A third sexual revolution? Current perspectives on sexuality.

Item Type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Critical Sexualities, Affect, Queer and Gender Studies each address the shifting meanings of contemporary sexuality. In Critical Sexology, Sigusch articulates a loss of significance with regard to sexuality. According to Sigusch, sexuality’s decreasing importance is tied to the ways formerly pathologized sexual identities and practices achieve increasing social legitimation: sexuality has been democratized. This should not be understood, however, to result in the disappearance of fundamental human anxieties. Tensions and unresolved problems with regard to contemporary sexuality still remain. In the field of affect studies, Angerer (2015) has stated that, due to technological and political changes in the 21st century, affect has replaced the Foucauldian sexuality-dispositif, thus displacing psychoanalytical interpretations of desire. Interested in overlaps as well as differences between affect/emotion/feeling and desire, theorists like Cvetkovich, Ahmed or Hemmings see potential in overcoming the dichotomization of affect and emotion.
Gender and Queer Studies have opened debates on the de-gendering of sexuality and desire in order to think sexuality beyond binary opposition. In the 2011 volume “After Sex?”, Halley and Parker relate the idea of “post-sexuality” to Queer Theory. These debates, as various as they are, have at least one characteristic in common: they set the agenda for a critique of how dichotomies have shaped notions of sexuality and gender.

In an initial step, my contribution addresses the broader significance of these critical discourses: do they, as Sigusch (2005 and 2013) suggests in his notion of a third sexual revolution, indicate a major shift in understandings of sexuality? Next, I consider how sexual script theory, first introduced by Gagnon and Simon in the 1970s and elaborated by Jackson and Scott in 2010, might contribute to such critical discourses. I employ the palimpsest as metaphor to link the three levels of sexual script theory: the intra-psychic, the interpersonal and the cultural. Doing so enables a conceptualization of sexuality beyond dichotomization and allows to address affect and desire as entangled with gender.

Authors Binswanger, Christa
Language English
Subjects social sciences
cultural studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area None
Date 16 June 2017
Event Title The Making of Sexuality
Event Location Universität Zürich
Event Dates 15.-17. Juni 2017
Depositing User Dr. Christa Binswanger
Date Deposited 19 Sep 2017 14:21
Last Modified 17 Jan 2018 15:27
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/251799


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Binswanger, Christa: A third sexual revolution? Current perspectives on sexuality. 2017. - The Making of Sexuality. - Universität Zürich.


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