Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History

Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History

by Gilbert Herdt
     
 

ISBN-10: 0942299817

ISBN-13: 9780942299816

Pub. Date: 04/07/1994

Publisher: Zone Books

Most modern discussions of the relationship of biological sex to gender presuppose that there are two genders male and female, founded on the two biological sexes. But not all cultures share this essentialist assumption and even Western societies have not always embraced it. Bringing together historical and anthropological studies, Third Sex, Third Gender challenges…  See more details below

Overview

Most modern discussions of the relationship of biological sex to gender presuppose that there are two genders male and female, founded on the two biological sexes. But not all cultures share this essentialist assumption and even Western societies have not always embraced it. Bringing together historical and anthropological studies, Third Sex, Third Gender challenges the usual emphasis on sexual dimorphism and reproduction, providing a unique perspective on the various forms of socialization of people who are neither "male" nor "female." The existence of a third sex or gender enables us to understand how Byzantine palace eunuchs and Indian hijras met the criteria of special social roles that necessitated practices such as self-castration and how intimate and forbidden desires were expressed among the Dutch Sodomites in the early modern period, the Sapphists of eighteenth-century England or the so-called hermaphrodite-homosexuals of nineteenth-century Europe and America. By contextualizing these practices and by allowing these bodies, meanings and desires to emerge, Third Sex, Third Gender provides a new way to think about sex and gender systems that is crucial to contemporary debates within the social sciences.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780942299816
Publisher:
Zone Books
Publication date:
04/07/1994
Pages:
614
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface11
Introduction: Third Sexes and Third Genders21
ILiving in the Shadows: Eunuchs and Gender in Byzantium85
IILondon's Sapphists: From Three Sexes to Four Genders in the Making of Modern Culture111
IIISodomy and the Pursuit of a Third Sex in the Early Modern Period137
IV"A Female Soul in a Male Body": Sexual Inversion as Gender Inversion in Nineteenth-Century Sexology213
VWoman Becomes Man in the Balkans241
VIPolynesian Gender Liminality Through Time and Space285
VIIHow to Become a Berdache: Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender Diversity329
VIIIHijras: An Alternative Sex and Gender Role in India373
IXMistaken Sex: Culture, Biology and the Third Sex in New Guinea419
XTranscending and Transgendering: Male-to-Female Transsexuals, Dichotomy and Diversity447
Notes487
Contributors597
Index599

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >