Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review 6: Border Sexualities, Border Families in Schools, Chapter 3

Review 6:
Pallotta-Chiarolli, M. (2010). Border sexualities, border families in schools. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Third Chapter: 'We're the X-Files': When Bisexualitiy 'messes up' Sexual Dichotomy in Schools. Pp. 75-160.

Very big chapter compared to the last two, and the focus is mainly on bisexuality, though I can imagine that some of the issues parallel and/or impact non-monogamous issues, so I'm going to be extrapolating new questions that came up for me while reading this, rather than points that were made:

1) The biggest take-away I have from this is wondering how policies around bisexuality affect decisions about non-monogamy. I'm really hoping for more of a coming-together at the end of the book that talks about the overlaps and impacts between bisexuality and non-monogamy.

2) Questions on what connections there are between polyamory and risk-taking behaviors. This was covered nicely in this chapter for bisexuals, so I'm hoping that chapter 4 delves into it for polys. But the broader questions are: do polyamorists face culturally/lifestyle issues, such as substance abuse, that policy could help address, and is existing policy contributing to any issues currently?

3) The passing/bordering/polluting model. This is going to be my hands-down biggest take-away from this book. I love this model as it actually gives me something to work with when looking at how people interact with the outside world from within their lifestyle. This chapter clarified bordering for me better, though I'm still somewhat confused about it. I'll definitely do a separate write-up on pass/border/pollute just before I start writing the big paper so I can have something to refer to while I'm writing.

4) Though this was discussed from the perspective of bisexuality, I'm fairly confident it applies to poly too: The idea that school is a normalizing agent, instead of an educating agent, to quote: "The school is not referenced as the place where [diversity] skill-learning has occured. Rather it is a major site where [the interviewee] needs to utilize these skills." (pg. 140). Yikes...

5) There's also a big component of this chapter that makes reference to the need for diversity programs thtat include bisexuality to be policy-mandated. This was something that came up a lot amongst the interviewees, and I'm thinking, though I'm inclined to agree, what are the specific benefits of working from within policy prior to working within other avenues, and what other avenues are available? Naturally my question is more on the poly side of things, but I think it's a fair question for either bisexuality or polyamory.

Very much looking forward to the next chapter, as it's about non-monogamy, *squee!* I'm hoping that a lot of the same material is covered there.


- Jason

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