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This research investigates ideologies and linguistic strategies in the “sexually confused” consultation discourse in a virtual community by adopting Critical Discourse Analysis approach. The data were 324 texts from the bulletin board at www.pantip.com. The results reveal that the “sexually confused” consultation discourse conveys the three sets of ideologies: the ideology of natural sex, the ideology of gender essentialism, and the ideology of gender neutrality. Linguistic strategies that impart these ideologies include lexical choice, transitivity, metaphor, presupposition, and implicature. The ideologies construct and define the meanings of sex, gender, and sexuality in Thai society. The results also insist that the group of individuals in Thai society did not unanimously believe and follow a particular ideology. Consequently, such a lack of ideological coherence allows the participants in this virtual community to consider the condition of being “sexually confused” in varying perceptions. Finally, this research proposes that there is no such a thing as a “sexually confused” condition. Yet, the construction of the “sexually confused” discourse originates from the intrusion of the “natural sex” and “gender essentialism” ideologies. Thus, we contend that “sexually confused” as a descriptive term should be debunked for the reason that the set of ideas is constructed to alienate an individual from oneself and to impede the full acceptance of gender diversity and equity.
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