To Be Male: Homophobia, Sexism, and the Production of 'Masculine' Boys
Exploring Masculinities: Feminist Legal Theory Reflections (Routledge 2014)
26 Pages Posted: 11 May 2017 Last revised: 5 Jun 2021
Date Written: January 1, 2014
This chapter is about the relationship between homophobia and sexism in family law. By conducting an empirical analysis of custody and visitation cases, it shows that stereotypes about the children of lesbian and gay parents are both sexist and homophobic. In some cases, the relationship between homophobia and sexism becomes especially obvious, when stereotypes explicitly conflate the sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender roles of children and parents. By looking more closely, however, we can find more subtle evidence of this relationship in a much wider range of cases, wherever stereotypes of the children of lesbian and gay parents appear. By taking account of this subtle and widespread dynamic, the chapter aims to develop a more compelling case for lesbian and gay families — a case that vindicates the developmental interests of children, in addition to the parental interests of lesbians and gay men.
Keywords: sexuality, family, LGBT, gay, lesbian, bisexual, custody, visitation, empirical, sexism, homophobia, masculinity, stereotypes
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