Sexualidad, Salud y Sociedad


ISSN 1984-6487 / n.2 - 2009 - pp.8-9 /

No 2 (2009)

From the Editors

Sérgio Carrara, Ivonne Szasz, Silvina Ramos & Carlos Cáceres

The articles gathered for this second issue of Sexuality, Health and Society – A Latin American Journal bring together an interesting portrait of the polyphony surrounding sexuality and gender topics in the countries of this Region. In the form of religious, legal, political, or academic discourse (all in some way represented in the issue), multiple voices intersect and overlap, displacing the social meanings attributed to bodies, subjects, and their intimate engagements.

While acknowledging the different perspectives, methods, and theories from each of the articles, we may say that all of them address how the extension of the language “of sexual rights” and the citizenship-building processes under way in each different country involve a new symbolic geography, establishing other boundaries between the so-called “public world” and “private world”. That is precisely the main argument in Brown’s article, pinpointing the historical and contextual nature of that division. This theme then expands and gains empirical density in the reflections that follow.

In the case study of the Amazonas Gay Club in Tenosique, Mexico, Parrini and Amuchástegui show how the politicization of sexuality is articulated to the processes of construction of new subjectivities, giving citizenship, like the authors say, “an imprint of desire”. Beltrão and Libardi, discuss how a love-sex relationship between two women – a matter that until recently in Brazil would be considered private, or would deserve public attention merely as gossip or curse – is, against their will and despite their political aspirations, recognized as a conjugal one by the Brazilian Judiciary.

The (dis)articulation between the public and the private sphere echoes in another important set of articles, focused on religious discourse; that is, on one of the most traditional realms of moral regulation of the private universe. Two of them explore the political implications of the Evangelical worldview, Gomes’ on birth control practices and abortion, and Natividade and Oliveira’s on homosexuality. The third, by Hayes, looks at Umbanda, an Afro-Brazilian religion, and discusses how certain structural tensions present in how femininity is constructed in Brazil are re-elaborated in the ritual context, opening new possibilities for the social trajectory of working-class women.

In the last article of this issue, Zambrini and Iadevito revisit feminist theories, as a tribute to the main source which, along the last decades, has transformed “the personal into political”, indeed configuring the current context.

Finally, beside the articles, this issue of Sexuality, Health and Society continues to offer its readers book reviews. These either engage Latin American reality directly, or while referring to other empirical contexts, offer theoretical, conceptual, and methodological tools to think through Latin American issues and situations.