scientia sexualis

scientia sexualis shapes truth through knowledge and power (Foucault, 1978, 57-58).

Foucault states that our civilization is based on this scientia sexualis production of discourse that incorporates confession into the rules of science (Foucault, 1978, 67). This truth of sex operates as it articulates the language of power and transforms sex into discourse, causing the rituals of confession to function within the norms of science, constituted within scientific terminology.



repression hypothesis

suggests individuals are always oppressed in society.

Foucault critiques this Freudian idea of the repressive hypothesis by shedding light the general ways “discursive facts” are applied to sex and “put into discourse” (Foucault, 1978, 11). Foucault offers an alternative view to understanding the relations between sex and power, which is through the “will to knowledge”that  reveals the “polymorphous techniques of power.”



a romantic interest, sexual desire, or sexual behavior towards both males and females.

Freud finds that it is part of “normal” development for a certain degree of hermaphroditism to occur in individuals. For instance, every male and female has traces of the opposite sex. Freud believes that originally everyone had a bisexual physical disposition, which over the course of time, as humans evolved, became modified into a unisex body, leaving out traces of the other sex that were deemed to be unnecessary (Freud, 7).


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when an individual crosses over from one dominant hegemonic culture to experience the strange subculture of another. Often times placed in racially and sexually segregated ghettos, in order to excite and unsettle the curiosities of the slummer (Bronski, 121). Slumming was prevalent during the New York’s Harlem Renaissance that drew crowds to the spectacular jazz clubs nightly events. Slumming gave the opportunity for people to experience different ways of being that they were not normally familiar by providing another perspective to cultural difference and the permission to facilitate relationships beyond their own cultural understanding.