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Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(3), 879-908; doi:10.3390/socsci4030879

Putting Lesbians in Their Place: Deconstructing Ex-Gay Discourses of Female Homosexuality in a Global Context

Department of Justice Studies, James Madison University, MSC 1205, 90 Bluestone Drive, Moody Hall 213, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA
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Academic Editor: Melanie D. Otis
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 9 September 2015 / Published: 23 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place)
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Abstract

The transnational ex-gay movement is an important context affecting lesbians and sexual minority women around the world. In 2015, the UN Human Rights Commissioner called for all nations to ban conversion therapies. This research investigates a neglected area of scholarship on the ex-gay movement by deconstructing and analyzing the implications of ex-gay discourses of female homosexuality in a global context. The ex-gay movement originated in the United States and has proliferated to nearly every continent. We argue that it is the main purveyor of public, anti-lesbian rhetoric today, constructing lesbianism as sinful and sick to control women’s sexuality, enforce rigid gender roles and inequality, and oppress sexual minority women. Guided by Adrienne Rich’s theory of compulsory heterosexuality and Barbara Risman’s gender structure theory, we analyze how, in ex-gay discourse, lesbianism is demeaned and demonized in the individual, interactional, and institutional dimensions of the gender structure. Finally, we examine the impact of ex-gay discourse on sexual minority women in global context. View Full-Text
Keywords: lesbian; gender; global studies; rights; social movements; reparative therapy; religion lesbian; gender; global studies; rights; social movements; reparative therapy; religion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Robinson, C.M.; Spivey, S.E. Putting Lesbians in Their Place: Deconstructing Ex-Gay Discourses of Female Homosexuality in a Global Context. Soc. Sci. 2015, 4, 879-908.

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