course title The Construction of Androcentric Heterosexuality

See especially Sandra Bem, Lenses of Gender, 163-164, and Hilary Lips, Women, Men, and Power, 115-136.

Woman as Attractor: The female body is constructed as the object of male sexual desire; female sexuality is defined not in terms of women's own sexual desires but in terms of their ability to stimulate and satisfy male sexual desires.

Man as Actor: Male sexuality is constructed as active agency, control, and dominance; this consequently eroticizes female inequality.

Sexuality as a Power Resource: Sexuality can be offered by both men and women as a form of Reward Power; withheld as a form of Coercive Power; exchanged for money; and bartered as a form of Informational Power, as in blackmail (Lips 118-123)

Androcentric heterosexuality as presently constructed encourages both men and women “to exert power without acknowledging responsibility” (Lips 133):

March, 1999
Barbara F. McManus
Topics and Assignments