Education, Gender and Sexuality

A public sculpture in the Garden of Alexandria. Three gigantic books with a large rose in a dome

Today, I share a new book and two media citations of my research about education, masculinity, and heterosexism. The authors write from Australia, Indonesia, and Canada.


My work on racial micro-aggressions has been cited in a new education book for Australian teachers. Helen Adam writes in “Transforming Practice”:

At times educators might decide not to use a book or even to remove it from their collection. I have seen books written by white authors that have titles or ask questions such as, ‘Where are you from?” This is very problematic and a common “micro-aggression” towards people of colour. It is also a question that educators should avoid asking children.

Melbourne-based sociologist Dr Zuleyka Zevallos elaborates on her website (

‘This is a question I routinely get from people I meet. When I say I’m from Melbourne (the city where I’ve lived most of my life), I get scoffed at and badgered: ‘No – where are you really from?’ People ask this question because I’m not White and I’m presumed to be not-Australian. Yes I was born in South America – but I have lived here for 24 years, since I was a child, and this is my home. I’ve devoted much of my adult life to researching and fighting this form of everyday racism. Almost everyday of my life, any time I meet new people. This has always made me feel as if my status as an Australian is continually being judged and categorised by people who feel they have more of a right to call themselves Australian because they are White and not obviously of migrant background. In a multicultural country in the [21st Century] – this is astounding.

If a book contains such a title or question, it requires careful scrutiny of the author, audience and purpose of the book. (Adamn, 2021: 48)


An article from 24 December, published by Detik News, cites my work on the social construction of masculinity. In an analysis of K-Pop so-called “soft masculinity,” Muhammad Anam writes the following (noting that this is roughly translated from Indonesian, and that they’ve paraphrased my writing):

Why does masculinity always have a bad connotation? Is there a good definition of masculinity? Zuleyka Zevallos (2013) who was inspired by Tuki Clavero said, “It’s not easy to define good masculinity, because actually masculinity doesn’t exist if we don’t think about it seriously, so the meaning of masculinity depends on culture and time. Simply put, masculinity is how we imagine it. men and the power relations between them and the power relations between men, women and children.”

The relativity of the meaning of masculinity causes hegemony and domination of masculinity to continue, even though feminist groups have oppose these views. Zuleyka (2013) states that the James Bond 007 film still shows male dominance. Bond is described as the perfect British secret agent. Bond’s perfection is incomplete without the presence of many women around him. (Anam, 2021)


An article I previously missed from July 2021 references my critique of an invalid study on heterosexist views of lesbian attraction. Heterosexism is the prejudiced belief that heterosexuality is ‘natural’ and ‘normal,’ and that heterosexuality uniformly structures all aspects of social life. The original study argued that women are attracted to other women to appease men; however, the study was conducted on heterosexual people (therefore not representative) and had invalid measures. In Agence Science-Presse, Pascal Lapointe writes the following, translated roughly from French. Note that my original critique was published in May 2017 (when the study was released), and later republished on my blog in 2018 – as stated in my blog post. The author’s point that the article keeps resurfacing to “cause offence on Twitter” is stretched, but its general point is useful: research that makes conclusions about a group of people needs to include that same group in its sample.

A study on the sexual behaviour of lesbians that was carried out without having interviewed a single one? The Rumor Detector certainly doesn’t need to explain at length why there is a big problem here. […] In addition, the study was posted online in May 2017. However, it has recently sparked some offended reactions on Twitter. It was critiqued by blogger Rebecca Watson in 2019 (who had just heard about it on Twitter), and by sociologist Zuleyka Zevallos in 2018. In addition to being ridiculed in the Annals blog of Improbable Research in June 2017. And to be the subject of a few press articles in 2017. (Lapointe, 2021)