Our Sexual Attitudes and How Society Influences Them

Sexuality is a deeply personal and individual aspect of our lives, but it is profoundly shaped by the society we live in. We’ve compiled a list of the different parts of modern human life that can contribute to the way that we interact with others and ourselves. Curious about your own influences? A CSWC sex therapist can apply their expertise to understanding and unraveling your most aligned sexual self.

  • Cultural norms play a pivotal role in shaping our sexual attitudes. Different cultures have distinct views on sexuality, relationships, and gender roles. These norms influence our beliefs about what is considered acceptable or taboo in the realm of sexuality.
  • The media, including movies, television, and advertising, often depict idealized versions of sexuality. These portrayals can impact our expectations and perceptions of what is “normal” or desirable in sexual relationships. They can also perpetuate stereotypes and create unrealistic beauty standards.
  • Our family and upbringing profoundly influence our sexual attitudes. The values, beliefs, and attitudes instilled in us during childhood can shape our views on relationships, sex, and gender roles.
  • Religion and spirituality can exert a strong influence on sexual attitudes. Different religious doctrines have varying perspectives on sex, contraception, and sexual orientation, and these beliefs can inform our personal views and behaviors.
  • Our peers and social circles can exert significant pressure on our sexual attitudes. We may feel compelled to conform to the beliefs and behaviors of our friends or social groups, even if they don’t align with our personal values.
  • Access to sex education and information can also shape our sexual attitudes. Comprehensive and inclusive sex education can promote informed and healthy attitudes toward sexuality, while a lack of information can lead to misconceptions and stigmas.
  • Societal expectations regarding gender roles can impact our sexual attitudes. These expectations may define how individuals should behave, what their sexual roles should be, and how they should express their desires and attractions.
  • Economic and social factors can influence sexual attitudes. Income disparities, access to healthcare, and overall well-being can affect our attitudes towards sex and relationships.
  • Historical events and political decisions can have a lasting impact on sexual attitudes. Changes in laws, policies, and social movements can lead to shifts in societal views on topics such as sexual orientation, gender identity, and reproductive rights.
  • The intersection of multiple aspects of our identity, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status, plays a crucial role in shaping our sexual attitudes. It highlights the complexity of how societal influences intersect and affect our lives.


Next Steps

Understanding the impact of these influences can lead to more informed and open-minded perspectives on sexuality. It’s essential to critically examine these influences, challenge harmful stereotypes, and promote a more inclusive and accepting attitude towards diverse expressions of sexuality. By recognizing the power of societal influences, we can work towards creating a more informed, equitable, and accepting society for all. Reach out to our sex therapists to get started!

Jess Wackes

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