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Sexuality through the Life Course
Sexuality through the Life Course
Background: sexuality as a regulative device

In this chapter we turn our attention to sexuality and I suggest that, as a regulatory and ideological vehicle, sexuality works closely with, and through, gender to establish and maintain not just difference but inequality. As Foucault tells us, it does this through introducing ‘sexuality’ as a property of the self, in and through which our subjectivities are expressed (and increasingly seen as the site of our true selves). (Hetero)sexuality, and the heterosexual matrix,1 we will argue, work to ensure the dominance of both men over women and youth over age. Here, we first set out two main approaches to analysing sexuality on which we will draw (Walby, 1990). The ...

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