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StraightsHeterosexuality in Post-Closeted Culture$
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James Joseph Dean

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814762752

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814762752.001.0001

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From “Normal” to Heterosexual

From “Normal” to Heterosexual

The Historical Making of Heterosexualities

(p.47) 2 From “Normal” to Heterosexual

James Joseph Dean

NYU Press

This chapter synthesizes the extant historical research on heterosexualities in order to show the origins of straight supremacy by analyzing the historical rise of heterosexual identities in the United States. Prior to the twentieth century, heterosexual identities were submerged within the gender identities of “normal” men and women and can be said to not exist. The establishment of heterosexual identity is a twentieth-century phenomenon and is the result of the human sciences' discursive construction and discovery of the homosexual as a species or human type. With the pathologizing of the homosexual, the heterosexual was born as his or her opposite. The heterosexual came to define and embody psychological health, social normality, and the ideals of good citizenship.

Keywords:   heterosexualities, straight supremacy, gender identities, homosexual, heterosexual, psychological health, social normality, good citizenship

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