Irrational exuberance about babies: The taste for heterosexuality and its conspicuous reproduction

Building on a behavioral economics game that I play with students in our law school's Women and the Law course, I argue for the existence of a pre-natal taste for heterosexuality in would-be parents using feminist theory and socioeconomics. I also argue that legal doctrine about heterosexual marriage and reproduction reflect and perpetuate a similar heterosexuality premium or gay discount in the context of two recent state equal protection cases - Hernandez v. Robles (N.Y. 2006) and Morrison v. Sadler (Ind. 2005) - which exclude homosexuals from marriage. I draw heavily on Pierre Bourdieu's theory of social reproduction to examine how heterosexual offspring serve as status goods for middle and upper-middle class parents. Although sympathetic to gay and lesbian scholarship and queer perspectives, my argument rejects post-modern approaches on these issues in order to ground the inquiry in more conventionally modern terms.
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