO problems with respect to plagarism;  any materials that are presented as one’s own thoughts not properly cited will be considered plagiarized, resulting in sanctions that may include anything from a zero grade for the assignment, to the recommendation of an “XE” (failure of the course due to a violation of academic integrity, this becomes a part of your permanent record, and its just not worth it!)
    • use of language from other student’s papers (and even your OWN previous papers) is strictly prohibited and considered an act of plagarism that is just as serious as the use of published materials


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