Law and Sexuality

A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests

GSL Seminar: The vulnerability of heterosexuality: consent, gender deception and embodiment

19-mitch-travisThe next Gender Sexuality and Law research seminar at Northumbria University is on Wednesday 1 March 12-1.30pm.  It will take place in CCE1-224b and will be delivered by Dr Mitchell Travis from Leeds University,

The paper will be of interest to anyone interested in gender, sexuality, and also criminal law/consent.

Details of the paper are below:

The vulnerability of heterosexuality: consent, gender deception and embodiment

This paper considers the institutional frameworks that continue to privilege heterosexuality whilst lowering the resilience of other sexualities and those that practice them. The paper traces these developments by engaging with a series of recent criminal law cases concerning deception as to gender. The paper is not only critical of the judicial reasoning behind these cases, but also the other institutions that have contributed to their creation including the family and educational systems. In doing so, this paper draws upon vulnerability theory and seeks to add to it by advocating a richer conception of embodiment. By understanding embodiment as a product of corporeality, discourse and institutions vulnerability theory is better equipped to engage with the complexities of trans (and broader LGBTIAQ) ontologies. In its conclusion the paper identifies three institutional moments that have influenced the McNally decision each of which, in differing ways, attempt to ameliorate heterosexuality’s institutional vulnerabilities. These include growing support for affirmative consent, anxieties around gay sex outside of the context of marriage and the regulation of new technologies. Each of these are identified as areas that are strict regulated in order to underpin the assumed ‘naturalness’ of heterosexuality.


Embodiment, Vulnerability, Consent, Deception as to Gender, McNally

As ever, all welcome.  If you’d like to come along, please drop a line to


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This entry was posted on February 24, 2017 by in Uncategorized.


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