Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud

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Overview

This is a book about the making an unmaking of sex over the centuries. It tells the astonishing story of sex in West from the ancients to the moderns in a precise account of the history of reproductive anatomy and physiology.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Laqueur (history, U. of California, Berkeley) explores the social and political context of the various scientific explanations of gender difference and sex throughout European history. He finds two interweaving views that women are imperfect men, and that they are completely opposite. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
New York Review of Books

[Making Sex is] a brilliant documentation of difference between the one-sex and two-sex models...presenting a simple theme with broad and cascading implications...I didn't need Laqueur to teach me that sex was interesting, but now I have a broader base for this greatest of certainties.
— Stephen Jay Gould

New York Times Book Review

[Laqueur] gives us an excellent sense of how our predecessors, including physicians and scientists, thought about the anatomy that fascinates every schoolchild...No one can doubt, after reading this book, that our notions of masculinity or femininity have been imposed on what are supposed to be objective biological observations.
— Melvin Konner

The Independent

[In this] challenging analysis of our ideas on gender...Laqueur shows how radically our consciousness of ourselves, our bodies, our sex has changed over the centuries. The categories we think of as most basic turn out to be mutable...And in this transformation, Laqueur emphasises, social changes were as crucial as medical teachings.
— Roy Porter

New York Review of Books - Stephen Jay Gould
[Making Sex is] a brilliant documentation of difference between the one-sex and two-sex models...presenting a simple theme with broad and cascading implications...I didn't need Laqueur to teach me that sex was interesting, but now I have a broader base for this greatest of certainties.
New York Times Book Review - Melvin Konner
[Laqueur] gives us an excellent sense of how our predecessors, including physicians and scientists, thought about the anatomy that fascinates every schoolchild...No one can doubt, after reading this book, that our notions of masculinity or femininity have been imposed on what are supposed to be objective biological observations.
The Independent - Roy Porter
[In this] challenging analysis of our ideas on gender...Laqueur shows how radically our consciousness of ourselves, our bodies, our sex has changed over the centuries. The categories we think of as most basic turn out to be mutable...And in this transformation, Laqueur emphasises, social changes were as crucial as medical teachings.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674543492
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/1990
  • Pages: 313

Table of Contents

1. Of Language and the Flesh

2. Destiny Is Anatomy

3. New Science, One Flesh

4. Representing Sex

5. Discovery of the Sexes

6. Sex Socialized

Notes

Credits

Index

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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