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Queer theory

Queer theory is a deconstructionist theory in Queer studies. It is constructivist, that is, it proposes the theory that one’s sexual identity is partly or wholly socially constructed, and therefore individuals cannot really be described using broad terms like "homosexual" or "woman." It challenges the common use of compartmentalizing[?] the description of a person to fit into one particular category.

The primary influence in the development of Queer theory was Michel Foucault; later theorists include Judith Butler and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick[?]. Like those in some branches of feminism, many scholars in Queer theory view prostitition, pornography and BDSM as legitimate and valuable expressions of human sexuality; this places them in conflict with other branches of feminism that view them as mechanisms for the oppression of women.

Critics hold that a strict version of Queer theory is totally baseless from a scientific point of view. They point to a vast and growing body of physiological, genetic and sociological evidence that most scientists accept as proving that sexual orientation is more than a social construct. In this view, sexuality is innate and exists independently of whatever a society happens to teach on this subject. Most scientists hold that all deconstructionist claims about science (not only on this topic) are pseudoscience.

A middle ground is to hold that society constructs expectations and identities around innate characteristics of sexual life; for example, to acknowledge the fact of sexual orientation and to point out and deconstruct the social constructs surrounding that fact.

See Queer, gender role, sex

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