Sexual Inequality, Youth Empowerment, and the GSA: A Community Study in California

Gilbert Herdt, Stephen T. Russell, Jeffrey Sweat and Michelle Marzullo

in Sexual Inequalities and Social Justice

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246140
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939141 | DOI:
Sexual Inequality, Youth Empowerment, and the GSA: A Community Study in California

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“Sexuality” as a cultural notion has gradually expanded since the 1960s to include a broad spectrum of identities, rights, and communities. In effect, this has enlarged the meaning of “diversity” in neoliberal democracy. More than a generation ago, subjects of studies concerning such issues exclusively engage adults, keeping the youth out of its purview. It reflected the researcher's naivety pertaining to the sexual awareness among the youth. Indeed, only later did advocates move to encompass sexuality as a larger social empowerment for youth. The holistic rejection of sexuality vis-à-vis the youth propelled the youth community to consolidate into enhanced interaction aimed at social justice in cultural spaces. It led to the phenomenon of gay-straight alliances (GSA) as a bulwark against sexual inequality. This chapter appraises the effectiveness of GSA of teachers, administrators, students, and students' families and friends in mitigating suppressed social subjectivity in terms of sexuality.

Keywords: cultural notion; identities; social empowerment; cultural space; social justice; gay-straight alliance

Chapter.  8316 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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