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Legally StraightSexuality, Childhood, and the Cultural Value of Marriage$
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Joe Rollins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814775981

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814775981.001.0001

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The End of Heterosexuality?

The End of Heterosexuality?

(p.9) 1 The End of Heterosexuality?
Legally Straight

Joe Rollins

NYU Press

This chapter outlines the theoretical and methodological framework for the book. The theoretical foundation is developed from a survey of the long history of scholarship on feminism and queer theory in order to examine heterosexuality, reproduction, abortion rights, and childhood in greater detail. Drawing on law and culture scholarship, the chapter proposes a methodology that utilizes thick description to explore the legal and cultural changes in marriage, particularly insofar as the sexuality of the institution has changed in recent decades. The common theme running through the chapter is the elusiveness of heterosexuality as a concept and its resistance to sustained investigation and critique. Working backward across the timeline of life—from adult marriage, to childhood, to fetuses—the chapter foreshadows the end of the book and the ways that the marriage debate is part of the same set of social and political conflicts as childhood sexuality, fetuses, women’s bodies, and reproductive rights.

Keywords:   feminism, queer theory, reproduction, abortion rights, law and culture

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