The Sexual Orientation/Identity Distinction

Hypatia 36 (2):259-275 (2021)
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The sex/gender distinction is a staple of feminist philosophy. In slogan form: sex is “natural,” while gender is the “social meaning” of sex. Considering the importance of the sex/gender distinction—which, here, I neither endorse nor reject—it’s interesting to ask if philosophers working on the metaphysics of sexuality might make use of an analogous distinction. In this paper, I argue that we ought to endorse the sexual orientation/identity distinction. In particular, I argue that the orientation/identity distinction is indispensable to normative explanations regarding LGBTQIA+ oppression and resistance. As a case study, I consider the oppression involved in the gentrification of historic queer neighborhoods.

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Matthew Andler
Lafayette College


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