Social transformation of gender and sexuality as viewed by I.S. Kon




Igor Kon, gender order, sexuality, theory of sexual configuration, gender identity, state gender policy, moral panic, public-private dichotomy


The article examines the influence of Igor Kon on many aspects of modern research in the field of gender and sexuality. The authors conclude that it was Igor Kon who identified several key trends describing the current state of gender order in sexuality, namely, individualization and pluralization of cultures and lifestyles. It seems that the better way to speak about sexuality is not to refer to single or “normative models” but about a set of sexualities. In the proposed work, the variety of combinations of different gender identities with a multitude of sexual preferences is shown on the example of the theory of sexual configurations proposed by Canadian researcher Sari van Anders.

The article emphasizes that, as I. Kon warned, it is gender relations and sexuality that are currently at the center of the agenda, since many more serious social problems are extrapolated to them. Cultural and, in particular, gender diversity is perceived by many people as the threat of losing the most basic landmarks in an unpredictable and changeable world. The article provides examples of different types of public policy in relation to binary and non-binary gender categories in different countries of Europe, Asia and North America.

Author Biographies

Irina N. Tartakovskaya, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  • Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Senior Researcher
  • State Academic University for Humanities, Moscow, Russia
    • Associate Professor

Igor I. Lunin, Earnest Light Psychophysics Ltd.

  • SVIRK Research Company, St Petersburg, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Psychology), Consulting Psychologist, Director
  • Earnest Light Psychophysics Ltd., Toronto, Canada
    • Executive Director