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by Thomas Laqueur
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Social Sciences
  • Author:
    Thomas Laqueur
  • ISBN:
    0674543491
  • ISBN13:
    978-0674543492
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Harvard University Press; First Edition edition (October 15, 1990)
  • Pages:
    336 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Social Sciences
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1775 kb
  • ePUB format
    1264 kb
  • DJVU format
    1622 kb
  • Rating:
    4.8
  • Votes:
    816
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Making Sex: Body and Gend. has been added to your Cart

Making Sex: Body and Gend. has been added to your Cart. Thomas Laqueur discusses the emergence of the study and ideation of the corporeal body and the formation of social categorizations of gender from Antiquity to the Freudian Era. He argues that the one-sex body model, in which both "sexes" were considered versions of the male body, consumed anatomical, cosmological and "scientific" thinking until the Enlightenment Era.

Thomas Walter Laqueur (born September 6, 1945) is an American historian, sexologist and writer

Thomas Walter Laqueur (born September 6, 1945) is an American historian, sexologist and writer. He is the winner of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's 2007 Distinguished Achievement Award, and is currently the Helen Fawcett Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, located in Berkeley, California.

Making Sex ends with Freud, who denied the neurological evidence to insist that, as a girl becomes a woman, the .

Making Sex ends with Freud, who denied the neurological evidence to insist that, as a girl becomes a woman, the locus of her sexual pleasure shifts from the clitoris to the vagina; she becomes what culture demands despite, not because of, the body. Turning Freud's famous dictum around, Laqueur posits that destiny is anatomy. Sex, in other words, is an artifice. p. em. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 0-674-54349·1 (alk. paper) (doth) ISBN 0-674-54355-6 (paper) l. Sex role-History.

This is a book about the making and unmaking of sex over the centuries. This text remains a go-to standard for understanding contemporary gender-criticism in the context of Western historiography. Laqueur introduced a major paradigm shift, of particular relevance when reading ancient and late-antique texts, away from assuming a biologically rooted "two sex" model of human nature.

Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. This is a book about the making and unmaking of sex over the centuries. Turning Freud’s famous dictum around, Laqueur posits that destiny is anatomy. This is a powerful story, written with verve and a keen sense of telling detail (be it technically rigorous or scabrously fanciful).

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This is basic material I teach every year in feminist science studies classes. Further, colonial ideas about sex being binary were used to violently repress and eliminate people whose bodies and presentation did not conform to the European ideal of "man" and "woman"

This is basic material I teach every year in feminist science studies classes. Further, colonial ideas about sex being binary were used to violently repress and eliminate people whose bodies and presentation did not conform to the European ideal of "man" and "woman". 6). 5 vastausta 3 24 tykkäystä.

29. Laqueur, Making Sex, 4, 239. Chapter 8: The Victorian Vagina: Medicalization and Subjugation

Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990), 26. 12. Leviticus 15:19, ww. ome-and-hear. 29. Chapter 8: The Victorian Vagina: Medicalization and Subjugation. 1. Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vol 1, An Introduction (New York: Vintage, 1990), 12.

Laqueur has a clear and well written style as he describes the different theories on gender and sex throughout the ages and the rammifications of these theories in terms of culture and interpersonal relationships. Foucault 101. By Thriftbooks. com User, July 18, 2000. An excellent book laying and discussing the basics of gender creation in western culture. This book borrows heavily from "The History of Sexuality" by Michel Foucault.

Finding books BookSee BookSee - Download books for free. Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. 6 Mb. Making Sex. Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. Thomas Walter Laqueur.

This is a book about the making and unmaking of sex over the centuries. It tells the astonishing story of sex in the West from the ancients to the moderns in a precise account of developments in reproductive anatomy and physiology. We cannot fail to recognize the players in Thomas Laqueur's story--the human sexual organs and pleasures, food, blood, semen, egg, sperm--but we will be amazed at the plots into which they have been woven by scientists, political activists, literary figures, and theorists of every stripe.

Laqueur begins with the question of why, in the late eighteenth century, woman's orgasm came to be regarded as irrelevant to conception, and he then proceeds to retrace the dramatic changes in Western views of sexual characteristics over two millennia. Along the way, two "masterplots" emerge. In the one-sex story, woman is an imperfect version of man, and her anatomy and physiology are construed accordingly: the vagina is seen as an interior penis, the womb as a scrotum, the ovaries as testicles. The body is thus a representation, not the foundation, of social gender. The second plot tends to dominate post-Enlightenment thinking while the one-sex model is firmly rooted in classical learning. The two-sex story says that the body determines gender differences, that woman is the opposite of man with incommensurably different organs, functions, and feelings. The two plots overlap; neither ever holds a monopoly. Science may establish many new facts, but even so, Laqueur argues, science was only providing a new way of speaking, a rhetoric and not a key to female liberation or to social progress. Making Sex ends with Freud, who denied the neurological evidence to insist that, as a girl becomes a woman, the locus of her sexual pleasure shifts from the clitoris to the vagina; she becomes what culture demands despite, not because of, the body. Turning Freud's famous dictum around, Laqueur posits that destiny is anatomy. Sex, in other words, is an artifice.

This is a powerful story, written with verve and a keen sense of telling detail (be it technically rigorous or scabrously fanciful). Making Sex will stimulate thought, whether argument or surprised agreement, in a wide range of readers.


Amarin
This book was mandatory reading for a Masters' class on Renaissance Studies - yes, in France. While much remains to be said regarding the notions of "sex" as mere ideological construction, the review of ancient Greek and Roman medical treatises, from pre-Galenic theories, via Renaissance notions (most famously those of Vesalius and Valverde) up to 19 th C. French lunacy and S. Freud, followed alas by his disciple Marie Bonaparte, makes for a fascinating read, that does call for a sequel at the very least.
My favourite quote, when Laqueur reminds us of the ongoing male fear of "effeminacy", is of course from Shakespeare; need I explain the historical "prohibition" on feelings of love experienced by men towards women? Love "liquifies", turns men into women...Ah.
O Sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty has made me effeminate
And in my temper soft'ned valour's steel! (3.1..111-13) quoted p. 123.
Vichredag
Thomas Laqueur discusses the emergence of the study and ideation of the corporeal body and the formation of social categorizations of gender from Antiquity to the Freudian Era. He argues that the one-sex body model, in which both "sexes" were considered versions of the male body, consumed anatomical, cosmological and "scientific" thinking until the Enlightenment Era. The Enlightenment, and especially the French Revolution, ushered in "the world of reductionist explanation" in which nature and "the flat, horizontal, immovable foundation of physical fact: sex," mattered most in terms of sexual distinction (151). The Revolution itself gave birth to a "genuine new feminism," but also "a new kind of antifeminism" that erected societal boundaries between the sexes (194). Sexual difference remained a "gender" or "social division between men and women" (155). Thus, the one-sex model continued to permeate notions of sexual relations and anatomy until the early 20th century. Laqueur thus claims "the ways in which sexual difference have been imagined in the past are largely unconstrained by what was actually known about this or that bit of anatomy," or various "physiological" processes. Instead, notions of sexual difference have long stemmed "from the rhetorical exigencies of the moment" (243). Thus, he argues that "gender" was "real," in its social construction of male dominance, while "sex" was "epiphenomenonal," or subject to interpretation.
Laqueur contends that pre-Enlightenment medical texts viewed the physical body as inherently male. The female body's sexual organs were simply an inverted version of the penis. Bodily fluids such as milk, blood and semen were of similar matter. Therefore, "the boundaries between male and female" were (and Laqueur would argue still "are") "of degree and not of kind" (25). This discourse, a "one sex model," supported by such prominent philosophers as Aristotle and anatomists as Vesalius, dominated anatomical and medical rationalization, as well as gender literature, for nearly two millennia. Thus, a female could become a male, for example, after strenuous activity that would cause her inner sexual organs to drop. However, a male could not become a female, since "nature tends always toward what is most perfect," the male body (127). "Man" was "the measure of all things, and woman does not exist as an ontologically distinct category" (62). Moreover, such an order to the cosmos of humanity played a social role, maintaining a male ordered society.
Not even the hard scientific, observable discoveries of the "Scientific Revolution" of the late 17th to early 18th century could overturn the one sex model, as linguistic categories of male and female predominated scientific observation. Although the Enlightenment focus on "nature" garnered a new era of recognition for the female body and politic, as well as a notion of "two fleshes" by the 19th century, the recognition was one of gender differentiation rather than sex delineation. Thus, Laqueur argues, in a vein similar to Foucault that gendered social categories (as well as the discourse and language such categories created), in which men held higher privilege than women, came to dominate Western culture while the one sex model remained. The two sex model was produced, Laqueur contends, "through endless micro-confrontations over power in the public and private spheres" over the course of the late 19th into the early 20th century (193). Moreover, 18th and 19th century beliefs that the female was "passionless" since she did not need orgasm to conceive played into notions of body heat (positive and male) as opposed to body coolness (negative and female). Even the writings of Sigmund Freud, Laqueur contends, indicate Freud saw a paternalistic order, since women possessed an "internal passive vagina," as an appropriate rendering of "socially defined roles" (241).
Laqueur's conception of the social categorization of the sexes, often through the lens of a paternalistically ordered social structure, fits nicely with Barbara Duden's chapter concerning "the perception of the [female] body." Duden examines the journal entries (over 1800) of Dr. Johannes Pelargius Storch, a male "physician" in the German town of Eisenach during the early to mid 18th century. Duden found that Dr. Storch consistently "struggled to force his own body concept into the scheme" of his prognoses of various female patients (106). Because physicians of Storch's era were not permitted to "open" bodies, doctors often examined external fluids in an effort to deduce the workings of the internal body. The internal body was "a place of metamorphosis," in which bodily fluids, especially blood, had to be kept in balance (109). Emotional reactions by women, such as fear, worry, jealousy or anger, caused what Storch labeled "mishaps," that could alter the blood balance in the body leading to various maladies including death. Moreover, natural, "cosmic events" such as the alignment of the stars or changing of the seasons could also cause women to experience various levels of illness, especially during the menses. Thus Storch tried to understand the female body "in the microcosm that corresponds to an order in the macrocosm" (177).
Dellevar
Joan Cadden's much more important and accurate book, _The Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages_, opens by taking Laqueur's premise to task. And she's right to do so -- someone had to.

The problem is that Laqueur simplifies. He attempts to argue, based on little understanding of the complexity of medical models used either in antiquity or in the Middle Ages, that a one-sex model predominated in medicine. And while, to a degree, he's right, he's equally wrong. He would be correct if Aristotle's model of the human body were the ONLY one used either in antiquity or the Latin west. But Aristotle pointedly presented his model of gender in opposition to that proposed by the Hippocratics. Galen, who obviously knew both Aristotle and Hippocrates, then modified the idea of what constitutes sexual differentiation even further. After Galen, we have centuries of commentary and modification by Arabic scholars -- Avicenna predominates -- before we get to the Latin translations which spurred scholastic debate in the universities of the west. Their model of the body was not simple or limited, it didn't rely solely on authoritative sources from the past, and it never solidified into a unified theory. To argue that it did would rob these individuals of their collective rationality and treat them like amusing children -- something a historian should avoid whenever possible.

In order to create a readable and comprehensible text, Laqueur elided the complexities of the arguments common in the medieval universities regarding sex difference and reproduction in order to present his readers with a neat and tidy package. Whenever presented with a neat package in history, doubt the source.

Cadden's work is a direct refutation of Laqueur's. In it, she attempts to detail the confusing and complex model of sexual differentiation inherited by the Latin west from antiquity, including Galen's two-seed model and all the implications thereof. She furthermore attempts to demonstrate the application of these theories of gender and sex. She grounds her arguments much more firmly in the context of the time than Laqueur ever managed to do.
If you really want to understand pre-modern concepts of the body, set Laqueur aside and pick up Cadden instead. While Laqueur's model is a nicely simplified version of the past, the question has to arise -- when does simplification become distortion? How much detail about the past can be safely ignored in the name of simplicity before you create a useless model? But for those who only want a cursory investigation into the history of the body through a primarily medical lens, by all means read the Laqueur. He's far easier to read than Cadden. He's just not as reputable.