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Lecture

Jan 17th HIS3541.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIS102Y1
Professor
Elizabeth Ferguson
Semester
Winter

Description
HIS354 January 17th 2014 GENDER, SEX AND BODIES Outline 1) Understanding physiology and anatomy in an early modern context 2) The question of gender roles and sexual activity 3) Sex and the body in the 18th century Definitions Sex: 'either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans are divide on the basis of their reproductive organs. biological Gender: 'the state of being male or female as expressed by social or cultural differences, rather than biological ones, the collective attributes or traits associated with a particular sex' Understanding Physiology ▪ characterized by a multitude of religious or cultural explanations surrounding illness and health ▪ physiology and medical world a large unregulated market ▪ production of mass volume of text, learning tools, writers eager to spread knowledge about it ▪ printing press had a huge influence with mass distribution of manuscripts at a cheaper price ▪ not to underestimate the mass amount of medical literature produced not only for medical professionals but for public masses as well ▪ 1486-1884: 392 editions of public works published - massive amounts of literature published and in demand, not just the intellectual world being exposed to this information ▪ Humoral Model: provided a common corporeal scheme to explain the function of all human bodies ▪ the idea existed until the coming of modern medicine in 1900's ▪ origins in roman and greek philosophy ▪ idea was that the body maintained 4 fluids (blood, yellow bile, black bile and melancholy) ▪ everything contained in a balance and equilibrium with each other ▪ implications for gender as well. the humoral model was used to explain gender ▪ gender divided along hot and cold lines (men were hot women were cold) ▪ women had more femininity if they were more "wet" and men had more masculinity if they were more "dry" ▪ the barriers around these different genders are not as distinct and clear as they are in a modern text ▪ Men: hotter and drier ▪ Women: Wetter and colder ▪ the delicate, difficult to read shadings or one sex, rather than opposite sexes ▪ Political/Cultural implications: metaphorical language used in politics and governance to demonstrate kingship, authority The One Sex Model (Galen of Pergamon, 2nd Century CE) • Suggests that male and female genitalia are the same, men's are outward and women's are inward • this model is based on a structural identity between men and female reproductive organs, which are essentially male • suggests women were essentially men but lacked the heat, therefore they contained this anatomy inside of their bodies • the male and female sexes linked by a common one • an expression of sexual hierarchy • failure to acknowledge the reproductive quality of female organs The Rejection of the One Sex Model ▪ tensions between Galen's model and anatomists ▪ John Banister, The History of Man (1578): 'The almighty creator made two men: the male to reach out the effectual beginning of generation, the female aptly to conceive the same and to nourish the infant' ▪ (generation meaning procreation) ▪ gender,sex and language: the absence of precise anatomical nomenclature for the female genitals, is the linguistic equivalent of the propensity to see the female body as a version of the male... ▪ limitations based on language Gabrele Fallopio's Observationes Anatomicae (1561) • started using different words to describe different b
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