The previous chapters described the theoretical and methodological evolution of our empirical study, detailing how it was conceptualised in terms of existing debates about sexuality in which heterosexuality is presented as an ‘unmarked’, taken-for-granted category of analysis, and a system of relations, assumed by many feminists, to have historically privileged men. The starting point for our study was to move beyond feminist assumptions about the inevitability of women’s subordination to men through heterosexual relationships. The aim was to test feminist assumptions about gender relations and heterosexuality against the experiences of women and men living out heterosexuality on a daily basis. Through our data, we present the limitations of arguments premised upon top-down, repressive patriarchal power, highlighting the diversity of heterosexualities which women and men inhabit; and the agency of women (and men) within institutionalised heterosexuality.
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