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Heterosexuality

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Abstract

Heterosexuality is both pervasive and normative in the current sociocultural milieu. Due to its privileged societal status, heterosexuality is also (ironically) quite elusive. Within the social science literature, heterosexuality is generally defined as a sexual or relational identity (belonging to individuals or groups) and also as a social institution (which structures daily life). Historically, heterosexuality has largely been ignored in psychological theory and research as a topic of, or for, analysis. Psychological theory has assumed that heterosexuality is a ‘given’ and ‘normal’, and focused its research on sexualities that sit outside this supposed norm (e.g. homosexuality, lesbianism). Such research has functioned to further normalise heterosexuality, while pathologising other ways of being sexual, without taking into account the historical conditions that have produced heterosexuality as the ‘norm’. Psychological research on heterosexual men and women has typically been carried out in a completely taken-for-granted manner, with heterosexuality being overlooked as a category of analysis and as a factor contributing to individual psychologies and behaviours.

Keywords

Sexual Orientation Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Heterosexual Woman Relational Identity Sexual Script 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Further reading

  1. Barker, M. & Langdridge, D. (Eds.) (2010). Understanding non-monogamies.New York: London, Routledge.Google Scholar
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  5. Wilkinson, S. & Kitzinger, C. (Eds.) (1993). Heterosexuality: A feminism & psychology reader.London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

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