Biology, Culture, and Gender the Conceptual Inadequacy Essay

Pages: 2 (559 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

Biology, Culture, And Gender

The Conceptual Inadequacy of the Binary Gender System:

In Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality (2000) Anne Fausto-Sterling explains that the binary concept of human sexuality is inadequate to account for the true range of variation of human gender. According to Fausto-Sterling, human social beliefs and culture have arbitrarily assigned all human beings to one or the other of only two opposite genders despite the fact that human gender orientation actually occurs along a much broader spectrum than can be accounted for by the two polar opposite gender assignments of "male" and "female" (p52).

Fausto-Sterling suggests that the existence of homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, and transgender phenomena are evidence that human sexual identity is much more complex than is capable of binary categorization (p53). Whereas traditional cultural views of gender and sexual identity regard gender as strictly a function of biological structure, the author explains that many other genetic variables and external influences actually make gender a product of nature and nurture elements that operate together as an "indivisible, dynamic system (p228).

Intersex Ambiguity and Cultural Biases Based on the Binary Gender Concept:

The author explains that as many as two percent of all human beings are born as intersexuals, including those born with mixed sets of genitals, and chromosomal abnormalities in which internal genetic makeup do not correspond to external appearance.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Biology, Culture, and Gender the Conceptual Inadequacy Assignment

Fausto-Sterling suggests that where an infant is born with any kind of ambiguous genital appearance, standard medical practice has been for the physician to assign a gender artificially and solely based on the physical appearance despite the fact that genital configuration is only one very narrow component of human gender.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Biology, Culture, and Gender the Conceptual Inadequacy.  (2009, June 20).  Retrieved July 27, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Biology, Culture, and Gender the Conceptual Inadequacy."  20 June 2009.  Web.  27 July 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Biology, Culture, and Gender the Conceptual Inadequacy."  June 20, 2009.  Accessed July 27, 2021.