Heteronormativity refers to the Western social norm, or assumption, that the overwhelming majority of sexual relationships in society are heterosexual. Further, heteronormativity is the dominant sexual model of social, cultural, political, and economic organization, including the way it organizes identities, experiences, regimes of truth and knowledge, and ideologies of gender and sex.

History of Usage

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term heteronormativity was first used by queer theorist Michael Warner in 1991 in the introduction to his book Fear of a Queer Planet, where he suggested that embedded within most sociological concepts is an unspoken set of heteronormative assumptions. Direct precursors to the term heteronormativity include compulsory heterosexuality, coined by lesbian feminist poet and theorist Adrienne Rich in 1980; the heterosexual contract, coined by ...

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