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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the ways that feminist theorists, from both social constructionist and poststructural perspectives, have addressed the question of what sexuality is. We suggest that core to all kinds of feminist thinking about sexuality is that it cannot be understood simply as a fixed biological essence and that it involves power dynamics, as captured by the phrase sexual politics. Yet there is no agreement among feminist theorists about the questions of whether women’s sexuality is fundamentally different than men’s, or whether women’s experiences of sexuality are characterized more by danger or pleasure. We take up these debates to think through the history and future of feminist theories of sexuality.

Keywords: sexuality, women, difference, sexual politics, social constructionism, poststructuralism

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