BOOK COVER Return to Bookshop

Sexing the Body:

Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality

by Anne Fausto-Sterling

A book about sex and gender by someone who knows what she is writing about. Although publication has been set back, and set back again, we put our order in last May.
We have now received a copy and hope to give our own review shortly.
Certainly the publisher's announcement, presumably not written by the author, betrays the usual layperson's confusion between gender identity and sexual orientation.

The original title was Sex Which Prevails: Biology and the Social Construction of Sexuality and you might find some bookshops have it listed as such.

This path-breaking study of gender and sexuality is the first to go beyond the nature/nurture debate to offer an alternate framework for considering questions of sex and sexuality. 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.

Published by Basic Books, Nov 1999
ISBN 0 465 07713 7
GO TO TOP Copyright GENDYS Network and Basic Books. Page design Jed Bland. Last amended 19.02.00