South African bisexual women’s accounts of their gendered and sexualized identities : a feminist poststructuralist analysis

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Maree, David J.F.
dc.contributor.postgraduate Lynch, Ingrid en
dc.date.accessioned 2013-09-06T22:44:46Z
dc.date.available 2013-06-27 en
dc.date.available 2013-09-06T22:44:46Z
dc.date.created 2013-04-11 en
dc.date.issued 2013-06-27 en
dc.date.submitted 2013-06-18 en
dc.description Thesis (PhD)--University of Pretoria, 2013. en
dc.description.abstract This feminist poststructuralist study explores discourses of gendered and sexualized subjectivity of South African women who self‐identify as bisexual. The discipline of psychology has typically upheld a monosexual binary, where heterosexuality and homosexuality are positioned as the only legitimate categories of sexual identification. Within such a structure bisexuality is not considered a viable sexual identity. In broader public discourses female bisexuality is generally constructed in delegitimising ways, such as through constructions that necessarily equate bisexuality with promiscuity or describe it as an eroticized male fantasy, as a threat to lesbian politics, or as a strategy to retain heterosexual privilege. Data collection entailed conducting individual interviews with thirteen bisexual women and the transcribed texts were analysed using discourse analysis. The analysis focused on how bisexuality is Constructed in the interview texts, how the various constructions of bisexuality function and how Gendered subjectivity intersects with participants’ identity as bisexual. The analysis identifies a number of discourses that impact on, in varied and contradictory ways, participants’ positioning as bisexual. In a post‐apartheid context, participants regard fixing their Identity along strictly defined lines of difference as oppressive and resist bisexuality as being primary To their identity. Participants challenge the traditional gender binary through unsettling the automatic Linking of sex, gender and sexuality in discourses of sexual desire. However, participants also demonstrate the coercive effects of dominant discourse in the gendered positioning of subjects, with Heterosexuality in particular functioning as a normative sexual category with implications for participants’ gendered subjectivity. It then appears that parallel to its ability to disrupt the gender binary, bisexual discourse also acts in ways to support it. The analysis further indicates that in claiming a bisexual identity, participants risk marginalization in The face of delegitimising discourses that construct them in negative terms of promiscuity, hypersexuality and decadence. Powerful silencing discourses further construct same‐sex attraction As un-African and as sinful. The analysis concludes with a discussion of participants’ strategies to Normalize bisexuality. This study contributes to research accounts that explore diversity in sexual identification and creates Greater visibility of bisexual women in South African discourses of sexuality. It also contributes to theories of female sexual identities and adds to theoretical debates around the challenge to dominant gender and sexuality binaries posed by bisexuality. en
dc.description.availability unrestricted en
dc.description.department Psychology en
dc.identifier.citation Lynch, I 2012, South African bisexual women’s accounts of their gendered and sexualized identities : a Feminist poststructuralist analysis, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://hdl.handle.net/2263/25631 > en
dc.identifier.other D13/4/703/ag en
dc.identifier.upetdurl http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06182013-083823/ en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/25631
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.rights © 2012 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. en
dc.subject Poststructuralist theory en
dc.subject Social constructionism en
dc.subject South africa en
dc.subject Feminist theory en
dc.subject Discourse analysis en
dc.subject Gender en
dc.subject Women en
dc.subject Same-sex sexuality en
dc.subject Sexual orientation en
dc.subject Female bisexuality en
dc.subject UCTD en_US
dc.title South African bisexual women’s accounts of their gendered and sexualized identities : a feminist poststructuralist analysis en
dc.type Thesis en


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record