Effects Of Heteronormativity

Improved Essays
The Detrimental Effect of Heteronormativity
We live in a world of compulsive heterosexuality. All around us we are bombarded with images and ideals of heterosexuality, from advertisements to legislation. Similar to racial privilege, those who benefit from heterosexual privilege do not always realize how much easier life can be when sexual identity follows the societal norm. Not only does heteronormativity encourage the existence of heterosexuality as the only acceptable form of sexuality, it creates a stigma for homosexuality, bisexuality, and other so-called “deviant” forms of sexual expression that affects all members of society, no matter age or biological sex.
Heterosexual privilege extends far beyond the right to freely marry. Heterosexual
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This shift in the determining factors of sexual morality shows that not only it is completely arbitrary, as sexual acts are only assigned meaning through social and cultural contexts, but also that individuals became labeled as deviant and were thought of as fundamentally different from “normal” people who engaged in traditional displays of intimacy. In American culture, generally it is only married, heterosexual couples that are safe from having their sexual activities labeled as “immoral” (Fischer, p. 38). Standards of sexual morality are determined and passed down by those in groups that hold societal power. Applying a sticky label of immorality, such as “slut” or “fag”, allows groups and individuals to assert dominance over …show more content…
13). Yet despite the achievements reached by gay rights activists, there are still many individuals excluded from societal acceptance and even from the gay rights movement itself. For example, bisexual desire is still seen as perverse and immoral, even by gay men and lesbians. Western culture works in a system of binaries, and since bisexuality falls between homo and heterosexual desire, not only does it go against heteronormativity, but the entire binary system itself. Bisexuals often find themselves excluded from the gay/lesbian community for precisely this reason, as the gay community exists off of well-defined boundaries between members and nonmembers, and any intersectionality challenges the structure of the entire community. Without a large, mobilizing civil rights group, bisexuals and other sexual identities separate from the homosexual identity have a hard time getting their voices heard and are still seen as deviant or abnormal by both heterosexuals and homosexuals

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