Richardson (1996) notes that within social and political theory there has, in the past, been little attention given to theorising heterosexuality. This is despite the fact that heterosexuality itself is very much embedded in accounts of social and political participation, our understandings of self and the world we inhabit. She further argues, as already noted, that the conceptual frameworks we use to theorise relationships between human beings tend to be reliant upon a naturalised notion of heterosexuality. In later work (2000), she goes on to argue that this area is potentially one of the most important developments within the theorising of sexuality itself, and in social and political theory more broadly. This is because it not only opens up new discussions around family relationships, for example, but also illuminates conceptual dichotomies such as the public and private distinction. The findings from the study we present here, and our subsequent theorising, contribute to, and open up, these new debates.
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