Sexual Orientation Categories forthcoming in Ergo
How ought we to categorize individuals with respect to sexual orientation? In this paper, I argue that the normatively important aims of LGBTQIA+ social movements provide reason to endorse a categorization scheme that (i) includes the categories heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, and queer, (ii) distinguishes between attractions to sex features and attractions to gender features, and (iii) allows an element of interpretation, such that individuals have authority over which of their attractions (related to sex and/or gender features) matter to their orientation.
The Sexual Orientation/Identity Distinction forthcoming in Hypatia
The sex/gender distinction is a staple of feminist philosophy. In slogan form: sex is “natural,” while gender is the “social meaning” of sex. Considering the importance of the sex/gender distinction—which, here, I neither endorse nor reject—it’s interesting to ask if philosophers working on the metaphysics of sexuality might make use of an analogous distinction. In this paper, I argue that we ought to endorse the sexual orientation/identity distinction. In particular, I argue that the orientation/identity distinction is indispensable to normative explanations regarding LGBTQ+ resistance and oppression. As a case study, I consider the oppression involved in the gentrification of historic queer neighborhoods.
Sexual Orientation, Ideology, and Philosophical Method in the Journal of Social Ontology (2020)
Here, I examine the epistemic relation between beliefs about the nature of sexual orientation (e.g., beliefs concerning whether orientation is dispositional) and beliefs about the taxonomy of orientation categories (e.g., beliefs concerning whether polyamorous is an orientation category). Current philosophical research gives epistemic priority to the former class of beliefs, such that beliefs about the taxonomy of orientation categories tend to be jettisoned or revised in cases of conflict with beliefs about the nature of sexual orientation. Yet, considering the influence of ideology on beliefs about socially significant phenomena, I argue for an epistemic reversal.
Gender Identity and Exclusion: A Reply to Jenkins in Ethics (2017)
A theory of gender ought to be compatible with trans-inclusive definitions of gender identity terms, such as ‘woman’ and ‘man’. Appealing to this principle of trans-inclusion, Katharine Jenkins argues that we ought to endorse a dual social position and identity theory of gender. Here, I argue that Jenkins’s dual theory of gender fails to be trans-inclusive for the following reasons: (i) it cannot generate a definition of ‘woman’ that extends to include all trans women, and (ii) it understands transgender gender identity through a cisgender frame.
Review of Ásta's Categories We Live By with Elizabeth Barnes in Mind (2019)