December 10, 2011

Literature on sex and gender differences

My blog post on the statistical differences between men and women has caused a lively debate.

One reader even implies that this is yet another male rapist plot to suppress women.

Below you will find some of the studies I have made use of when preparing the blog post. They are all reflections on  the cultural bias of modern biological sex and gender research.

Note that all the books are written by women.  It says a lot about the toxicity of the current sex and gender debate that an argument based on feminist thinking can be interpreted as a male attack against women.

Studies of science

Anne Fausto-Sterling: Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality

Anne Fausto-Sterling: Myths Of Gender: Biological Theories About Women And Men

Cordelia Fine: Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference

Lise Eliot: Pink Brain, Blue Brain - How Small Differences Grow into Troublesome Gaps

Transgender lives

I would also draw your attention to a recent study of the lives of transgender people, that documents a significant shift from gender stereotypes to a deeper respect for gender diversity among transgender men and women:

Brett Genny Beemyn and Susan R. Rankin: The Lives of Transgender People

Post-structuralist feminism

I have also been reading Judith Butler's books on the social construction of gender. They are very interesting, although I think her way of completely ignoring the biological basis for human life is too extreme. Moreover, she is very hard to read.

Still, if you have a university course in post-modern philosophy, you might want to take a look at these two books:

Judith Butler: Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity

Judith Butler: Undoing Gender

A more popular presentation of post-structuralist feminist thinking can be found here:

Susan A. Speer: Gender Talk: Feminism, Discourse and Conversation Analysis 

Nature studies

I also recommend Joan Roughgarden's book on gender and sexuality among animals and humans. This is the best study yet on the tendency of male biologists to project their own prejudices as regards sex and gender onto nature.

Joan Roughgarden: Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People

Relevant blog posts

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!