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 ?
When asked about resistance from LGBTQ communities to the widespread trend of straight people moving into gaybourhoods, some of the people interviewed responded with accusations of reverse discrimination and described gay people who challenged them as "segregationist" and "hetero-phobic."
Sick, lonely, psychologically flawed, unhappy, envying straight people? Yes.
That we don't sanction gay men who behave irresponsibly is a sign--one of many--that for all the progress made in gay rights in the past decade, straight people still don't see gays as part of respectable society.
And nearly two thirds of new HIV infections in straight people are among women.
While the Palms is open to any resident who wishes to live there, it is marketed specifically for gays and lesbians because "straight people have unlimited options," Filipski notes.
Bishop Bourke said: 'I support the work of Changing Attitude because I believe in equality between gay people and straight people in the Church.
Of course, George maintained, only married folks can merge in such unity, which I gather is why marriage is an end, not just a means to an end, and, conveniently, why only straight people are capable of such "one-flesh unity."
It's fun, but not that fun: You are gay and the party is, as far as you can tell, wall-to-wall straight people. Perfectly nice, just ...
And she thinks straight people who are not religious should also have the option of civil partnerships.
The owner of the bar, Christian Carlsen, while defending the decision, said that the ruling was not aimed at discriminating against straight people, but was rather to protect the gay clients.
"Congratulations, straight people! You finally are starting to realize that it's not strict monogamy that's important.
He added: "The fact that I am straight makes no difference but it shows that straight people care a lot about this as well."