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Kenji Yoshino - The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure

Kenji Yoshino - The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure

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Stanford Law Review
The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual ErasureAuthor(s): Kenji YoshinoSource:
Stanford Law Review,
Vol. 52, No. 2 (Jan., 2000), pp. 353-461Published by: Stanford Law ReviewStable URL:
Accessed: 22/03/2010 00:19
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TheEpistemicContractfBisexualErasure
KenjiYoshino*
Inthisarticle,ProfessorKenjiYoshino eeks toexplainwhythecategoryofbisexualityhasbeen erased incontemporarymericanpoliticalandlegaldiscourse.Hefirst arguesthat theinvisibility f bisexualityelativetohomo-sexualitydoes notreflectthe incidencesofthoseorientationsnthepopulation.Definingbisexualityasthepossessionofmore than incidentaldesireorbothsexes,Yoshino hows thatthemajorexualitytudiesdemonstratehat theinci-denceof bisexualitysinfact greaterthanorcomparableo the incidenceofhomosexuality.Yoshinoexplainsthe erasureof bisexualitybypositingthatbothself-identifiedeterosexuals ndself-identifiedomosexualsaveoverlap-pinginterestsn theerasureof bisexualityhat lead them into an"epistemiccontract"ofbisexualerasure.These nterests nclude:(1)thestabilizationofexclusive exual orientationategories;2)the retentionofsexasanimportantdiacriticalaxis;and(3)theprotectionofnormsof monogamy. Notingthatsuchcontracts end to becomevisibleonlywhentheyarechallenged,Yoshinodescribes howbisexuals haveincreasinglycontested heir ownerasure. Fi-nally,Yoshinoxamines heeffectsofbisexualnvisibilityndvisibilitynthelegalrealm,ocusingonthe sexual harassmenturisprudenceofrecentdec-ades.
*AssociateProfessor,YaleLawSchool. IthankAkhilAmar,IanAyres,JenniferGerardaBrown,ArielaDubler,BillEskridge,OrenIzenberg,RobertPost,BillRubenstein,VickiSchultz,RevaSiegel,andAmandaTyler.IamalsogratefuloparticipantsnworkshopstColumbiaLawSchool,FordhamLawSchool,and Yale LawSchool,aswell asstudentsnmyTheorizingSexual-ityseminaratYaleandLarryLessig'sAdvancedConstitutional awseminaratHarvard.RickBaker,RomanaMancini,RavennaMichalsen,ZacharyPotter,RoseSaxe,and EricSonnenscheinsuppliedxcellentresearchssistance.
353
 
354STANFORDAWREVIEW[Vol. 52:353INTRODUCTION.........................................................................................356
I. THEERASUREOFBISEXUALS.............................................................363
A. BisexualInvisibility......................................................................3641. Bisexualinvisibilitydefined....................................................3642. Evidenceofbisexualinvisibility. ............................368B. BisexualErasure...........................................................................3701.Bisexualitydefined..................................................................3702. Thestudies..............................................................................377a.Kinsey(1948&1953)......................................................380b.Masters and Johnson(1979)............................................382c. Janus andJanus(1993)................................................... 383d.Wellings 1994)................................................................ 383e. Laumann1994)...............................................................385f.Critiquesofthe studies....................................................386C. Bisexual Erasure asaCauseofBisexualInvisibility.............. 388II.THEEPISTEMICONTRACTFBISEXUALRASURE..........................388A.DifferentExplanations....................................... ..... 389B. TheEpistemicContractDefined...................................................391C.StrategiesofErasure........................................................3951.Straightdeploymentsofthestrategies. ...................................952.Gay deploymentsofthestrategies..........................................397D.TheEpistemicContractas a CauseofBisexual Erasure............. 399
III. MONOSEXUALNVESTMENTSN THEEPISTEMICONTRACT..........399
A.StabilizationofSexual Orientation............................................4001.Sharedinvestment...............................................................4002.Straightnvestment.................................................................. 023. Gayinvestmnt........................................................................ 404B.BisexualityDestabilizes thePrimacy ofSex.................................4101. Sharedinvestment.................................................................. 411a.Destabilization................................................................. 4 12b.Thetensionbetweenpublicandprivatetreatmentsofsex...............................................................4132.Straightnvestment.................................................................. 153. Gayinvestmnt........................................................................417

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