Heteronormativity In Modern World

The notion of heteronormativity is deeply entrenched into modern society, affecting the way in which people challenging the norm are treated and shaping the relationships within communities. Although the strength of heteronormative standards depends on the community and its culture, the majority of the Western civilization is affected strongly by the subject matter. Once the notion of heteronormativity is not only rooted in rigid gender roles but is also based on the foundational principles of patriarchy, it limits the extent of opportunities that people, particularly women, can pursue, in relation to their education (e.g, when enrolling into college) and career (e.g., facing the glass ceiling), as well as hinder self-expression for gender-nonconforming people.

Therefore, the effects of heteronormativity on a community is generally quite harmful. However, inequality based on gender also affects society at large. Specifically, gender-based stereotypes and the related inequality limit opportunities that men and especially women can pursue. Similarly, the subject matter may lead to ostracizing gender-nonconforming members thereof. The functionalist perspective on gender inequality suggests that the issue at hand affects how work division takes pace, with men being prioritized as the default. In contrast, the conflict perspective on gender inequality posits that the presence of the issue increases the conflict potential due to the rising levels of injustice.

Applying the sociological perspective to core concepts associated with the issue at hand will help understand the nature of the problem better. Applying my sociological perspective rooted in my upbringing and culture, sex should be interpreted as a biological construct shapes societal expectations due to the misconceived belief that biological sex informs one’s social functions. In turn, gender as a set of societal expectations associated with one’s sex is applied to an individual, shaping expectations of how one must behave and act. Finally, in the specified misplaced idea of gender relationships, sexuality is seen as a tool for reinforcing the specified stereotypes, with heteronormative standards being viewed as the only correct option.

Remarkably, gender and sexuality are viewed similarly in indigenous cultures. Namely, sex-based stereotypes leading to the idea of gender stereotypes and the associated promotion of gender roles exist across a broad range of indigenous cultures, enhancing the notions of women being nurturing and men being aggressive (Lewis & Lupyan, 2020). The specified perspective is slightly different from the dominant culture, where gender norms are gradually starting to be subverted.


Lewis, M., & Lupyan, G. (2020). Gender stereotypes are reflected in the distributional structure of 25 languages. Nature Human Behaviour, 4(10), 1021-1028.