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


Now updated with groundbreaking research, this award-winning classic examines the construction of sexual identity in biology, society, and history.

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What Our Bookseller Says:

One of the few books I read in my college biology class AND my gender in sexuality in literature class. If you read nothing else of Fausto-Sterling’s work, you should check out “The Five Sexes.” Though we shouldn’t have to argue for a biological basis for gender (another way to think of gender is that it’s a facet of your personality/culture), it turns out your biological sex isn’t binary either! Intersex people exist! And they’re 100% natural and healthy—meaning “correctional” surgery at birth is actually pretty intrusive. Sexual determination (how the body does its thing down there in utero) is more like pinball or tarot or DnD Dice than flipping a coin. But Dr. Fausto-Sterling does a wayyyyyy better job of explaining. She’s foremost a scientist, but she writes with the clarity of a novelist. All the quick lines of a think-piece, but with the thoroughness, emotion, research, and nuance of a full career in science.


What the Publisher Says:

Why do some people prefer heterosexual love while others fancy the same sex? Is sexual identity biologically determined or a product of convention? In this brilliant and provocative book, the acclaimed author of Myths of Gender argues that even the most fundamental knowledge about sex is shaped by the culture in which scientific knowledge is produced.
Drawing on astonishing real-life cases and a probing analysis of centuries of scientific research, Fausto-Sterling demonstrates how scientists have historically politicized the body. In lively and impassioned prose, she breaks down three key dualisms—sex/gender, nature/nurture, and real/constructed—and asserts that individuals born as mixtures of male and female exist as one of five natural human variants and, as such, should not be forced to compromise their differences to fit a flawed societal definition of normality.
Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality by Anne Fausto-Sterling
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