0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HOW WE GET OUR SEX-ROLES AND GENDER-PERSONALITIES,
This review is from: Gendermaps: Social Constructionism, Feminism, and Sexosophical History (Paperback)John Money
Social Constructionism, Femininism, and Sexosophical History
(New York: Continuum, 1995) 165 pages
(ISBN: 0-8264-0854-4; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: HQ23.M588 1995)
John Money's suggested new word "gendermap"
includes two separable phenomena:
(1) sex-roles--the observable behavior of men and women
assigned by each culture or sub-culture on the basis of sex,
(2) gender-personality--the internal personality traits
considered either 'masculine' or 'feminine'
within a given culture or sub-culture.
Both of these human phenomena arise from socialization
rather than from 'human nature'
or some other claim of genetic transmission.
A third phenomenon
that sometimes lies in the background of "gendermap"
is what this reviewer calls male/female self-designation
--the usually-unchangeable sense that
I am a boy/man or I am a girl/woman.
Once our sex has been settled,
sex-roles and gender-personalities can then begin to be constructed.
John Money uses the expression "gender identity/role"
for what this reviewer calls "male/female self-designation".
Asking about the sex of an individual (whether male or female)
is a better word than gender to use in this context
because of the multiple meanings and ambiguities of the word "gender".
It is important to use our words very carefully in this context
because of the confusion that arises when "gender"
is just used as a polite substitute for the word "sex".
Our biological sexes are given by our genes.
But our sex-roles, our gender-personalities,
and even our male/female self-designations
result from events that happen to us after birth.
But Money wisely warns against
too neat a separation of the biological and the cultural
--of nature and nurture.
For example, hormonal abnormalities (which are biological in origin)
might have an impact on a child's developing brain.
The nature side of the debates swirling around 'gender'
is called "essentialism".
The nurture side of the debates is called "social constructionism".
For a time, social constructionism became very popular
in anti-establishment academic circles.
These young academics attacked the "medical model" of everything,
claiming (in its most extreme form)
that words can mean whatever we say they mean.
There is no truth, only beliefs.
"Post-modernism" was its name.
And Michel Foucault was its high priest.
The establishment that social constructionism attacked
was variously identified as:
the patriarchal system, Judeo-Christian morality,
gender bias, racial prejudice, & endemic homophobia.
As usual, John Money's observations on the themes of
sex, gender, 'masculine' or 'feminine' personalities,
& the roles we are assigned in relationships and in society
are wise and insightful.
Even tho Money does not break any new ground in this book,
it is worth one reading by people who have appreciated his other books.
If you would like to discover other books on 'msculinity' and 'femininity',
search the Internet for the following bibliography:
"Best Books on Gender-Personality".
James Leonard Park, creator of the Gender-Pattern Chart.
(1 customer review)
Used & New from: $7.01