Sexing the Body and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $21.99
  • Save: $5.49 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 16 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: almost very good, some light wear.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality Paperback – November 30, 2000


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.50
$10.50 $2.84


Frequently Bought Together

Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality + Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference
Price for both: $31.02

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; New Ed edition (November 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465077145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465077144
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anyone who has been following the new brain science in the popular press--and even those whose casual reading includes journals along the lines of Psychoneuroendocrinology--will be fascinated by the puckish observations of Brown University biologist Anne Fausto-Sterling, whose provocative and erudite essays easily establish the cultural biases underlying current scientific thought on gender. She goes on to critique the science itself, exposing inconsistencies in the literature and weaknesses in the rhetorical and theoretical structures that support new research. "One of the major claims I make in this book," she explains, "is that labeling someone a man or a woman is a social decision. We may use scientific knowledge to help us make the decision, but only our beliefs about gender--not science--can define our sex. Furthermore, our beliefs about gender affect what kinds of knowledge scientists produce about sex in the first place." Whether discussing genital surgery on intersex infants or the amorous lives of lab rats, the author is unfailingly clear and convincing, and manages to impart humor to subjects as seemingly unpromising as neuroanatomy and the structure of proteins. --Regina Marler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

As the old complaint that men's long hairstyles make it impossible to tell "if it's a boy or a girl" reveals, gender ambiguity is socially unsettling to many people. Boldly stepping into the breach, Fausto-Sterling contends that the fear of gender confusion has pushed science and medicine to go to extreme lengths in constructing solid concepts of sex (i.e., an individual's anatomical attributes) and gender (i.e., the internal conviction of one's maleness or femaleness). As in her now classic book, Myths of Gender, Fausto-Sterling draws on a wealth of scientific and medical information, along with social, anthropological and feminist theory, to make the case that "choosing which criteria to use in determining sex, and choosing to make the determination at all, are social decisions for which scientists can offer no absolute guidelines." Further, she adds, "our beliefs about gender affect what kind of knowledge scientists produce about sex in the first place." While the book encompasses a wide range of topics--including a cultural history of hermaphroditism (now more properly termed "intersexuality") and the recent medical interventions used to "cure" it, an account of the emergence of sex hormone research and its use to create changes in sexual orientation, and the history of how science has (mis)understood the brain in terms of gender--Fausto-Sterling's cogent use of concrete historical examples, her simple language and personal anecdotes keep this complex synthesis accessible. Her insightful work offers profound challenges toscientific research, the creation of social policy and the future of feminist and gender theory.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

The author skillfully weaves scientific knowledge with politics and history in a accessable language.
MICHELINE GROS-JEAN
An essential read for anyone interested in biology, the body, sexuality, gender and how society molds and shapes what we know as "truth" about ourselves and our world.
ddfris
The section of footnotes is nearly as long as the text of the book (which can be complicated when reading; I ended up using two bookmarks).
Helen Boyd

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By MICHELINE GROS-JEAN on March 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is wonderful. Fausto-Sterling does not take sides on the essentialism and constructivism. She argues that biology does matter in determining one's sexual orientation, but at the same time, culture plays a central role as well. In other words, culture and biology interact with one another, in a complicated fashion. It 's an interaction that is dialectical, rather than linear. The author skillfully weaves scientific knowledge with politics and history in a accessable language. Unlike many scientists,whose arguements tend to be ahistorical, she takes into account of history in building her arguements. This work will be interesting for both the scientifically inclined and the theoretically inclined.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By tamiii on July 25, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...it all comes down to emotions, recalling that the original meaning of that word was a movement of people, a civil disturbance. From the intersexual to the homosexual, Fausto-Sterling reviews the history and politics that informed the science and medical practice of 20th Century sex. I happily add this volume on the gender politics of popular science to a different but equally interesting work by Simon LeVay, Queer Science. However unlike LeVay, Fausto-Sterling recognizes a relationship between sexualized science and the rise of American monopoly capitalism (and its demands for social stability) though her observations in this arena are frustratingly preliminary. Readers of this book might also enjoy Jennifer Terry's An American Obsession which delves more deeply into cultural history.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "md_2003" on February 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Fausto-Sterling will take her place in feminist history as the leading embryologist, and perhaps even, the leading scientist, doing gender studies in the latter 20th and earlier 21st centuries. Who would have thought she could excell beyond her ground-breaking text, "Myths of Gender"?
This time she takes on her own scientific field, exposing how blindered, sexist, heterosexist, and flat out stuck and harm-inducing it has become. Given that she presents her arguments in the body of the text in a very reader-friendly language and style, and has nearly a separate text of endnotes of hard-core feminist critical analyses ta boot, we've got in this great work of hers a text reminiscent of Virginia Woolf's "Three Guinneas."
Anne Fausto-Sterling's special interest this go around is science's primary complicity in the (hetero) sexing of psycho-medically dominated and controlled bodies. She provides one of the best feminist analyses of Gender Systematicity as the key politically shaped, shaping, and biased torture device for transsexual and intersex people today.
This is a very important text for sexology, feminist, gender, queer, US, cultural, and transgender studies, history of science, and anthropology of medicine and science. It's a brave read, if not deadly on point. Probably best for graduate scholars, but should be required for any professional in sexology, gender specialist, or medical personnel before they lay one hand or idea of treatment on transsexual or intersex people!
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Freudian 07 on October 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Anne Fausto-Sterling's account of all genders and sexes (not just male/female, but everything in between) provides a humanitarian outlook which demonstrates just how far our culture will go to enforce gender dichotomies. About one in 5000 births results in an intersexed (ambiguous genitalia) infant. Most of the time doctors assign a sex to these babies, believing they could never grow into well-adjusted adults with ambigious sex organs. Yet, these surgeries usually include the removal of some or all nerve tissue leading most post operative intersexed people wishing they had never been touched when they grow older. Some of these stories are truly heart breaking and Fausto-Sterling not only explores the history behind these surgeries, but their impact on the day to day lives of thousands of individuals. Giving voice to a group that's not heard from much in mainstream media, Sexing the Body is a must read for anyone interested in the development of gender identity or social injustice.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Helen Boyd on September 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Sexing the Body is a thick book, and an important one. The section of footnotes is nearly as long as the text of the book (which can be complicated when reading; I ended up using two bookmarks). That said, it covers the part of the conversation that most of us don't have when we talk about the difference between sex and gender. I have a friend who reads my stuff - she's a feminist, and smart. But whenever I say that we don't really know if there are only two sexes, she always writes "you mean genders here?" in the margin. But no, I mean sex. I mean XX or XY. Or "with penis" or "with clitoris." And that's exactly what Anne Fausto-Sterling covers in this book: how we came to decide that there are two sexes, how (through the times) science came to that standard, and why it's wrong and when it's wrong.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book delves into some of the biological and cultural issues regarding gender identity. In the introduction, Fausto-Sterling tells us that as a biologist, she accepts that there are biological influences on behavior, but at the same time, she is a feminist who is determined that gender identity is also culturally influenced. This book is framed as a kind of reconciliation between the extremes of the two camps. The early part of the book examines hermaphrodites or intersexuals through history. Fausto-Sterling points out that before medical intervention was standard, hermaphrodites were a recognized gender category, who even had their own rules of conduct and inheritance under Jewish law. She then turns her attention to the modern treatment of intersexuals, describing how thanks to charlatans like John Money, many have been surgically adjusted to fit one sex, while finding that their natural gender goes the other way, and they are consequently trapped in bodies that go against nature. She reviews many studies of the medical intervention of intersexuals and infant gender re-assignment, finding dismally few success stories.
The second half of the book takes up a variety of topics. Chapter 5, for instance, discusses and dismisses reported differences between the corpus callosum in men and women. In this chapter, Fausto-Sterling goes to great length to explain how the statistics for the corpus callosum studies may be flawed, but it seems she misses a larger point- -are there any behavioral traits that are associated with the corpus callosum anyway? Even if women turned out to have a corpus callosum that was five times as big, on average, than that of men, so what?
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews