heterosexuality


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heterosexuality

[¦hed·ə·rō‚sek·shə′wal·əd·ē]
(psychology)
Having sexual feeling toward members of the opposite sex.

heterosexuality

  1. (common usage) the desire for sexual relationships with persons of the ‘other’ or ‘opposite’ sex.
  2. (sociological usage) the privileged and dominant expression of sexuality in most known societies, which is often regarded as the ‘natural’ form of human sexual desire. In Western culture, heterosexuality has been normalized and prioritized over all other forms of human sexuality via institutional practices, including the law and social policy. Traditionally, sociologists have tended to take its ‘normality’ for granted, although, recently, sociologists such as MacIntosh have argued that heterosexuality should be regarded as sociologically problematic. Thus sociological theory should be directed at accounting for both the specific forms heterosexuality assumes in different cultures and its prevalence as the norm.
  3. (usage in feminist sociology) a primarily political institution which has served to further the subordination of women to men. Rich (1980) has used the term compulsory hetero sexuality to denote the social practices and prescriptions which ensure the continuance of heterosexuality as the privileged form of sexual orientation. Such practices penalize those who fail to conform, whilst ensuring the inferiorization of those women who abide by the norms. Dworkin (1976) has defined heterosexuality as one of the major means whereby the sexual and social dominance of men over women is legitimated and reinforced. This view of heterosexuality has given rise to the growth of separatism within the feminist movement, and is challenged by those feminists who identify themselves as heterosexual. From this latter perspective, heterosexuality is a sexual preference which does not necessarily reinforce the imbalance of power between women and men.
References in periodicals archive ?
What seems clear then, and therefore has been embraced for over half-a-century by the mainstream scientific community, is that heterosexuality is not a choice.
Wittig puts forward heterosexuality as a closed establishment of persecution from which lesbianism supplies the only evasion, breaks down class struggles and anticolonial battles into feminist ones (Bratu, 2013), and imagines the eradication of sexual persecution and the extermination of class persecution (Popescu, 2014) as it was formulated by Marx.
to face its collective Oedipal complex," (2) he appears unwilling to question the father's heterosexuality as the only viable model of sexual identity for the son (31).
In fact, There is Confusion and Plum Bun comprise something of a two-part movement on the themes of desire, marriage, and heterosexuality in the twenties.
The argument that heterosexuality is historical means that it has had almost three decades to evolve since Katz's endpoint.
The determinations could even help to explain why multiple prior ethnographic studies suggest that children understand the normativity of heterosexuality by the time they enter elementary school, relegating homosexuality to the abnormal, unusual and unexpected, necessitating explanation.
Such embeddedness has nonetheless been named and challenged by Adrienne Rich, who challenged the traditional assumption of heterosexuality as being the natural norm for human beings.
The very line of heterosexuality depends on everyone on that line perpetuating the line; hence the compulsion in compulsory heterosexuality.
The team investigate the murder of a poster boy for a group that tries to steer gay people toward heterosexuality.
Just Sex is a sustained inquiry into the ways in which everyday/ everynight understandings of gendered heterosexuality and their associated social practices provide the cultural context--or scaffolding--for coercive sex.
Sure, they could still try to suppress rumors--and there were plenty of denials, cover-ups, and couch-jumping displays of heterosexuality to go around--but 2006 was the year closet-case celebs were put on notice: Proceed at your own risk.
She rightfully points out, however, that this never amounted to a radical challenge to gender roles: girls accepted the dominant "societal messages about femininity, heterosexuality, consumerism, and commercial beauty.