2010, May-June: Amin Ghaziani, “The Reinvention of Heterosexuality"

In a three-page essay published in The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, sociologist Amin Ghaziani takes up the challenge of furthering a critical heterosexual history. Ghaziani responds to Jonathan Ned Katz's first, rough periodizing of U.S. heterosexual history in his book The Invention of Heterosexuality (1995). This divided 162 years into seven periods: 

Before Heterosexuality (1820-1860);
The Late Victorian Era (1860-1892);
The First Years of Heterosexuality (1892-1900):
The Heterosexual Mystique (1900-1930);
The Heterosexual Steps Out (1930-1945);
Heterosexual Hegemony (1945-1965);
Heterosexuality Questioned (1965-1982).

Ghaziani suggests that hetero history since 1982 can be divided into three more eras.

Heterosexuality Reaffirmed (1983-1990);
Heterosexual Panic Attack (1990-1996);
Heterogeneous Heterosexuality (1996-Present; 2010 was the year of Ghaziani's essay).

Historians construct historical periods in order to stress the historically specific character of each, and to accentuate breaks in that continuity, which then leads to questions about how those breaks and changes were brought about. The periodizing of the history of the construction of the hetero, homo, bisexual system of human relationships remains one important tast for further analysis. That there are different periodizations for the history of female and male heterosexuality, and for heterosexuality among African Americans and white people, and for different religious groups, and classes seems evident. Each of those histories needs to be studied intersectionally, in relation to the others.

Amin Ghaziani, “The Reinvention of Heterosexuality.” The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, v. 17, n. 3, May-June 2010: 27-29.