The process of becoming gendered is "not so much determined by God or by biology, as socially constructed, according to the prevailing cultures or exigencies of a given context or location" - Professor Amina Mama, writer, academic and feminist.
Compulsory heterosexuality, or heterosexism, can simple be defined as the dominant norm for sexual orientation, thus to take on any other form of sexual orientation outside the norm is seen as a deviant act (Germov & Poole 2011, p.10). This means that all social interaction is filtered and seen through the lens of a heteronormative gaze a common misconception,however, throughout all society is that gender and biological sex as synonymous in meaning.
This is not the case. Compulsory heterosexuality, within a post-modern patriarchal structure, has its origins deeply entrenched throughout modernity. As the clinical study of the body during this time took a reductionist approach to sexuality, its assignment of function to each appendage created the normative view that sexual organs were to be associated with human reproduction (Hawkes & Scott 2005, p.10).
Reductionism is a word used to describe the minimisation of a phenomenon to its most simplistic single form (Abercrombie, Hill & Turner 2006, p.321) and this methodical practice is evident within the heternormative views of society. Therefore, seeing the world through this frame communicates the discourse that sexual behaviour is a result of our biological state. From this assumption, it can be deduces that, as a common misconception, it 'helped legitimise male dominance in a range of social settings' (Hawkes & Scott 2005, p.10). As a result, this fuelled the normalisation of compulsory heterosexuality, and yet, it could be argued that norms are not subjected to determinism in society.
What is your gender? Seems like a pretty straightforward question, often seen as the first questions on surveys and tests. However, as discussed in Lorber’s article “The Social...