Advertisement

Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 297–320 | Cite as

The Sexual Scripts and Identity of Middle-Class Russian Women

  • Anna Temkina
  • Elena ZdravomyslovaEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to provide an analysis of changes in the organization of sexual life among Russian women and to describe a spectrum of sexual scripts that characterize different generations. Based on biographical interviews with urban middle-class women we identify five such scripts of sexual life. On one hand, the analysis shows that representatives of the late Soviet generations are oriented towards the pronatal, romantic and friendship scripts of sexual relationships. Soviet women faced structural barriers in their sexual lives: gender inequality and lack of institutional provision of sexual practices. On the other hand, the analysis shows that the sexual culture of women belonging to the younger, post-Soviet generation differs considerably from that of their (demographic) mothers and grandmothers, the women of the Soviet generations. Among the women belonging to the post-Soviet generation, the hedonistic and instrumental scripts become more articulate. The current rationalization trend in sexual life presumes women’s conscious choice of sexual partners and reproductive strategies. Women are reflexive towards their sexual desire and represent agency, acting intentionally in order to control intimate relationships in which they are involved. However, young women also face numerous barriers caused by the lack of institutional reflexivity on sexuality and gender polarization.

Keywords

Sexual scripts Women Generations Russia Gender identity 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The article is based on research supported by Central European University (CEU), the Ford Foundation, and the Novartis company. We are thankful to A. Rotkirch and anonymous reviewers for their comments and to B. Schechter for language correction.

References

  1. Angelova, E., & Temkina, A. (2010). The father who participate in childbirth. Gender partnership or situation control? Anthropology Archeology of Eurasia, 49(2), 9–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Antonov, A. (1980). Sotsiologiya rozhdaemosti [The sociology of birth]. Moscow: Statistika.Google Scholar
  3. Borman, R. (1975). Molodezh i lyubov’ [Youth and love]. Moscow: Progress.Google Scholar
  4. Borozdina, E., Rotkirch, A., Temkina, A., & Zdravomyslova, E. (2014). Using maternity capital: Citizen distrust of Russian family policy. European Journal of Women’s Studies. doi: 10.1177/1350506814543838.
  5. Bourdieu, P. (2001) Masculine domination (R. Nice, trans.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Chernova, Zh. (2014). Roditelstvo v sovremennoi Rossii i grazhdanskie initsiativy [Parenthood in contemporary Russia]. In M. Pugacheva & S. Zharkov (Eds.) Puti Rossii. Novye yazyki sotsialnogo opisanija (pp. 295–322) V. XIX. Moscow. NLO.Google Scholar
  7. Cushman, Th. (1995). Notes from the underground. Rock music counter-culture in Russia. New York: State University of N.Y. Press.Google Scholar
  8. Flick, U. (2009). An introduction to qualitative research (4th ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Gagnon, J. (1990). The explicit and implicit use of the scripting perspective in sex research. Annual Review of Sex Research, 1, 1–43.Google Scholar
  10. Gangon, J., & Simon, W. (1973). Sexual conduct: The social sources of human sexuality. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  11. Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Goffman, E. (1997). Frame analysis of gender. From «The arrangement between the sexes». In C. Lemert & A. Branaman (Eds.), Goffman reader (pp. 201–208). New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  14. Golod, S. (1970). Budushchaya sem’ya: Kakova ona? (Sotsial’no-nravstvennyi aspekt) [Future family: what is it? (Social and moral dimension)]. Moscow: Znanie.Google Scholar
  15. Golod, S. (1984). Stabilnost sem’i: Sotsiologiskie i demographicheskie aspekty [Family stability: Sociological and demographical dimension]. Leningrad: Nauka.Google Scholar
  16. Golod, S. (Ed.). (1995). Annotirovannaya bibliographiya po social’nym problemam sexualnosti (1960-e–pervaya polovina 1990-kh) [Annotated bibliography of social problems of sexuality (1960’s–first half of 1990’s)]. St. Petersburg: Institute of Sociology.Google Scholar
  17. Haavio-Mannila, E., Rotkirch, A., & Kontula, O. (2004). Contradictory trends in sexual life in St. Petersburg, Estonia, and Finland. In A. Stulhofer & T. Sandfort (Eds.), Sexuality and gender in postcommunist Eastern Europe and Russia (pp. 317–363). New York: The Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  18. Jackson, S. (1999). Heterosexuality in question. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  19. Jackson, S. (2007). The sexual self in late modernity. In M. Kimmel (Ed.), The sexual self: The construction of sexual scripts (pp. 3–15). Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Kharchev, A. (1968). Byt i sem’ya v sotsialisticheskom obshestve [Everyday life and family in socialist society]. Leningrad: Obshchestvo Znanie.Google Scholar
  21. Kharchev, A. (1979). Brak i sem’ia v SSSR [Marriage and family in the USSR]. Moscow: Mysl’.Google Scholar
  22. Khripkova, A., & Kolesov, D. (1981). Devochka–podrostok–devushka [Girl–teenager–young woman]. Moscow: Prosveshchenie.Google Scholar
  23. Khripkova, A., & Kolesov, D. (1982). Mal’chik–podrostok–yunosha [Boy–teenager–young man]. Moscow: Prosveshchenie.Google Scholar
  24. Kimmel, M. (2000). The gendered society. NewYork: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Kimmel, M. (Ed.). (2007). The sexual self: The construction of sexual scripts. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Kon, I. (1967). Polovoe sozrevanie kak sotsial’naya problema [Sexual socialization as social problem]. In I. Kon (Ed.), Sotsiologiya Lichnosti [Sociology of personality] (pp. 145–160). Moscow: Politizdat.Google Scholar
  27. Kon, I. (1970). Sex, obshesvto i kultura [Sex, society and culture]. Inostrannaya Literatura [Foreign Literature], 1, 243–256.Google Scholar
  28. Kon, I. (1995). The sexual revolution in Russia. From the age of the czars to today. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  29. Kon, I. (2002). Chelovecheskie sexual’nosti na rubezhe XXI vekov [Human sexualities in the XXI fin de siecle]. In A. Temkina & E. Zdravomyslova (Eds.), V Poiskakh Sexual’nosti [In the search of sexuality] (pp. 24–47). St. Petersburg: D. Bulanin.Google Scholar
  30. Kon, I. (2005). Sexual’naya kul’tura v Rossii [Sexual culture in Russia]. Moscow: Iris Press.Google Scholar
  31. Kontula, O., & Haavio-Mannila, E. (1995). Sexual pleasures. Enhancement of sex life in Finland, 1971–1992. Dartmouth: Aldershot.Google Scholar
  32. Kukulin, I., & Majofis, M. (2010). Novoe roditelstvo i ego politicheskie aspeckty [New parenthood and its political aspects]. Pro et Contra, 14(1–2), 6–19.Google Scholar
  33. Laumann, E., Gagnon, J., Michael, R., & Michaels, S. (1994). The social organization of sexuality. Sexual practices in the United States. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  34. Lorber, J. (1994). Paradoxes of gender. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. An expanded sourcesbook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  36. Mizulina, E. Y. (2009). Vystuplenie na parlamentskih slyshaniyah po temeEvolutsiya prav zhenshin: k 100-letiu pervogo vserossiiskogo zhenskogo s’ezda” [Presentation at the Palamentary discussion “Evolution of women’s rights: towards the 100th anniversary of the 1st all-Russian women’s congress”]. http://www.duma.gov.ru/family/Inform.mat.15.12.09.doc. Accessed April, 15 2012
  37. Neubert, R. (1960). Voprosy pola (Kniga dlya molodezhi) [The issues of sex (The book for the youth)]. Frunze: Resp. Dom San. Prosveshcheniya.Google Scholar
  38. Neubert, R. (1967). Novaya kniga o supruzhestve [The new book on marriage]. Moscow: Progress.Google Scholar
  39. Pecherskaya, N. (2012). Mifologija roditelstva: Analiz diskursivnogo proizavodstva idealnoi semji [Mythology of parenthood: The analysis of discursive production if ideal family]. Zhurnal issledovaniii sotsialnoi politiki [Journal of research in social policy], 10(3), 323–342.Google Scholar
  40. Pilkington, H. (1994). Russia’s youth and its culture. London, New York: Routlege.Google Scholar
  41. Popov, A. (1995). Aborty v Rossii [Abortions in Russia]. Tshchelovek [Human being], 1, 111–118.Google Scholar
  42. Regushevskaya, E., Dubikaytis, T., Nikula, M., Kuznetsova, O., & Hemminki, E. (2009). Contraceptive use and abortion among women of reproductive age in St. Petersburg, Russia. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 41(1), 51–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rivkin-Fish, M. (1999). Sexuality education in Russia: Defining pleasure and danger for a fledging democratic society. Social Science and Medicine, 49, 801–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rivkin-Fish, M. (2006). From ‘demographic crisis’ to ‘dying nation’. The politics of language and reproduction in Russia. In H. Goscilo & A. Lanqux (Eds.), Gender and national identity in twentieth-century Russian culture (pp. 151–173). DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Rotkirch, A. (2000). The man question. Loves and lives in late 20th century Russia. Research report 1/2000. University of Helsinki, Department of Social Policy.Google Scholar
  46. Rotkirch, A., & Haavio-Mannila, E. (2000). Gender liberalisation and polarisation: Comparing sexuality in St. Petersburg, Finland and Sweden. Identutkimus: The Finnish Review of East European Studies, 7(3–4), 4–25.Google Scholar
  47. Rotkirch, A., & Kesseli, K. (2009). Detorozhdenie i ego mesto v zhiznennom tsikle peterburgskikh zhenshchin [Childbirth in the life cycle of women in St. Petersburg]. In E. Zdravomyslova, A. Rotkirch, & A. Temkina (Eds.), Novyi byt v sovremennoi Rossii: Gendernye issledovaniya povsednevnosti [New everyday life in contemporary Russia: Gender approach] (pp. 427–455). St. Petersburg: EUSPb.Google Scholar
  48. Rotkirch, A., Temkina, A., & Zdravomyslova, E. (2007). Who helps the degraded housewives? Comments on Vladimir Putin’s demographic speech. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 14, 349–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rurikov, U. (1967). Tri vlecheniya [Three desires]. Moscow: Iskusstvo.Google Scholar
  50. Rurikov, U. (1977). Trudnosti schast’ya. lyubov i molodaya sem’ya [The difficulties of happiness. Love and young family]. Znanie: Moscow.Google Scholar
  51. Sakevich, V. (2009). Problema abortov v sovermennoi Rossii [The issue of abortions in contemporary Russia]. In A. Temkina & E. Zdravomyslova (Eds.), Zdorov’e i doverie: Gendernyi podhod k reproduktivnoi meditsine [Health and trust: A gender approach to reproductive medicine] (pp. 136–152). St. Petersburg: EUSPb.Google Scholar
  52. Simon, W., & Gagnon, J. (1984). Sexual scripts. Society, 22(1), 53–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Skripkin, U., & Mar’yasis, E. (1985). Gigiena yunoshi [Young man’s hygiene]. Minsk: Belarus.Google Scholar
  54. Snarskaya, O. (2009). Sexual’noe obrazovanie kak sfera proizvodstva gendernyh razlichii I konstruirovaniay predstavlenii o “natsii” [Sexual education as the field of production of dender differences and construction of “nation”]. In A. Temkina & E. Zdravomyslova (Eds.), Zdorov’e i doverie: Gendernyi podhod k reproduktivnoi meditsine [Health and trust: A gender approach to reproductive medicine] (pp. 51–90). St. Petersburg: EUSPb.Google Scholar
  55. Stupko, A., & Sokolova, S. (1981). Tebe: mal’chik, muzhchina [It is for you: For a boy, for a man]. Kiev: Zdorov’ya semija.Google Scholar
  56. Temkina, A., & Zdravomyslova, E. (2005). Gendered citizenship in Soviet and post-Soviet societies. In V. Tolz & S. Booth (Eds.), Gender and nation in contemporary Europe (pp. 96–115). Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Vishnevskii, A. (Ed.). (2006). Demograficheskaya modernisatziya v Rossii. 19002000 [Demographical modernization in Russia, 1900–2000]. Moscow: Novoe Izdatel‘stvo.Google Scholar
  58. Vladin, V., & Kapustin, D. (1983). Intimnyi mir sem’i [Intimate world of the family]. Minsk: Vysshya Shkola.Google Scholar
  59. Weeks, J. (1995). History, desire and identities. In R. Parker & J. Gagnon (Eds.), Conceiving sexuality. Approaches to sex research in a postmodern world (pp. 33–50). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  60. Weeks, J. (1997). Sexual values revisited. In L. Segal (Ed.), New sexual agendas (pp. 43–59). Basingstoke: Macmillan Press.Google Scholar
  61. Yurkevich, N. (1970). Sovetskaya sem’ya [The soviet family]. Minsk: Izd-vo BGU.Google Scholar
  62. Zakharov, S. (2008) Russian Federation: From the first to the second demographic transition. Demographic Research 19, 907–972. http://www.demographic-research.org/Volumes/Vol19/24/. Accessed September 20, 2014
  63. Zakharov, S., & Sakevich, V. (2008). Osobennostu Osobennosti planirovaniya sem’i. Rozdaemost’ v Rossii: Kontratseptivnaya revolutsiya- svershivshiisya fakt? [Family planning and fertility in Russia: Did contraceptive revolution happen?]. In T. Maleva & O. Synyavskaya (Eds.), Roditeli i deti, muzhchiny i zhenshchiny v sem’e i obshchestve [Parents and children, men and women in family and society] (pp. 127–171). Moscow: Nezavisimyy Institut Sotsial’noi Politiki.Google Scholar
  64. Zdravomyslova, E. (2001). Hypocritical sexuality of the late Soviet period: Sexual knowledge and sexual ignorance. In S. Webber & I. Liikanen (Eds.), Education and civic culture in Post-Communist countries (pp. 151–167). London: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  65. Zdravomyslova, E. (2003). The Café Saigon Tusovka: One segment of the informal-public sphere of late Soviet society. In R. Miller, R. Humphrey, & E. Zdravomyslova (Eds.), Biographical research in eastern Europe: Altered lives and broken biographies (pp. 141–180). London: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  66. Zdravomyslova, E. (2009). Gendernoe grazhdanstvo i praktiki abortov [Gender citizenship and the practices of abortions]. In A. Temkina & E. Zdravomyslova (Eds.), Zdorov’e i Doverie: Gendernyi Podhod k Reproduktivnoi Meditsine [Health and trust: A gender approach to reproductive Medicine] (pp. 108–135). St. Pteresburg: EUSPb.Google Scholar
  67. Zdravomyslova, E., & Temkina, A. (2012). Ushel li v proshloe patriarkhat? (Is Patriarchy over?). In I. Tartakovskaya (Ed.), Gender dlya chainikov-2 [Gender for beginners-2] (pp. 25–41). Zven’ja: Moscow.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European University at St. PetersburgSt. PetersburgRussia

Personalised recommendations