#2 More than Skin Deep and #11 social structural origins.docx

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Women and Gender Studies
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WGS160Y1
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1. #2 More than Skin Deep- Schiebinger- in this article Schiebinger outlines the path of comparative anatomy and outlines its flaws. In the eighteenth century there was a revolution in the scientific views of sexuality. Anatomists were no longer satisfied with the theory of humors, so a new vision for the origins and character of sexual differences, the relation of sex and gender and the presence of sexuality in the body was articulated. The anatomists called for a finer delineation of sexual difference and sex was no longer seen as residing exclusively in the sex organs. One german anatomist named Jakob Ackermann called for anatomists to discover ?the essential sexual difference? from which all others flow. Sex was no longer limited to reproductive organs and therefore sex was seen to permeate the entirety of the human body. While men and women were seen as perfect in their difference there was a still a hierarchy where men were placed on top. In the 1734 Bernard Albinus created an anatomical model of the female skeleton, whereas before this only male skeletons had been created. Alexander Monro described the female skeleton as incomplete and deviant. There were however discrepancies in whether these anatomical creations were accurate. Albinus worked his hardest to create the most perfect models (homo perfecta and femina perfecta) and, in doing so, representation of the human body was laden in cultural values. The models reproduced contemporary ideals of masculinity and femininity. In Albinus? work there was no objectivity. Men?s skeletons were likened to horses and female skeletons to birds. Man was the measure of all things, women were never thought to attain the full maturity exemplified by the European male. In the 19th century, anatomists claimed that women?s development had been arrested at a lower stage of evolution. In the 18th century, focus remained onskull and pelvis as indices of human development. In both instances women?s larger pelvis and larger skull were seen as an indicator of a less developed body. This also served as a segway for the comparison of women and children. Women?s smaller bones and larger skulls were likened to the same characteristics in child
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