Heterosexual Privilege

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Heterosexual Privilege
There exists in our society a publicized and politicized concern, perhaps an over-concern, regarding the sexual desires, behaviors, and experiences of the people living in it. While this nation’s media is saturated with explicit marketing campaigns and sexual innuendo, there is a catch. The messages flashed before us every day say: Sex Sells, Be Sexy, Be Feminine Females, Be Masculine Males, Wear Your Sex Well . . . as long as it is normal sex—natural sex. What is natural sex? Heterosexual sex—defined as the union between penis and vagina—and it is the only form of natural sex. Says who? Look around.
The problem is that there is no “natural” sex. That is not to say that sex is “unnatural.” Rather, that sexual orientation is not innate and does not “come naturally.” We are not born heterosexual or homosexual. Sexuality is a learned social construct. Social constructionism is the theoretic perspective which argues that our perception of what is real is defined only by the meaning that we attribute to given situation ([Berger and Luckman 1967; Blumer 1969] “Doing It: The Social Construction of S-E-X,” Tracey L. Steele). But because we live in an organized bureaucratic society that insists on assigning “normal/not normal” meaning to sexuality, heterosexuality is normal and any other sexuality is deviant.
While biological processes do come into play, what is being suggested here is that in very much the same way as we are taught to understand our language and how to walk as a child, we are also taught how to understand what is acceptable, normal sexuality, and appropriate gender behavior. First, let us understand the role biology plays in sex and sexual desire. Very simply, without bodies to do the sex, there would be no sex and therefore, no sexual desire. That sums up biology’s role.
Now, society’s role: from the time we come into this world, we are introduced to a set of understandings. We begin to understand what burns, what slams, what

References: Giuffre, Patti A. and Williams, Christine L., Boundary Lines: Labeling Sexual Harassment in Restaurants. Steele, Tracey L., ‘Doing it’: The Social Construction of S-E-X Stoltenberg, John, How Men Has (A) Sex

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