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 ?
One moment in particular reveals this consciousness as the very foundation of middle-class, eugenic heterosexuality. Sometime before their temporary breakup, their recent interactions having consisted of nothing but quarreling, Peter and Joanna walk together down the city streets toward the opera, their old stomping ground and the site of their happiest times together:
Would it not have been more consistent with the declared antihomophobia of Sodometries to have brought the topic of heterosexuality more to the fore and to have devoted at least equal time, if not the entire book, to the "deconstruction" of Renaissance heterosexuality instead?
The interviewer's thoughtless commentary that readers won't have to worry that she will "pull an Anne Heche and rediscover her heterosexuality" was an insult to bisexual readers and an erroneous statement about Anne.
More troubling was the unevenness of her efforts to link economic and political elements in tourism to social and cultural influences on heterosexuality. It was difficult t o see how, precisely, the Canadian-American competition for vacationers, the unionization of hotel workers, and the financial exigencies of the tourist industry discussed in the book's middle chapters shaped or were related to notions of sexuality.
Yet Trumbach's story is far more expansive, taking into account every level of society and showing the rise of romantic heterosexuality as an uphill struggle against all kinds of resistances.
Freud came to prominence in a context where sexual science was beginning to undermine the notion that reproductive heterosexuality was a natural given.
If heterosexual people cannot take on the responsibilities implied by heterosexuality, how can they ask the homosexually inclined person to take on the burden of his struggle for chastity?
3) "Normal" in Adams work is the discourse of heterosexuality in the 1950s when the "difference between definitions of normal (heterosexual) and abnormal (homosexual) sexuality operated as a profound space of social marginalization and exclusion." (p.
Its most rabid critic, Philip Nobile, concedes that bisexuality is a better way to explain Lincoln's emotional orientation than heterosexuality. In The New York Times Book Review, conservative writer Richard Brookhiser concluded that "on the evidence before us, Lincoln loved men, at least some of whom loved him back."
Throughout his study, Bravmann loses sight of the more pertinently queer enterprise of disrupting normative heterosexuality. He complicates the hetero/homosexual axis of his study by examining racial, gender, and political differences among gay and lesbian subjects, but he never successfully reconfigures his inquiry as an investigation of the normal and the queer.
Other historians naturally concluded that the subsequent marriages of Lincoln and Speed were enough to prove their heterosexuality. But Tripp suggests that Lincoln's letters to Speed regarding Speed's marriage show something else altogether.
78) Traditionally, Jews had always scorned these traits as "goyim naches" (passim), which might be roughly translated as "Gentile pleasures." Assimilation, Boyarin argues, created self-image problems for Jews because it was precisely at that time that "heterosexuality .