When most people think about heterosexuality, they think about sexual and romantic partnerships between women and men, and consequently, they imagine that heterosexuality has an eternal history, a presence as long as human existence itself. But as historians of sexuality have pointed out, the actual history of heterosexuality is far more complicated because while heterosexual behavior has been an enduring and fundamental feature of human experience, the same cannot be said of heterosexual identity, which has a short and remarkably inconstant history (Blank 2012; Katz 1995; Foucault [1978] 1990).

This essay may be found on page 115 of the printed volume.

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