Making Sex

Making Sex : Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud

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Turning Freud's famous dictum around, Thomas Laqueur posits that destiny is anatomy. Sex, in other words, is an artifice and "Making Sex" tells the story of sex in the west from the ancients to the moderns. The reader cannot fail to recognize the players in Laqueur's story - the human sexual organs and pleasures, food, blood, semen, egg, sperm - but the reader will be amazed at the plots into which they have been woven by scientists, political activists, literary figures, and theorists of every discipline. The book looks at how our predecessors, including physicians and scientists, thought about anatomy and analyzes our ideas on gender.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 162 x 230 x 24mm | 521.63g
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0674543556
  • 9780674543553
  • 250,865

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Review quote

[Making Sex is] a brilliant documentation of difference between the one-sex and two-sex models...presenting a simple theme with broad and cascading implications...I didn't need Laqueur to teach me that sex was interesting, but now I have a broader base for this greatest of certainties. -- Stephen Jay Gould New York Review of Books [Laqueur] gives us an excellent sense of how our predecessors, including physicians and scientists, thought about the anatomy that fascinates every schoolchild...No one can doubt, after reading this book, that our notions of masculinity or femininity have been imposed on what are supposed to be objective biological observations. -- Melvin Konner New York Times Book Review [In this] challenging analysis of our ideas on gender...Laqueur shows how radically our consciousness of ourselves, our bodies, our sex has changed over the centuries. The categories we think of as most basic turn out to be mutable...And in this transformation, Laqueur emphasises, social changes were as crucial as medical teachings. -- Roy Porter The Independent

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