Sexual Citizens: The Legal and Cultural Regulation of Sex and Belonging
This book explores the relationship between sex and belonging in law and popular culture, arguing that contemporary citizenship is sexed, privatized, and self-disciplined. Former sexual outlaws have challenged their exclusion and are being incorporated into citizenship. But as citizenship becomes more sexed, it also becomes privatized and self-disciplined. The author explores these contesting representations of sex and belonging in films, television, and legal decisions. She examines a broad range of subjects, from gay men and lesbians, pornographers and hip hop artists, to women selling vibrators, adulterers, and single mothers on welfare. She observes cultural representations ranging from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to Dr. Phil, Sex in the City to Desperate Housewives. She reviews appellate court cases on sodomy and same-sex marriage, national welfare reform, and obscenity regulation. Finally, the author argues that these representations shape the terms of belonging and governance, producing good (and bad) sexual citizens, based on the degree to which they abide by the codes of privatized and self-disciplined sex.
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