"Law's Desire" provides a critical examination of the relationship of law and sexual orientation in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Law is one of the primary means through which lesbian and gay male sexuality is constructed, monitored and controlled (albeit not necessarily successfully). Carl Stychin exposes the connection through an exploration of key questions of current interest and controversy. He examines the motivations behind legal restrictions and their impact both upon sexual subcultures and dominant society.
The book tackles the major areas of controversy that have erupted in the 1980s and 1990s. These issues include public funding restrictions on "homoerotic art"; sodomy laws; the regulation of safe sex educational materials; gay pornography and feminist theory; lesbians and gay men in the American military; sadomasochism and the law; and legal restrictions on the "promotion" of homosexuality. The author concludes with an examination of the challenges posed by the newly emerging queer identities and the likely direction of future struggles.
Stychin argues that law is a primary means through which sexuality is constructed, monitored, and controlled, and examines the relationship of law and sexual orientation in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. He analyzes the motivations behind legal restrictions and their impact on sexual subcultures in dominant society and concludes that law remains a powerful tool in the constitution and regulation of identities, as well as in their oppression.