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Social construction refers to the ways in which discourse, or the languages and signs we use to describe reality, codes our bodies with certain characteristics given a specific space and time within history. These bodily codes depend both upon the environments in which one is born into and the different power dynamics that will shape the way in which an individual’s identity is construed. For example, in Athens, the social system of the time coded the bodies of property owning males as “superordinate” and the social system coded women and slaves as “subordinate,” which became constraints for the identities of these individuals. In simpler terms, discourse shapes reality, and while reality may play an influence on discourse, the statement is not reverse causal. Or more specifically in terms of sexuality, as Halperin puts it, “...[the] social body precedes the sexual body” (Halperin, 420).   [Satveer]

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