Recognition of Gender, Sexuality and Family Choice in the Development of Citizenship

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The purpose of this essay is to discuss how the development of citizenship has progressed through the recognition of gender, sexuality and family choice. The term citizenship is often used to describe the status of an individual`s residency alongside upkeeping responsibilities. The usual responsibilities include paying taxes, serving on a jury when summoned, obeying the law, and as a whole being an active member of society that positively contributes towards the economic and social growth of a country. Citizenship rights as being a crucial debate in history well as in modern society. Within the past century citizenship rights have drastically changed due to political movements that transformed laws and legislations that protect individuals from being discriminated against. Historically, citizenship rights favored the wealthy, heterosexual, and privileged, it largely ignored sexual minorities and women's rights. Within recent years the development of citizenship rights has helped to reshape and transform the way of living for all citizens on a global scale, however, it is still debatable to question if the development of citizenship rights have been beneficial for all individuals in society, this essay intends to explore the impact on how social movements have helped to reshape and reform citizenship rights within modern society.

Historically, citizenship was predominantly based on political and legal rights that mainly favored the male agenda, it largely ignored issues within the LGBTQ community and family choice, the law at the time would reject sexual minorities having equal rights. The gay community relentlessly fought for equal rights that sparked a political movement of decriminalization of homosexuality in 1967 (UK Parliament) sexual offenses act 1967 was a commendable milestone for homosexuals, as this act permitted homosexual acts amongst consenting adults to be legal. until recent years citizenship rights were constructed based on the male image (Pateman,1988) discourses on sexual citizenship has contributed to the questioning on outdated traditional models of citizenship rights, traditionally, only heterosexual spouses were able to marry and have children, there was no recognition of variety form of family (adoption, surrogacy, co-parenting, IVF) as a consequence citizenship rights only catered to a small population of citizens disregarding people that don`t fall into social norms of living. Therefore, it`s fair to acknowledge how social movements amongst the LQBTQ community helped to reshape heterosexual attitudes towards same-sex marriages. According to ( the legalization of same-sex marriages prompted a decrease of antigay bias. Indicating laws and policy shape attitudes toward people that are treated as an outcast in society.

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The development of citizenship rights significantly impacted how lesbians and gay men are treated in society, for example, rights to same-sex marriage helped with the progression of social changes which has contributed towards modern forms of citizenship status (Richardson,2017) indicating that society is progressively becoming more accepting towards sexual minorities, the efforts to normalize same-sex relationships has helped to increase awareness of anti-gay anti-lesbian bias, (Massey, Merriwether and Garcia, 2013) emphasizes the increase of same-sex couples has resulted in the progress of same-sex parenting to also have an increase, indicating that more people within the LGBTQ community are becoming more open to coming and embracing their sexuality without fear of judgment, well as living in their truth, leading towards a more socially accepting nation. Historically, same-sex relationships were deemed as being unethical and of sinful nature, however within the course of time society is moving towards a more modernized way of living. Additionally to that, government legislation has helped to reshape attitudes to the extent it has impacted religious and political grounds, for example, there has been an increase of same-sex wedding attendance.

The development of citizenship rights have significantly contributed to the improvement of the overall well-being of the LGBTQ community, there is a higher representation of gay and lesbian politicians, well as in schools and public health services according to () increased representation enables people to understand different forms of sexuality, creating a society that doesn't tolerate but has a mutual understanding of choice helps with removing negative stigmas attached to gays and lesbians couples and parenthood, when people aren`t exposed to different sexualities within social setting it creates as a hostile environment, making people who are homosexuals to feel less than.

The recognition of sexual citizenship has allowed people to become more understanding of sexualities that haven`t had a positive representation with the past. It`s of human nature for people to less open to accepting newer way of living if it hasn`t been normalized within society, therefore, when laws and legislations such as sexual citizenship is granted it allows people to accept sexual minorities as citizens and not just people that society has to tolerate. However, due the development of sexual citizenship people have argued it has become more privatized and monitored, this can cause conflict within the LGBTQ community creating division between gay and lesbians.

(Weeks, 1995) emphasizes same-sex relationships going public is a key element for homosexual couples to ultimately have a private life. When individuals in society become more exposed to various form of family choice it allows individuals with stereotypical views to remove negative stigmas against same-sex parenting, the general public are more likely to become more accepting of new way of living if laws and legislations approve. Normalizing behavior allows more opportunities for homosexuals to feel accepted as citizens rather than an outcast within a community.

even though same-sex marriages in Britain has become legalized same-sex marriage rights are still being rejected by as individuals may be refused to be (Gerstman, 2017) argues that homosexuals are still denied basic rights of same-sex marriage rights even with citizenship rights, this is indicates even with same-sex marriages rights do not have the same privileges heterosexual marriages, this can citizenship has historically been framed to s since the discrimination of homosexuality there has been an increase of diversity within parliament (GOV.UK,2017) there has been an increase of more females, ethnic minorities, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender MPs this is an indication of the progression of gender equality, these political changes wouldn`t have existed without the efforts of people in society the fought for change and equality.

In this part of the essay intends to highlight how gender equality rights has contributed to the development of citizenship rights. Modern society pushes the agenda for equal rights, it is typically motivated by overturning laws that previously discriminated against minorities in the past(). particularly, women`s right wouldn`t be what they`re today without the political efforts of the suffragettes and many more social movements that has helped to eradicate outdated laws and legislations.

It`s evident throughout history that women and men have always been treated differently, women were unable to reach their full potential, due to a lack of independence and access to equal opportunities, whereas with men, had full legal rights to work and earn their own money, the laws in the past didn`t cater to women`s needs, if anything laws were put emplaced to ensure woman couldn`t have easy access to education and high status in male-dominated environments. Women were treated as Insignificance, they were seen as being less valuable towards the development of society. (Wang,2012) Emphasizes how women's status as citizens were marked through hardship, underrepresentation, discrimination and inequality, indicating although women have gained citizenship rights it doesn`t uphold the same level of value compared to men in society, for example, the gender pay gap remains an ongoing issues within society, women and men can have the same educational qualifications, however, women in workplaces are still seen as liabilities in working environment well as being vulnerable to sexual assaults. Women still have to fight for equal rights within workplaces and social settings, to a significant degree citizenship rights favor the male discourses.

Therefore, even though the development of citizenship rights has had a commendable and increase of acknowledgment for females there is still a significant level of gender bias that prevents equal citizenship rights.

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Recognition of Gender, Sexuality and Family Choice in the Development of Citizenship. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from
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