Sociological Attitudes Toward Gender And Sexuality

1394 WordsApr 11, 20156 Pages
When analysing the current state of sociological attitudes toward gender and sexuality, the overwhelming conclusion is that the hegemonic view in society assumes an inherent binary (Lorber via Steele, 2005, p.75). We categorize people into two groups: male or female; man or woman; masculine or feminine; gay or straight. However, throughout humanity’s development, variances to that model have emerged, either choosing to sit somewhere between the binary, or reject the model altogether. These variations challenge the binary assumptions entrenched within society, and as a result, are often denied, misunderstood or ignored entirely. Enter bisexuality. Put simply, the concept of bisexuality is a sexual orientation that lies in the space between heterosexuality and homosexuality. However, society’s assumption of sexual essentialism, the idea that sexual orientation is fixed and absolute, has led to a culture that is “uncomfortable with people who are sexually ambiguous (Valverde via Naugler, 2012, p. 87). This urges society to assume that, despite the existence of bisexuality, people are really either gay or straight (Valverde via Naugler, 2012, p. 83). This is the phenomenon of bisexual erasure (Eisner, 2013, p. 89). Bisexual erasure affects both bisexual men and women in various ways; however, this essay will focus on the erasure of bisexuality in men in particular. There is a distinctive public perception when it comes to bisexuality in men: that they don’t exist at all. Denial
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