Sexualidad, Salud y Sociedad


ISSN 1984-6487 / n.3 - 2009 - pp.7-9 /

From the editors

The current issue of Sexuality, Health and Society – A Latin

American Journal brings a group of articles which, without

abandoning the analysis of social “problems” of vital importance the

region – teenage pregnancy, gender violence, AIDS, LGBT rights –

has the value of addressing such “problems” in a way simultaneously

creative and competent, opening up new interpretive possibilities.

They are all empirically based on qualitative research – socio

anthropological and historical – confronting sexuality from different

angles. Some of them, like Andréa M. Alves’ and Olívia Von der

Weid’s, explore the new “architectures” (or new normativities)

being designed for “heterosexual conjugalities”. Either analyzing

the practice of swing, or the meaning attributed to love betrayal by

women of different generations, the authors explore the continuities

and, specially, the changes undergone by sexual morality and gender

conventions in Latin American societies. What is at stake in these

processes is the construction of social identities by men and women,

which takes place at the crossroads between generational, sexual and

gender grammars.

The emphasis on the reflection upon female identity, already

present in Alves e Weid, becomes intense in Paula Aguilar and Cecilia

Garibi González, who analyze the discourses of Argentine media in

the case of “abandonment” of a newborn by its teenage mother, and

Mexican AIDS public policy. In those more institutional contexts,

continuities become more expressive, and, as the authors show,

feminine identity remains largely shaped by naturalization processes,

and subject to the contrasting stereotypes of “mother” and “whore,”

historical bases for a subjectivity dilacerated by irreconcilable social


Figari & Gemetro and Facchini & França address identities and

subjectivities from perspectives constructed by non-heterosexual

“communities of desire” (an expression utilized by Figari & Gemetro).

In the Argentine context, Figari & Gemetro situate their inquiry before

the great divider that was the 1960’s decade, in relation to sexual

morality, especially for the middle classes. In interviews with women

who lived during that period, the authors explore how, under the

influence of counterculture, psychoanalysis, and feminism, “betters,”

dykes,” “firemen,” “gardelitos,” “women in the know,” or those

who belonged,” experimented new ways of being a woman, welding

a shared identity which, since the 1960, would become “lesbian.”

The vicissitudes of the process of constitution of homosexual

identities as a political subject, one of whose crucial moments

was precisely the emergence of lesbian identity, are also the focus

of Facchini & França’s reflection on the currently called LGBT

movement in Brazil. They are particularly concerned on the process of

fragmentation and essentialization of the different identities that make

up that movement. For the authors, that process must be understood,

on the one hand, in relation to the movement’s dependence upon the

mediation of spaces regulated by a market segment (bars, discos,

websites, saunas, etc.), in order to have access to their “bases”; and,

on the other hand, to its involvement with the State, whose public

policies – especially its politics of recognition – presuppose, by and

large, the existence fixed, “natural” identities.

Finally, the article by Michel Bozon closes the issue with a

reflection on the social meaning of sexuality research itself. By closely

following the clues left by John Gagnon, the author addresses the

great surveys of sexual behavior as a sort of cultural and intellectual

production, with enormous impact on the very construction of the

objects” they endeavor to know. As Bozon claims, “Surveys are at

the same time a reflection of previous [social] changes, and support

for further mobilizations”. Although the author turns mainly to

quantitative research, the issues he raises may very well be applied to

qualitative research, like the one that provides empirical support to all

the rest of the articles that make up this issue. While promoting new

perspectives on the values and meanings of sexuality, they contribute

to their transformation.

Fuentes de indización:

SciELO Brasil - Scientific Electronic Library Online

LATINDEX - Sistema regional de información en línea para revistas científicas de América Latina, el Caribe, España y Portugal

CLASE - Citas Latinoamericanas en Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades

DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals

REDALYC - Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y El Caribe, España y Portugal



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