Theorising Heterosexuality Essay

466 WordsMay 22, 20112 Pages
Theorising Heterosexuality 3 issues: heterosexual identity, (hetero)normativity, ‘lifestyle choice’ - sex in late modernity 1. issue: heterosexual identity - difference in expression of sexual identity for heterosexual and non-heterosexual individuals - distinction between sexual behaviour and identity - What does it mean today to say that a person is a ‘heterosexual’? (answer1: term refers to individuals who are attracted to persons of the opposite sex or to feel sexual attraction toward the person of the opposite sex; answer2: relates to the notion of identity) - Why did the meaning of heterosexuality change from a reproductive instinct to a sexual desire and identity? (answer1: relates to a crisis of gender identity in the early 20th ct.; answer2: by the 1950s, gender division between men and women was collapsing = result: the creation of a culture of homophobia) 2.issue: (hetero)normativity - critique of heterosexuality as a hegemonic structure - variety of heterosexual identities and heterosexual ‘normativities’ in the past - Friedrich Engels: The Origin of the Family - instrumentality of heteronormativity (the role of sexuality in wider economic and social processes) - the central paradox of heteronormativity - how heterosexuality becomes identity or lifestyle choice? (Lesbian and gay history and social and political movements - used discursive approach of labelling and naming - no comparative document of the increasing self-awareness of heterosexuals) - how the hegemony of heterosexual choices is maintained? (through propaganda and the lived culture of everyday; public culture of entertainment fits model of propaganda for heterosexual living; the archetype of popular romance) - is heterosexuality changing? Or are cultures of gender and ‘doing’ gender changing? (A. Giddens: narratives of male displacement
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