Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

International Affairs

First Advisor

Vicki Hunter

Second Advisor

Gregory Young

Third Advisor

Douglas Bamforth

Abstract

Substitutive sexuality….the infinite cannot be made into matter, but it is possible to create an illusion of the infinite: the image…and skin, a mass of scars, a skeleton’s robe…but they certainly are truth.

Andrei Tarkovsky, ‘The Sacrifice’

This honors thesis outlines the importance of sexuality and its connotations in the political as well as social sphere of society. The purpose of this work is to illustrate the underlining reasoning within people and states using a sexual discourse. By applying Michel Foucault’s theory of sexuality and relations of power, a description of a society’s system solely based on sexual activity and identity is constructed, and argued to be woven into each individual by culture, specifically religion. An attempt to present culture as an explanation for a state’s behavior is depicted, by looking at how religious ideology of a society influences immigration policy, and furthermore, voluntary sex work and either the sexual openness or censorship in two states, England and Thailand. To collect significant data, literary research was applied to the area of public opinion, in which amount of sex bars, sexuality in magazines, and women’s rights groups’ involvement were measured in both regions since the new millennium. Results signify the importance of culture, specifically religion, in forming a subject’s perception about sex within one’s-self and the sexual expectations of society. Conclusions reveal the importance of culture seen in state’s behavior through the prescribed sexual norms, ideals, and values given to each individual at birth, and emphasize that the religious sexuality of a society is the conduit of truth for political and social power relations and state activity.