Constituting Gender Dichotomies Through Discourses of Sexual Pleasure

  • Dorottya Rédai
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education book series (GED)


This chapter delves into the sexual pleasure discourses used in Marzipan. First, Rédai defines the meaning of pleasure for her respondents. Then she analyses three dominant pleasure discourses which constitute gender distinctions: the ‘natural’ vs. ‘learnt’ character of experiencing sexual pleasure; discourses of sexual objectification and self-objectification; and the sexual double standard and the girlfriend/slut and virgin/whore dichotomies. These discourses are embedded in a neoliberal-postfeminist framework which positions girls as sexually empowered and agentic, constantly having to work on themselves to achieve more sexual pleasure and power. At the same time, male sexual licence and dominance, and sexual expressions of hegemonic masculinity are left unquestioned, which, as Rédai argues, contributes to restricting girls’ sexual agency and empowerment and to reinforcing gendered dichotomies based on sexuality.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorottya Rédai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gender StudiesCentral European UniversityBudapestHungary

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