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‘It has, in point of actual fact, only been possible to be a heterosexual since 1869.

’ (Blank, 2012,
p. xiv)
Explain this argument.

The law still acknowledges only two sexes. It does not always or necessarily acknowledge sexual
orientation at all. On the occasions when it does recognize sexual orientation, it typically
acknowledges only two of them as well, heterosexual and homosexual. (Once in a while
bisexuality is included, but often not.) All of these sexual orientations are wholly dependent upon
and could not be conceptualized without the general consensus that there are two and only two
human biological sexes.

Assumptions about biology and gender are complicated, fraught, and by no means clear or
unambiguous. There has always been argument that genetics aren’t as important as anatomy and
bodily functions. For instance, one may be diagnosed male at birth because he was born with,
and indeed still has, a fully functioning penis even though having a genital out lie does not
necessarily make one male.

Nevertheless, even though the Bible recognizes that infertility exists. The notoriously
procreation-fixated Catholic Church permits marriage, and marital sex, between people known to
be infertile. Curiously, whether or not reproduction is a cornerstone of heterosexuality seems to
depend on whom you ask, and in what circumstances.

At this point in time contraception is more the rule than the exception for sexual activity between
different-sex partners throughout the first world. Many people, including members of committed
male/female couples, don’t have children or plan to have them, yet somehow this doesn’t stop
them from feeling quite certain that they know what their sexual orientations are. They consider
sexual orientation as being rooted in a calculus of subjective attraction and biological sameness.

References
Blank, H. (2012). Straight: the surprisingly short history of heterosexuality. Boston, Mass:
Beacon Press.