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Critical Femininities Call For Papers

Psychology & Sexuality

Editors: Rhea Ashley Hoskin & Karen L. Blair

Deadline for Proposals: February 1, 2019

Download Call For Papers

Traditionally, femininity has been viewed as a one-dimensional and discrete construct (Hoskin, 2017a; Hoskin, et al., in press), whereby one is either classified as being feminine or not (Blair & Hoskin, 2015). While recent years have seen the proliferation of approaches to studying masculinities, as well as growing recognition of how different facets of masculinity are related to behaviours, outcomes, and interpersonal relationships, femininity has not garnished the same level of inquiry.  Just as French philosopher Luce Irigary (1985) refers to women as “this sex which is not one,” femininity remains the gender “which is not one,” and, consequently, is often deemed unworthy of critical inquiry to the extent that has been offered to the study of masculinities.

 While femininities have been overlooked, there is a growing body of scholarship chronicling the various mechanisms of policing or devaluing femininity. For example, terms such as anti-femininity (Kilianski, 2003; Eguchi, 2011; Miller, 2015); trans-misogyny (Serano, 2007, 2013); effemimania (Serano, 2007); femi-negativity (Bishop et al., 2014); sissyphobia (Eguchi, 2011); anti-effeminacy (Sanchez & Vilain, 2012); femiphobia (Bailey, 1996); slut-shaming/bashing (Tanenbaum, 2015), and misogynoir (Bailey, 2014) target specific social groups (e.g. trans women, gay men, women of colour), and share the overarching theme of feminine devaluation. Recently, feminist scholars have parsed together the various mechanisms of feminine devaluation to propose an overarching system of oppression known as femmephobia or femme-negativity (Hoskin, 2017b; Blair & Hoskin, 2016). This body of research constitutes the emerging field of Critical Femininities, and sets the groundwork for further examination of femmephobia or femme-negativity (Hoskin, 2017b) as intersections of oppression worthy of academic attention.

The proposed special issue will begin to carve out a space for the emergent field of Femininities or Critical Femininities. We seek interdisciplinary and multi-methodological contributions that examine femininities or illuminate the devaluation of femininity (femmephobia, femme-negativity, femiphobia, sissyphobia, etc.) as both apply to sexuality, health, violence, social inequalities, in/out-group discrimination, rape culture, and the maintenance of toxic or hegemonic masculinities. Specifically, this issue lays the groundwork for establishing Femininity Studies as a sub-field of Feminist thought that mirrors Masculinity Studies in its investigation of feminine intersections. As such, we define a field of Femininities studies as one that cuts across disciplines and incorporates a wide variety of interdisciplinary tools, perspectives, and methodologies to understand femininities and femmephobia.

We do not seek contributions that perpetuate the understanding of femininity as a source of oppression in and of itself but, rather, contribute to a better understanding of cultural perceptions of femininity and resultant psychosocial phenomena. In other words, we urge contributors to avoid the reductive understanding of femininity as being oppressive, and to instead consider how cultural perceptions of femininity uphold oppression.  Additionally, we seek contributions that revalue femininity, offer new ways of understanding femininity and highlight the voices and experiences of those for whom femininity is empowering, important, and self-determined.

We welcome contributions that explore the intersection of femininity, femininities, and femmephobia as they pertain to:

  • The pathologization of femininity
  • Cisgender heterosexual men’s expressions of femininity
  • Transmen’s expressions of femininity
  • Explorations, expansions and applications of Femme Theory
  • Power and femininity in BDSM and Kink communities
  • “Sissification” and the use of feminine subordination in kink
  • Types of feminine devaluation: sissiphobia, femmephobia, effemimania, misogynoir, slut-shaming, transmisogyny, etc.
  • Non-binary femininities
  • Crip sexuality and the feminization of disability
  • Sex work, femininity and power
  • Rape culture, consent and femininity
  • Femme and rewriting sexual scripts
  • “tender” masculinities
  • Femininity within political spheres

Please submit a 250 to 500-word abstract and a 150-word author biography by February 1, 2019 using the form below. Full articles will be due September 30, 2019 with an expected publication date in the Fall of 2020. We will give priority to proposal abstracts received by February 2019, and consider late submissions on a case-by-case basis. Full manuscripts should not exceed 6,000 words and should comply with the formatting guidelines of Psychology & Sexuality.

Special Issue Editors

Rhea Ashley Hoskin & Karen L. Blair


  • July 2018 – Call for papers
  • February 2019 – Abstracts Due
  • September 2019 – Full articles due September 30th, 2019
  • December 2019 – First round of revisions (sent out)
  • March 2020 – First round of revisions submitted
  • May 2020 – Second round of revisions (sent out)
  • July 2020 – Second round of revisions submitted
  • October 2020 – Special issue published


Abstract Submission Form

Please use the form below to submit your proposed abstract and author bio. Abstracts will be reviewed and and authors of approved abstracts will be invited to submit a full manuscript for consideration in the special issue. An invitation to submit a full manuscript does not guarantee acceptance, as all manuscripts will go through the regular Psychology & Sexuality peer-review process. Abstract proposals submitted by February 1, 2019 will be given priority and any abstracts submitted after that date will be considered on a rolling case-by-case basis. If you have any questions, please send an email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Name (of corresponding author) *
Name (of corresponding author)
Please provide a 250 - 500 word abstract of your proposed manuscript.
Please provide a 150 word author biography or team biography for manuscripts that will have more than one author.


Bailey, M.J. (1996). “Gender identity.” In The lives of lesbians, gays and bisexuals: Children to adults, edited by Ritch C. Savin-Williams and Kenneth M. Cohen, 71-93. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace.

Bailey, M. (2014). “More on the Origins of Misogynoir.” April 27. more-on-the-origin-of-misogynoir.

Bishop, C. J., Kiss,M., Morrison, T.G., Rushe, D.M., & Specht, J.(2014). The association between gay men’s stereotypic beliefs about drag queens and their endorsement of hypermasculinity.  Journal of Homosexuality, 61(4), 554-567.

Blair, K.L., & Hoskin, R.A. (2015). Experiences of femme identity: Coming out, invisibility and femmephobia. Psychology & Sexuality, 6(3), 229-244.

Blair, K.L., & Hoskin, R.A. (2016). Contemporary understandings of femme identities and related experiences of discrimination. Psychology & Sexuality, 7(2), 101-115.

Eguchi, S. (2011). Negotiating sissyphobia: A critical/interpretive analysis of one “femme” gay Asian body in the heteronormative World. Journal of Men’s Studies, 19 (1), 37-56.

Hoskin, R.A., Blair, K.L., Holmberg, D., & Jenson, K. (In Press). Femininities scale. Handbook of Sexuality-Related Measures 4th Edition. Routledge.

Hoskin, R.A. (2017a). Femme interventions and the proper feminist subject: Critical approaches to decolonizing contemporary Western feminist pedagogies. Cogent Open Access Social Sciences, 3(1), 1-17.

Hoskin, R.A. (2017b). Femme Theory: Refocusing the intersectional lens. Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice: What is Intersectional about Intersectionality Now? 38(1), 95-109.

Irigaray, L. (1985). This sex which is not one. Cornell University Press.

Kilianski, S. E. (2003). Explaining heterosexual men’s attitudes toward women and gay men: The theory of exclusively masculine identity. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 4 (1), 37-56.

Miller, B. (2015). “Dude, where’s your face?” Self-presentation, self-description, and partner preferences on a social networking application for men who have sex with men: a content analysis. Sexuality & Culture, 19(4), 637-658.

Sanchez, F. J., &Vilain, E. (2012). “Straight-acting gays”: The relationship between masculine consciousness, anti-effeminacy, and negative gay identity.” Archives of Sexual Behaviour, 41, 111-119.

Serano, Julia. (2007). Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press.

Serano, J. (2013). Excluded: Making feminist and queer movements more inclusive. Seal Press.

Tanenbaum, L. (2015). I Am Not A Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet. New York, NY: Harper Perennial.