Sexual Democracy

South African Journal on Human Rights, Vol. 38, pp. 409-431, 2007

23 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2008


Conceptualizing the relationship between sexuality and democracy requires not only an interrogation of both terms, but also an exploration of the ways in which democracy seeks to accommodate and appropriate the sexual. Recent litigation and legislation regarding same-sex relationships in South Africa casts a spotlight on the interaction between sexuality and democracy, but the illumination is partial. It is necessary to explore sexuality in a broader context, including discomfiting sexual practices, as a matter of the democratic constitutional norms of equality and dignity. Otherwise, a sentimentalized version of sexuality, with certain lesbians and gay men installed as a model minority, threaten to become the democratic standard.

Keywords: Sexuality, Lesbian, South Africa, Democracy

Suggested Citation

Robson, Ruthann, Sexual Democracy. South African Journal on Human Rights, Vol. 38, pp. 409-431, 2007, Available at SSRN:

Ruthann Robson (Contact Author)

CUNY School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

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