chapter  10
13 Pages

Sexuality and Urban Space: A Framework for Analysis

Cities and sexualities both shape and are shaped by the dynamics of human social life. They reflect the ways in which social life is organised, the ways in which it is represented, perceived and understood, and the ways in which various groups cope with and react to these conditions. The gender-based spatial divisions of labour characteristic of many cities, for example, both shape and are shaped by people’s sexual lives (especially in Western1 industrial societies). For example, heterosexuality is still often promoted as nothing less than the glue holding these spatial divisions of labour (and, indeed, Western society) together. But on the other hand, these divisions of labour create single-sex environments in which homosexuality has the space, potentially, to flourish (Knopp 1992).