Toward a Dialectical Model of Family Gender Discourse: Body, Identity, and Sexuality



The goal of this article is to propose a dialectical model representing gender discourse in families. A brief review of literature in sociology, psychology, and gender studies focuses on three dialectical issues: nature versus culture, similarity versus difference, and stability versus fluidity. Deconstructing gender theories from a postmodern feminist perspective, the authors discuss agency and context in families' gender discourse. Narrative excerpts from interviews with an adolescent daughter and her mother illustrate three emergent themes in the social construction of gender: body, identity, and sexuality. The article concludes with recommendations for family researchers.