Despite the recent Disneyfication of fairy tales, the folk narrative genre has long been performed by and for adults. This lecture will examine the patterns of gendered sexuality that emerge in a broad corpus of tale texts, with a special focus on how gender roles inflect sexual behavior. Drawing on feminist and queer theories as well as folkloristic analytical tools such as tale type, motif, and theme, this talk shall provide an overview of sexual behaviors in fairy tales. Further, it will be argued that the European fairy tale's use of magic in sexual contexts does not function as wish fulfillment, as has long been argued about fairy tales, but rather reinforces binaristic and conservative gender and sexual norms.
With Reception in the Folklore Archive