Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance

Affirming Sexual Freedom as a Fundamental Human Right

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Sexual Citizenship: The Material Construction of Sexualities

“Sexual Citizenship” argues that analyses of the social construction of sexualities have tended to ignore the material contexts in which gender construction occurs. The main negative effect of this is that the sexual has been detached from mainstream power relations and interests. Building on Foucauldian and Interactionist perspectives, the author maintains that the progressive sexualization of modern capitalist societies is primarily shaped by the complex inter-related material interests of market and state. <BR> The inherent individualism and amoralism of the consumerist market inevitably leads to the commodification of that which is most “personal,” “private,” “individual,” and “natural.” Capitalism encourages us to purchase our sexual identities and lifestyles and impels us to conclude that we are right to do so. In response, the state is not a passive actor. It neither simply resists nor retreats. Rather, it concedes relative and partial rights to “deviant” sexual minorities, investing them with particular, limited forms of gender/consumer power such as sexual citizenship. After a detailed discussion of the theatrical issues, the argument is developed through the specific instances of male homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia and children’s sexuality. <BR> The book is the first to approach sexuality from the perspective of citizenship. It raises fruitful and disturbing questions that are of interest to all academics, students, counsellors and practitioners (sexologists, social workers) with an interest and concern for sexuality in all its forms.