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Sex, Gender & Sexuality:

21st Century Transformations.

By Dr. Tracie O'Keefe, Edited by Katrina Fox

Review kindly provided by Alice Purnell

I quote "This book dispels much of the mysticism around physical sex, gender constructs and the diversity of sexuality. As well as considering gay, lesbian, transsexual and transgendered identities, it also looks at intersex groups such as hermaphrodites and people who identify as androgynous or as being without sex or gender."

In the frontispiece Tracie states "Sex and gender are fluid concepts - can science, knowledge and understanding be developed to suit our needs, or should we suit our needs according to our perceived limitations?"

Dr. O'Keefe is a clinical hypnotherapist, psychotherapist and counsellor who specialises in sex gender and sexual identities. She is also willing to accept and promote the idea of individual identity and freedom, and that we all have much to learn from each other. She has included the words and stories of some of her clients and others who have attempted to educate us in a world which is all too often hostile to difference.

This book recognises the diversity of individuals and allows them to tell their stories. It is a book which is clearly attempting to explain how prejudice and ignorance have placed those who are different as somehow marginal and as outsiders. It looks at some of the myths and prejudices, and at the development of a pan-identity model, stating that now is the time to "dissolve the male-dominated, straight-jacketed Adam and Eve model of sexuality through the religion of science, by recognising the profusion of human diversity".

Liberation comes through personal and public understanding. I find myself thinking of the work of Carl Rogers - the therapist allowing others to tell their own story and becoming a person; rather than their sole aim being to try to fit "the wrong trousers" to quote a well known cartoon character. All of us are somehow expected to be a stereotypical being by others and ourselves.

Dr. O'Keefe includes over a hundred pages of her papers and eighty in which, in "the stories", she shows she listens to her client's message. She urges clinicians to "listen to the gender community's message". She calls for pop science to be questioned, generalisations to be interrogated and doubted, and for the respect we each deserve and that others deserve, but far too rarely give or receive. This book is not filled with the pomposity of so many of the tomes provided to us by various authors. She provides a much needed voice for minorities.

Published by Extraordinary People Press
Distributed in Great Britain by Turnaround.
paperback, 350 pages,
ISBN 0 9529482 2 2
GO TO TOP Copyright GENDYS Network and of the author. Page design Jed Bland. Last amended 08.08.99