GenderIdentity Disorder (GID) is regarded as a mental illness and included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). It will also appear in the DSM-V, due to be published in 2013. The classification of GID as a mental illness is contentious. But what would happen to sufferers if it were removed from the diagnostic manuals? Would people lose their entitlement to funded medical care, or to reimbursement under insurance schemes? On what basis should medical (...) treatment for GID be provided? What are the moral arguments for and against funded or reimbursed medical care for GID? This paper starts out with a fiction: GID is removed from the diagnostic manuals. Then the paper splits in two, as in happened in the Howitt’s 1998 film Sliding Doors . The two scenarios run parallel. In one, it is argued that GID is on a par with other body modifications, such as cosmetic and racial surgery, and that, for ethical reasons, treatment for GID should be privately negotiated by applicants and professionals and privately paid for. In the other scenario, it is argued that the comparison between GID and other body modifications is misleading. Whether or not medical treatment should be funded or reimbursed is independent of whether GID is on a par with other forms of body dissatisfaction. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to develop and illustrate an approach for making the commonplace visible in a natural, as opposed to manipulated, social setting. The key research task was to find a way of capturing the ongoing production or enactment of the self that provides some insight into the way in which it is produced in a routine, matter of fact way. The article takes a number of steps to develop a research approach to the task. First, (...) class='Hi'>gender-identity was selected as a more specific aspect of self-production. Second, the concept of "flashpoints" was used to refer to a particular moment in the routine which achieves some significance or salience as a result of the participants seizing upon some otherwise unremarkable action or statement and twisting it to their purpose. In this study, the purpose was gender-identity creation. Primary school children in the classroom and their teachers were the participants of the study. Through the use of flashpoints, the article demonstrates how gender-identity production of these children can be caught in flight. The article concludes that this approach can be added to the researcher's toolkit. (shrink)
This anthology of contemporary articles (and court cases provides a philosophical analysis of race, sex and gender concepts and issues. Divided into three relatively independent yet thematically linked sections, the anthology first addresses identity issues, then injustices and inequalities, and then specific social and legal issues relevant to race, sex and gender. By exposing readers to both theoretical foundations, opposing views, and "real life" applications, the anthology prepares them to make critically reasoned decisions concerning today's race, (...) class='Hi'>gender and sex social issues. Sex and GenderIdentity. Sexuality and Sexual Orientation. Race and Ethnicity. Racism. Sexism. Heterosexism and Homophobia. Equality and Preferential Treatment. Discriminatory Harassment. Identity Speech and Political Speech. Sexual Speech. Sexual Assault. For anyone interested in the philosophical underpinnings of today's Race, Sex, and Gender issues. (shrink)
This is the beginning of an exploration of before as the thesis ‘before’ (temporally) and ‘be-fore’ (spatially) difference. Before denotes the origin and the desired destination. Before (in the double sense of ‘before’ and ‚be-in-the-fore’) opens up a space of pre-difference, of origin and of forgotten memory, as well as a space of desire, objective, illusion of teleology, unity, completion. Applied to the two domains of Human Rights and Sex/Gender, the space of ‘before’ yields two slightly different vistas: in (...) human rights, a premodern, functionally undifferentiated society which had to invent human rights as its safeguards of functional differentiation. In Sex/Gender, ‘before’ brings a self-referential construction: that of ipseity, as the form of identity beyond comparison that does not play with id but with ipsum. Ipseity is inoperable but not useless. It is inoperable because it cannot be observed from anywhere without suffering rupture. It is not useless because it offers a ground for the reconceptualisation of difference, both through awe and desire. (shrink)
According to the DSM IV, a person with GID is a male or female that feels a strong identification with the opposite sex and experiences considerable stress because of their actual sex (Task Force on DSM-IV and American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The way GID is characterized by health professionals, patients, and lay people belies certain assumptions about gender that are strongly held, yet nevertheless questionable. The phenomena of transsexuality and sex-reassignment surgery puts into stark relief the following question: “What (...) does it mean to be male or female?” But while the answer to that question may be informed by contemplation of GID, we should also be aware that the answer to the question “what does it mean to have GID?” is shaped by our concepts of male and female. First, I consider the concept of transsexuality, and explain how it forces us to clarify our concepts of sex and gender, and leads to the development of what I will call the “standard view.” I then explain GID from a mental-health standpoint, question the concept of genderidentity, and try to uncover some fundamental assumptions of the standard view. I argue that these assumptions are at odds with the plausible view that gender supervenes on physical, psychological, and/or social properties. I go on to argue, contra the standard view, that gender has no essence. I suggest an anti-essentialist account of gender according to which “man” and “woman” are cluster concepts. This undermines the dualistic conception of gender that grounds the standard view. An anti-essentialist view of gender cannot make sense of the concept of “genderidentity” and hence sees so-called “GID” as primarily conflict between the individual and her society, and only derivatively a conflict between the individual and her body. (shrink)
The postmodern rejection of essentialism does not mean that feminist theorists must abandon all categorizations of women. Indeed, while it is important to deconstruct identities and highlight the differences among women, we need to arrive at some notion of genderidentity for political purposes. In paying careful attention to the distinction between nominal essences and real essences, the author shows that the category of women can be maintained without resorting to the problems of traditional essentialism. The author argues (...) that the marginalization of women is a product of culturally determined identities rather than ontological differences between men and women.Le refus postmoderne de l’essentialisme ne signifie pas que la théorie féministe doive abandonner toutes catégorisations de femmes. En effet, bien qu’il soit important de déconstruire les identités et mettre en valeur les différences parmi les femmes, il faut en arriver à une certaine notion d’identité sexuelle pour des raisons politiques. Se laissant guider par la distinction entre essences nominale et réelle,l’auteure montre que la catégorie de femme peut être maintenue tout en éludant les problèmes de l’essentialisme traditionnel. L’auteure soutient que la marginalisation des femmes est le produit d’identites determinées culturellement plutôt que de différences ontologiques entre hommes et femmes. (shrink)
Unethical decision-making behavior within organizations has received increasing attention over the past ten years. As a result, a plethora of studies have examined the relationship between gender and business ethics. However, these studies report conflicting results as to whether or not men and women differ with regards to business ethics. In this article, we propose that genderidentity theory [Spence: 1993, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 64, 624–635], provides both the theory and empirical measures to explore (...) the influence of psychological gender traits and gender-role attitudes on ethical perceptions of workplace behaviors. Statistical analyses of the data reveal that based on sex alone, no differences occur between men and women in their ethical perceptions. Yet, when a multidimensional approach to gender is applied, results show that expressive traits and egalitarian gender-role attitudes contribute to both men’s and women’s propensity to perceive unethical workplace behaviors as unethical. The implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are presented. (shrink)
U.K. regulation of sexual identity within a marriage context has traditionally been linked to biological sex. In response to the European Court of Human Rights decisions in Goodwin and I.,2 and in order to address the question of whether a transsexual person can be treated as a “real” member of their adoptive sex, the U.K. has recently passed the Gender Recognition Act 2004. While the Act appears to signal a move away from biology and towards a conception of (...) sexual identity based on gender rather than sex, questions of sexual identity remain rooted in medico-legal assessments of the individual transsexual body/mind. In contrast, because transsexual people in some parts of Canada have been able to marry in their post-operative sex since 1990, contemporary debates on the sexual identity of transsexual people in British Columbia and Ontario do not focus on the validity of marriage, and more frequently centre upon the provision of goods and services, in human rights contexts where sex is said to matter. Currently in Canada this is prompting questions of what it means to be a woman in society, how the law should interpret sex and gender, and how, if at all, the parameters of sexual identity should be established in law. This article seeks to compare recent U.K. legal conceptualisations of transsexuality with Canadian law in this area. As human rights discourse begins to grow in the U.K., the question remains as to whether or not gender will become an adequate substitute for sex. (shrink)
In Kise and Ngyuen’s “Adult Baby Syndrome and GenderIdentity Disorder” (2011), the authors refer to their male subject as “Ms B” because he prefers to identify with being a female. But they do not refer to her as being a baby, even though the subject also prefers to identify with being a baby. This shows that although they respect the subject’s genderidentity preferences, they do not respect the subject’s age identity preferences. One reason (...) for this might be that some people feel the term “adult baby syndrome” sounds a bit silly and therefore that the wishes of someone having this syndrome are not worthy of being taken seriously, not as seriously, at least, as someone who shows the more scientifically respectable genderidentity disorder. A solution here might be to replace the term “adult baby syndrome” with the term “age identity disorder”, perhaps involving “age dysphoria”. This would also be more accurate because not all of those who are discussed under the heading of “adult baby syndrome” wish to be identified as babies, but rather as toddlers or older children. The problem then is that numerous people prefer to identify with being a different age. Such people do not believe they are older or younger than they really are, but neither do those with adult baby syndrome. (shrink)
Dong Zhongshu (Tung Chung-shu) (179-104 B.C.E.) was the first prominent Confucian to integrate yin-yang theory into Confucianism. His constructive effort not only generates a new perspective on yin and yang, it also involves implications beyond its explicit contents. First, Dong changes the natural harmony (he ﾈﾱ) of yin and yang to an imposed unity (he 合). Second, he identifies yang with human nature (xing) and benevolence (ren), and yin with emotion (qing) and greed (tan). Taken together, these novelties grant a (...) philosophical basis for the theory and practice of gender inequality in their specifically Chinese manifestations. An analysis of Dong's work shows that the merce complementarity of yin and yang does not guarantee gender equality; they are not fixed categories, but together form a transformative dynamic harmony. (shrink)
This paper discusses the “blended identity” of online rock fans to show that the standard dichotomy between anonymous and real life personas is an inadequate description of self-presentation in online communities. Using data from an ethnographic, exploratory study of an online community and comparison groups including interviews, an online questionnaire, fan discussion boards, and participant/observation, the research analyzes fan identity online and then offline. Rolling Stones fans often adopt names that illustrate their allegiance to the band, along with (...) avatars. Issues of gender and the technological change of software platform also affect types of online self-presentations and their construction. Fans engage in “role embracement”, merging their individual selves with the role of Stones fans, demonstrated by reactions of friends and family. Connections between offline and online settings occur, with band affiliation of fans expressed through choice of apparel offline, and usernames from online filtering into the offline interactions among fans. (shrink)
The current view that behaviour which is manifest in non-human primates forms a baseline for human behaviours is examined with special reference to the development of gender determination. A review of 21 non-human primate societies suggests that the behaviour of the sexes relates to assumption and occupation of societal roles defined by the local group. The significance of these findings for the human condition is discussed.
This paper focuses on the issue of identity, primarily (though not exclusively) in relation to Africana women. The author argues that female identity in Africa today has been both negated and fractured, and that this fracture comes about through the “globalization of woman” and the universalization of both the experienceof women and of female “identity.” She goes on to argue that the ghost of universalism continues to hover over our conceptions of woman, especially the Other woman (that (...) is, the non-white, non-heterosexual, non-middle class woman), despite the postmodern call for the acceptance of difference. According to the author, African female identity has been negated and fractured not only through various cultural practices, but also through colonialism, neo-colonialism, and imperialism. (shrink)
The Kohlberg Gilligan Controversy has received intermittent but inconclusive attention for many years, perhaps reflecting the difficulty of bridging the two positions. This article explores the published evidence for Gilligan’s claims of gender difference, genderidentity difference, and role of caring in people’s ethics. It seems that the evidence for pronounced gender differences in ethical attitudes within business is weak, even if genderidentity is used instead of physical gender. The main propositions of (...) Care Theory and recent advances in its thinking are discussed. Special focus emerges on the notion of Attachment which seems to be the Care Theory ingredient both most able to survive critical scrutiny and most promising for bridging the divide between the Kohlberg and Gilligan paradigms. The Social Bonding Model and other possible bridge building conceptual structures are introduced. Finally, Max Weber’s division between ethics of conviction and ethics of responsibility provides an overarching perspective both of the gap still to be bridged and the need to keep trying to bridge it. (shrink)
In the postmodern era the impact media have on our lives is continuously growing. Not only do media reflect reality, but they also shape and reconstruct it according to the public's hopes, fears or fantasies. Reality itself is not the sum of all objective processes and things, but it is socially constructed by the discourses that reflect and produce power. On the other hand, the public does not simply accept or reject the media messages, but interprets them according to its (...) social background (Zoonen, 1994, p. 41). My interest lies in identifying how are women represented in the media and what are the dominant images of femininity, as well as the alternative ones. There is a strong connection between image and identity as the latter can not be constructed without the former. Basically, the postmodern subject has been reduced to an image, therefore the image plays an important part in constructing the feminine identity. (shrink)
In the past few years, the introduction and rapid acceptance of puberty suppression has transformed the clinical treatment of children diagnosed with GenderIdentity Disorder. This essay analyzes the narratives used by some advocates of this treatment, particularly the elements of saving children from the looming disaster of puberty and from future abject lives of violence and suicide as transgender adults. It briefly addresses the potential implications of this account for the well being of the children brought under (...) clinical purview. (shrink)
"Fortune is a woman, and if you want to keep her under, you've got to knock her around some."--Niccolò Machiavelli Hanna Pitkin's provocative and enduring study of Machiavelli was the first to systematically place gender at the center of its exploration of his political thought. In this edition, Pitkin adds a new afterword, in which she discusses the book's critical reception and situates the book's arguments in the context of recent interpretations of Machiavelli's thought. "A close and often brilliant (...) exegesis of Machiavelli's writings."-- The American Political Science Review. (shrink)
This article critiques recent UK transgender law reform. The Gender Recognition Act 2004 is to be welcomed in many respects. Formerly one of the European states most resistant to social change in this area, the UK now occupies pole position among progressive states willing to legally recognise the sex claims of transgender people. This is because the UK is, at least ostensibly, the first state to recognise sex claims irrespective of whether applicants have undertaken any surgical procedures or had (...) hormonal treatments. The article highlights the significance of this development through providing an overview of the trajectory of common law reform around the world. The legislation clearly benefits transgender people unable to undertake surgery due to financial reasons and/or medical contra-indications. It also benefits transgender people whose search for harmony does not require surgical intervention. However, the Act also perpetuates a mental illness model for understanding transgender desires; contributes to the break-up of legally recognised marriages; insists on the permanence of gender crossings and assumes that surgery will occur. The Act also contains exceptions to the generality of legal recognition provided by the state. In this respect the article considers concessions to religious and sporting lobbies. Finally, the article highlights how non-disclosure of gender history prior to a marriage assumes a kind of legal significance under the Act which non-disclosure of other facts generally lacks in relation to marriage. In this regard, the article will contend that a biological understanding of sex operates as a subtext within the Act. (shrink)
A welcome addition to the Routledge Critical Thinkers series, Judith Butler is the first guidebook on this renowned feminist and queer theory scholar, which will help not only students of literary criticism but also students of law, sociology, philosophy, film and cultural studies. Examining Butler's work through a variety of contexts, including the formation of gender performativity, identity and subjecthood, Sarah Salih address Butler's crucial ideas on the gender agenda, the body, pornography, race, gay self-expression and power (...) and psychoanalysis. Concluding with an annotated bibliography, this book will be the ideal starting point for all new to Butler. (shrink)
Sara Mills offers a trenchant analysis of the complexities of social relations--including notions of class, nationality and gender--and spatial relations, landscape, topography and travel, in post-colonial contexts.
Contemporary feminist theory is at an impasse: the project of reformulating concepts of self and social identity is thwarted by an association between identity and oppression and victimhood. In Sacrificial Logics, Allison Weir proposes a way out of this impasse through a concept of identity which depends on accepting difference. Weir argues that the equation of identity with repression and domination links "relational" feminists like Nancy Chodorow, who equate self-identity with the repression of connection to (...) others, and poststructuralist feminists like Judith Butler, who view any identity as a repression of nonidentity and difference. Through readings of Chodorow, Butler, Jessica Benjamin, Luce Irigaray, Jacqueline Rose and Julia Kristeva, Weir analyzes the relation of theories of self-identity to theories of women's identity, social identity, the identity of meaning in language and feminist solidarity. Drawing particularly on the work of Julia Kristeva, she argues for a reformulation of self-identity as a capacity to participate in a social world, and sketches a model of a self-identity which depends on a capacity to accept nonidentity, difference and connections to others. (shrink)
This book offers a clear introductory overview of the concept of gender. It places gender in its historical contexts and traces its development from the Enlightenment to the present, before moving on to the evolution of the concept of gender from within the various stances of feminist criticism, and recent developments in queer theory and post-feminism. Close analysis of key literary texts, including Frankenstein , Paradise Lost and A Midsummer Night's Dream , shows how specific styles of (...) literature enable reflection on gender. (shrink)
The theory and practise of care is defined and enacted differently in different national as well as cultural contexts, illuminating how differently constructed the personal and societal structures in Europe are. A common trait is however that care work paid or non-paid, private or public is identified with women. To navigate in the landscape of care and ethics requires taking into account the constitutive relation between one’s identity, embodiment and position. The author suggests conceiving care as an existential condition (...) of life demanded from all human beings. This will free care from the identification with women and pave a way towards a more gender equal and just society with less gender segregation in the labour market and at the arena of education. (shrink)
Building on the work of anthropologists, historians, sociologists, literary critics, and feminist philosophers of science, the essays in Women Out of Place: the Gender of Agency and Race of Nationality investigate the linkages between agency and race for what they reveal about constructions of masculinity and femininity and patterns of domesticity among groups seeking to resist varied forms of political and economic domination through a subnational ideology of racial and cultural redemption. Does agency have a gender? Does nationality (...) have a race? Does the race of nationality predetermine the gender of agency? This volume asks these questions of a variety of nationalist ideologies, some at the same point in history, others as precursors of or predecessors to an initial nationalist formation. Contributors are: Richard G. Fox, Eva Haseby-Darvas, Paulette Pierce, Deborah Rubin, Louisa Schein, Carol A. Smith, Jacqueline True. (shrink)
: The regulation of Native identity has been central to the colonization process in both Canada and the United States. Systems of classification and control enable settler governments to define who is "Indian," and control access to Native land. These regulatory systems have forcibly supplanted traditional Indigenous ways of identifying the self in relation to land and community, functioning discursively to naturalize colonial worldviews. Decolonization, then, must involve deconstructing and reshaping how we understand Indigenous identity.
Although gay and lesbian theory may posit homosexuality as an oppositional challenge to heteronormativity, the author argues that homosexuality and heterosexuality share a common structure of desire that is based upon choosing the gender of one’s partner from only one gender in a binary gender framework. For this reason, the author introduces the term ‘monosexual’ to designate any sexual orientation, whether homosexual or heterosexual, which makes a single gender category into an exclusive criterion for selecting partners. (...) As an alternative to these “oppositional” logics, the author argues that bisexuality may be distinguished through its focus on desire regardless of the gender category of one’s partner. This alternative raises questions about logical theories that posit conceptual oppositions as necessary to intelligibility. (shrink)
Contemporary feminist debates over the meanings of gender lead time and again to a certain sense of trouble, as if the indeterminacy of gender might eventually culminate in the failure of feminism. Perhaps trouble need not carry such a ...
In March 2004 the French parliament controversially adopted legislation regulating the wearing of symbols indicating religious affiliation in public educational establishments. This note discusses several features of the new law indicating its origins, its rationale and its position within French constitutional discourse on religious freedom and secularity. It is based on a panel discussion held in April 2004 within the Gender Studies Programme at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence. Placing the French legislative initiative (...) in the context of recent developments in national and European case law (suggesting clear limitations to freedom of religion), the note explores the complexity of issues of gender, identity and difference in the present debate, especially when considered in the light of reactions to the law in Islamic countries. (shrink)