Heterosexuality as an Institution

Heterosexuality as an Institution



Heterosexuality as an Institution

Institutionalization of heterosexuality in the society gives rise to an institutionalized society that has power inequality not just in heterosexuals or non-heterosexuals, but also as viewed in men and women. All these have far reaching impacts/consequences. The four referencing materials used in this paper will explore ways in which women in the society are constrained in the paid labor sphere.This is due to the institutionalized standards of heterosexuality. These references are used in this paper to show how heterosexuality ideology has led to rise of oppression of women in paid labor workforce, and specifically how the institutionalized heterosexuality hinders the rights and the freedom of the sexual “others” also in the paid labor workforce, evidently homosexual women.

Baker, J., Caven, V., & Lawley, S. (2013). Performance, gender and sexualised work. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. An International Journal, 32(5), 475-490.

Baker, Caven, and Lawley (2013) explain that when heterosexuality develops  into a social institution, then any other “alternative” to the already normalized institution will be seen as “deviant,” “others” and will be unacceptable.The article is relevant because it explains that the issue is not with heterosexuality itself, but the issue is that through the institutionalized heterosexuality, the subordination and inequality to the dominant male are heavily reinforced. Therefore, the heterosexuality ideology is laden with several sanctions that legitimize and privilege male power/dominance over women. The study of women subordination in the sphere of paid labor must include a detailed analysis of the different ways that women’s equality and power are endlessly being undermined within the problematic hierarchial heterosexuality institution.

Hopcroft, R. L. (2009). Messengers of Sex: Hormones, biomedicine, and feminism. Contemporary Sociology, 38(6), 570-578.

Hopcroft (2009) explains that when a heterosexual woman has greater economic resources, then, it implies that depending on the male breadwinner will no longer be necessary. The author affirms that only an elite group can access these “resources.” The elite groups are women that afford the form of education that secures them a “career-line” employment and this job propels them to have an economic independence.  Better access to better wages and employment are essential to improving equality in the workforce and also globally. This also includes the heterosexual relationships of men and women. The vital problem of this institutionalized heterosexuality is that it does not just limit the success of women in the working sphere, but it also affects the choice of sexuality in women. This subsequently minimizes the opportunities for women to start questioning their positions and relative subordination with respect to men and also in the labor force. The discussion in this article is relevant to the topic because it helps in establishing the effects and perception of the institutionalized heterosexuality.

Lorber, J., Evans, M., & Davis, K. (2009). Handbook of Gender and Women’s Studies. New York: Sage.

Lorber, Evans and Davis (2009) demonstrate how far feminist perceptions have spread and how firmly it has continued to shake the settled assumptions in the discipline of feminism. The book demonstrates how much light is thrownon the modern contemporaries. The handbook acts as a referencing manual and also explains more about gender relations. It also gives an impetus to all future perceptions and thoughts in both utopian and imaginative ways concerning knowledge, power, and gender questions. The book is relevant to the topic because each chapter of the book explores various dilemmas and contemporary questions in the feminist research and theory, assessing the effects of the past feminist research and actions.

Pereira, C. (2009). Interrogating norms: Feminists are theorizing sexuality, gender, and heterosexuality. Development, 52(1), 18-25.

In her article, Pereira develops different arguments that are based on both sexuality and gender. She explains that the society must first understand the concept of heterosexuality and also must know the relation between gender and sexuality. This article is relevant to this topic because it demonstrates how the aspects of sexuality and gender shape and leads to the institutionalization of heterosexuality. The different theories discussed in the article helps to study the topic and perception of both men and women in relation to the topic.


Therefore, it is vital to consider all the ways, which different forms of oppressions are affecting women differently. It means that, it is essential to consider and analyze both the norms and issues of homosexuality. A “universal” woman does not exist. Therefore, all women issues must be recognized to understand the position of women in terms of oppression and subordination within their roles in the workforce and also globally.


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