SAGE Journal Articles

Journal Article 9.1: Gansen, H. M. (2017). Reproducing (and disrupting) heteronormativity: Gendered sexual socialization in preschool classrooms. Sociology of Education, 90(3), 255–272. doi:10.1177/0038040717720981
Abstract: Using ethnographic data from 10 months of observations in nine preschool classrooms, I examine gendered sexual socialization children receive from teachers’ practices and reproduce through peer interactions. I find heteronormativity permeates preschool classrooms, where teachers construct (and occasionally disrupt) gendered sexuality in a number of different ways, and children reproduce (and sometimes resist) these identities and norms in their daily play. Teachers use what I call facilitative, restrictive, disruptive, and passive approaches to sexual socialization in preschool classrooms. Teachers’ approaches to gendered sexual socialization varied across preschools observed and affected teachers’ response to children’s behaviors, such as heterosexual romantic play (kissing and relationships), bodily displays, and consent. Additionally, my data suggest young children are learning in preschool that boys have gendered power over girls’ bodies. I find that before children have salient sexual identities of their own, children are beginning to make sense of heteronormativity and rules associated with sexuality through interactions with their teachers and peers in preschool.
Learning Objective: 9.3: Identify agents of gender socialization.
Summary: Gansen demonstrates how preschool teachers restrict gender socialization that does not fall into heteronormative categories of behavior. What is more, girls are being taught to be subjective to boys from an early age.

Journal Article 9.2: Froyum, C. M. (2007). “At least i’m not gay”: Heterosexual identity making among poor black teens. Sexualities, 10(5), 603–622. doi:10.1177/1363460707083171
Abstract: This ethnographic study examines the ways in which a group of American low-income Black teenagers construct affirming identities through heterosexuality. The youth undertake a number of strategies to create and protect their heterosexual identities, including adopting heterosexist ideologies, conflating heterosexuality with gender nonconformity, disassociating from gay-coded behaviors, and threatening nonconformists. These strategies allow girls and boys to fashion themselves as moral, legitimate, and superior to others: benefits they otherwise lack. While previous research suggests that policing sexuality is a way to construct masculinities, this study finds that policing gender is a way to affirm heterosexuality.
Learning Objective: 9.1: Give examples of meso- and macro-level gender stratification.
Summary: Froyum found that Black teens in an after school program adhered to rigid forms of heteronormality to cultivate esteem among one another even though their experiences with LGBTQ people they knew contested the stereotypes they operated on.

Journal Article 9.3: Ferreday, D. (2017, July 28). “Only the bad gyal could do this”: Rihanna, rape-revenge narratives and the cultural politics of white feminism. Feminist Theory, 18(3), 263–280. doi:10.1177/1464700117721879
Abstract: In July 2015, Rihanna released a 7-minute-long video for her new single, entitled “Bitch Better Have My Money” (more widely known as “BBHMM”), the violent imagery in which would divide feminist media commentators for its representation of graphic and sexualized violence against a white couple. The resulting commentary would become the focus of much popular and academic feminist debate over the intersectional gendered and racialized politics of popular culture, in particular coming to define what has been termed “white feminism.” “BBHMM” is not the first time Rihanna’s work has been considered in relation to these debates: not only has she herself been very publicly outed as a survivor of male violence, but she has previously dealt with themes of rape and revenge in an earlier video, 2010’s “Man Down,” and in her lyrics. In this article I explore the multiple and layered ways in which Rihanna, and by extension other female artists of color, are produced by white feminism as both responsible for perpetrating gender-based violence, and as victims in need of rescue. The effect of such liberal feminist critique, I argue, is to hold black female artists responsible for a rape culture that continually subjects women of color to symbolic and actual violence. In this context, the fantasy violence of “Man Down” and to a greater extent “BBHMM” dramatizes the impossibility of “being paid what one is owed” in a culture that produces women of color’s bodies, morality and personal trauma as abjected objects of consumption. I read these two videos through the lens of feminist film theory in order to explore how such representations mobilize affective responses of shame, identification and complicity that are played out in feminist responses to her work, and how their attachment to a simplistic model of representation conceals and reproduces racialized relations of inequality.
Learning Objective: 9.1: Give examples of meso- and macro-level gender stratification.
Summary: Ferreday provides a thought provoking discussion of the consequences of race-based gender stratification.