Against the Norm

Today, when people are engaged in scientific and technological progress, family values remain the most important. In postmodern culture and informational society most of the people suppose that family and children are valuable and highly desired. Despite the liberalization of society regarding homosexuals and feminism, contemporary individuals view childbearing as a crucial part of their live. I have violated this norm and represented myself as childfree homosexual.

Reproduction is one of the key functions of the animals, including human being. The value of procreation is rooted in the need to reproduce other human beings. The value of family may be explained by the fact that it is much easier to survive with the partner. Though these assumptions may be attributed to the prehistoric society, the instincts and genetic memory of humankind have not disappeared completely. Though contemporary people do not have difficulties with survival, heterosexual marriage and childbearing are still the indicators of stability, wealth and happiness. I suppose that family and procreation are not the only way to happiness, but I do not support the movement of childfree people. However, it is interesting for me to investigate the society’s reaction to this kind of norms-breaching behavior. To be precise, I am going to walk through the city holding my female friend and hugging her while both of us wear clothes with the propaganda of childfree lifestyle. Essentially, this behavior may be evaluated as sexual deviation, but the act is focused on the refusal to lead commonly accepted life, including heterosexual marriage and children. This norm exists because it helps to set a stable society, in which heterosexual spouses are aimed to have children and to raise them with consideration of the society’s norms. Moreover, it is important to notice that walking through the city holding female friend’s hand and behaving as sexual partners also violates patriarchic culture of the society. In addition, values of family life support conservatism of the society, while it is much easier to control conservative society than the ones, who argue common values and try to live according to their views.

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As the mankind is aware of childfree movement and homosexual marriages, it is not worth expecting some extraordinary reaction to my behavior. As personal life including the choice of the partners is respected in the society, I do not expect to cause conflicts, extreme attention or severe judgments. I think that various people will react to my behavior differently in accordance with their opinion on childfree and same-sex partners. I suppose that the most conservative society members will demonstrate astonishment that may even have negative character. For instance, these people may stop talking, look at us seriously and uncomprehendingly, or they may also discuss our behavior with their companions. Some of the people will act as if they do not notice us at all, though they do. Others will support us but will not express their confirmation of our actions. I expect to witness the last three reactions.

In order to engage in this experiment as many people as possible, my actions will take place in different parts of city on Saturday, including cafes where the students usually rest, parks, trade centers, central streets and cinema. My purpose it to attract attention of males, females, students with progressive views, spouses with children, elderly and dating couples. As the research was conducted on the weekend, when all these groups of people were walking, relaxing, and shopping, I managed to observe their reactions. The experiment started at 10 a.m. in a cafe, where students were having breakfast. Though a few people have looked at us attentively without a word, nobody else has paid to us any attention. Further, we were walking down the street that is usually crowded. Because of the crowd, we were not outstanding individuals; though, a few people looked at us as if we have done something extremely immoral. They have not said anything; however, misunderstanding and disapproval were obvious. Next, we went to the park, where spouses often walk with their little children. In this place I have witnessed the greatest misunderstanding because we were noticed by the ones, who have implemented opposite positions. Elderly couple has demonstrated embarrassment and criticism as soon as they have noticed us until we have left the park. In the cinema, nobody has paid to us any attention as everyone was engaged in the movie.

As I do not practice same-sex relationships and childfree lifestyle, I imagined myself as a scientist who is purposed to cause some reactions to his work. It was rather unusual to behave the way I did, but I had no sense of guilt, shame or inferiority complex. I did what I had to, while nobody has disturbed me from it. As I did not experience any violence, oppression or bright disapproval, the reactions I get were very close to the ones, I have expected. Furthermore, the reaction to my behavior was even more calm or indifferent than predicted. I have observed misunderstanding, embarrassment, approval and disapproval. I had no difficulties during the experiment, while it was not easy for some people to accept my behavior and to understand it.

In conclusion, this experiment has confirmed my primal suggestion regarding social norms and deviance. Indifference to someone else’s business, sacredness of freedom to love anyone, social passivity, conformity, fear and conservatism can explain people’s reaction to my behavior. Though my experiment has violated the crucial social norms, nobody has tried to persuade me to change my views.


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