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Lecture 2

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PHIL 2170
Letitia Meynell

'West' defined by Greenwich Observatory. - We are on the west of this. Take home message: The science of sexual difference isn't simply a case of describing nature in a neutral way. Normative claims; address what should (or shouldn't) be the case. (e.g. killing is wrong) Descriptive claims; what this case actually is. (e.g. turners syndrome is uncommon) - vs. turners syndrome is abnormal (does this mean it is a bad thing or that it is uncommon, is this a descriptive claim or normative claim.) It isn't always clear which claim is being used. What has sexes? Any organism that IS NOT asexual. - Insects - Plants - Animals - Humans - Etc. Differences between sexes biologically. What is sex for? - Reproduction - Varied population - Integrated also - Required at least 2 sexes - Though most sex organisms are both or neither or a third sex, depending how you think about it, and that’s not including intersexed conditions How do they differentiate between the sexes? Sizes of gametes. Male (sperm) is the smaller one. Sex/gender Distinction 1970s- some diff between men and women are social (gender-social behaviors- masculine/feminine) while others are biological (sex-anatomical and physiological features- male/female) 1990s- social behaviors become inscribed on the body - So you can't easily separate sex and genders People often ignore sex/gender distinction Fausto-sterling shows that sex/gender & sexual orientation are conceptually tied together in our society. - but they don't have to be or at least not so tightly - She's talking about the contemporary 'west' & its history - a global history would be far more complex Transgender/transsexual - Folks who transition from being socially and anatomically (sometimes only socially) men/male to women/female or vice versa. - Contrast with cisgender/cissexual - Anti-trans folks are cissexist Intersexed - Folks who are born anatomically & physiologically with
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