Magazine article Herizons

[The Trouble with Normal: Postwar Youth & the Making of Heterosexuality]

Magazine article Herizons

[The Trouble with Normal: Postwar Youth & the Making of Heterosexuality]

Article excerpt

[Graph Not Transcribed]

MARY LOUISE ADAMS

U OF T PRESS

REVIEW BY PEG TITLE

Mary Louise Adams makes some very intriguing connections between youth and sex, sex and delinquency, and youth and delinquency--each of which, she argues, are social constructions of the postwar period.

Part of the trouble with 'normal' is that it used to be just a statistical label; if your hair colour didn't fall within the norm, it just mean that more people had hair coloured not like yours. However, in the postwar period, deviation became deviance and 'within the norm' became 'normal'; 'normal' became not just descriptive, but prescriptive (and thus, controlling)--to be normal was to be healthy, to be morally correct.

The postwar 'cold war' made deviants suspect--for some reason, this meant not only political deviants but sexual deviants as well. And because of the postwar drive to reproduce (which resulted in 'the baby boom'), reproducing couples were preferred--homosexuality was thus deviant (and probably unpatriotic to boot--which might be why they were included with the dreaded 'commies'). Such are the broad strokes of Adams' connection between sexuality and delinquency/deviance.

During the war, kids grew up largely without adult supervision; dad was away fighting and mom was at work. And this was not a problem. Then suddenly the war ended--mom came home from work and stayed there (and dad went to work--'the nuclear family' was born and gender became quite dichotomized). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.