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Sex/Gender: Biology in a Social World (The Routledge Series Integrating Science and Culture) Paperback – April 18, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0415881463 ISBN-10: 0415881463 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: The Routledge Series Integrating Science and Culture
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415881463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415881463
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anne Fausto-Sterling, the Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Biology and Gender Studies at Brown University, is a leading expert on the development of gender identity as well as the biology of gender. Her latest research analyzes the emergence of behavioral differences between the sexes in early childhood. She is the author of two earlier books: Myths of Gender: Biological Theories about Women and Men (Basic, 1993) and Sexing the Body: gender politics and the construction of sexuality (Basic, 2000).


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Customer Reviews

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Warkentin on February 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great! It's a quick and easy read (just 123 pages) covering the development of sex, gender, and sexuality in an up-to-date and very clear manner. It shows that a basic understanding of how development works in an environmental (for humans, highly social) context can make sense of a lot of the complexity and diversity of sex, gender, and sexuality. It includes a very useful and succinct treatment of Jordan-Young's analysis of the research on "brain sex" (Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences). It addresses issues of sexual development & intersexes that Fausto-Sterling examined in Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality, but in a much more concise (and updated) way. It includes a clear and balanced treatment of the state of knowledge, lack of knowledge, and issues associated with research on the "causes" of sexuality. I team-teach in an interdisciplinary (biology, psychology, literature, history, anthropology) introduction to gender & sexuality, mostly freshmen, and this will be a VERY useful book for us -- getting a core set of critical concepts across in an engaging, easy-to-follow way that does not require excessive amounts of reading. It also references the larger literature so those who want to know more have a guide for further reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paige Ellen on February 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the 3rd book by Ms Fausto-Sterling which I have read. Without question, for me this was the easiest one to read. Ms Fausto-Sterling is by no means a light weight. She is a biologist, feminist and historian of science and is Professor of Biology and Women's Studies at Brown University. Putting it as an understatement, she knows of what she speaks.
And of what she speaks, with great authority, are the multiple factors that go into the formation of what is commonly called, "gender." Most of us have an everyday sense of what gender is. In a sense, it is a throw-away concept, for example, baby boys wear blue, baby girls wear pink. Girls can't throw a baseball nor a football with any kind of authority. It's a "boy" thing. Boys who can't throw or have interests that lay in what is stereotypically the realm of the "female gender" are called sissies. The reverse are called "tom-boys".
As is her wont, Ms Fausto-Sterling brings a multitude of sciences and research to bear on this notion of "gender." She looks at studies done under the auspices of biology, neurology, psychology, anthropology and even history, to bring the reader to question just what s/he actually means when using the word, "gender."
This is a phenomenal and thought provoking book. AFS manages to bring into question everything we think we know about gender and so-called gender-based differences.
AFS is usually not all that easy to read. She does her homework and, as in her previous two books, "Myths of Gender," and "Sexing the Body - Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality," her notes, graphs, references and suggested further readings (I immediately bought three of them) tend to take up at least as much space as her text, if not more.
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By sabenko on July 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Easy to read but full of challenging ideas.
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7 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Murphy on June 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
I love Anne Fausto-Sterling's two previous books (Sexing the Body and Myths of Gender) and you should definitely read them if you care about biological determinist explanations of 'differences' between the sexes. These had a profound influence on my thinking about the science of sex and gender, and the political nature of scientific inquiry. So it was with high hopes that I ordered her latest book.

I was expecting an introductory text that summarized the big ideas in the field using language that might allow the book to be assigned to my students. Alas, no. Fausto-Sterling's prose wanders back and forth between charmingly chatty and unintelligible science jargon. Hope you have a degree in development biology or physiology (or know what an autosome is) because parts of this text are tough going. Especially the discussion of genetic influences on primary sex determination in primates (lost yet?) On the up side, Fausto-Sterling does bring to the table some new evidence about what causes sex differences. And this is welcome. But if science-y writing is not your thing, parts of this will be unintelligible to you. Which is a shame because Fausto-Sterling is one of the few scholars writing today that could have pulled this off.
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