Gender and Sexuality For Beginners

Gender and Sexuality For Beginners

by Jaimee Garbacik, Jeffrey Lewis
     
 

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We should not need to prove our experiences, defend our realities, or negotiate basic human rights. But we do.

What does sexual orientation mean if the very categories of gender are in question? How do we measure equality when our society's definitions of "male" and "female" leave out much of the population? There is no consensus on what a "real" man or woman is,

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Overview

We should not need to prove our experiences, defend our realities, or negotiate basic human rights. But we do.

What does sexual orientation mean if the very categories of gender are in question? How do we measure equality when our society's definitions of "male" and "female" leave out much of the population? There is no consensus on what a "real" man or woman is, where one's sex begins and ends, or what purpose the categories of masculine and feminine traits serve. While significant strides have been made in recent years on behalf of women's, gay and lesbian rights, there is still a large division between the law and day-to-day reality for LGBTQIA and female-identified individuals in American society. The practices, media outlets and institutions that privilege heterosexuality and traditional gender roles as "natural" need a closer examination.

Gender and Sexuality For Beginners considers the uses and limitations of biology in defining gender. Questioning gender and sex as both categories and forms of compulsory identification, it critically examines the issues in the historical and contemporary construction, meaning and perpetuation of gender roles. Gender and Sexuality For Beginners interweaves neurobiology, psychology, feminist, queer and trans theory, as well as historical gay and lesbian activism to offer new perspectives on gender inequality, ultimately pointing to the clear inadequacy of gender categories and the ways in which the sex-gender system oppresses us all. 

Gender and Sexuality For Beginners examines the evolution of gender roles and definitions of sexual orientation in American society, illuminating how neither is as objective or "natural" as we are often led to believe.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With a strong focus on the law and the sciences, Garbacik attempts a comprehensive history of gender and sexuality in the Western world. A large number of available texts by celebrated scholars offers an introduction to the complex mix of theory, history, and science that go into modern discussions of gender and sexuality, and Garbacik's effort announces itself as a similar text that targets young people and maintains an awareness of the intersectionality of identities and politics. The result is an articulate tour through diverse histories, addressing both popular and obscure texts from across the world, and in a variety of general and academic disciplines (biology, critical theory, and pop-psychology all receive fair shares of attention). The few paragraphs that authors receive in the spotlight are accompanied by level-headed analyses by Garbacik, building toward a conclusion that argues for a widely progressive political agenda. The extensiveness of the subject (perhaps by necessity) results in occasional generalization, and—as the number of sources cited attests— Garbacik's voice is one in a heavily populated chorus of experts. Though it doesn't push the conversation forward, the text is a concise primer for those beginning to explore contemporary gender politics. B&W illus. (June)
From the Publisher
"With a strong focus on the law and the sciences, Garbacik attempts a comprehensive history of gender and sexuality in the Western world. . . . The result is an articulate tour through diverse histories, addressing both popular and obscure texts from across the world, and in a variety of general and academic disciplines (biology, critical theory, and pop-psychology all receive fair shares of attention). . . . a concise primer for those beginning to explore contemporary gender politics." — Publishers Weekly

“A challenging and engaging page-turner, this book could change the way Americans perceive gender, orientation, and the practices that privilege heteronormativity. With precision and lucidity, Garbacik manages an impressive feat: she presents readers with an accessible history of the evolvement of our society’s basic tenets surrounding gender and sexuality. What’s more, she turns many widely held assumptions directly on their head, leaving us the disquieting sense that, when it comes to understanding the differences between men and women, we may have been misled.“ —Dr. Belisa Vranich, Clinical Psychologist, Author & Media Personality

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781934389690
Publisher:
For Beginners
Publication date:
06/11/2013
Series:
For Beginners
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
738,265
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“A challenging and engaging page-turner, this book could change the way Americans perceive gender, orientation, and the practices that privilege heteronormativity. With precision and lucidity, Garbacik manages an impressive feat: she presents readers with an accessible history of the evolvement of our society’s basic tenets surrounding gender and sexuality. What’s more, she turns many widely held assumptions directly on their head, leaving us the disquieting sense that, when it comes to understanding the differences between men and women, we may have been misled.“ —Dr. Belisa Vranich, Clinical Psychologist, Author & Media Personality

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