Intro Women and Gender Studies

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According to Gerwal & Kaplan (2005), “the two-gender system that seems so “natural” has not been so for all time or everywhere in the world (p.2).”

This paper will contend that the two-gender binary system has not always been definitive in history using examples of science and culture to illustrate that gender and sex were once seen from a monolithic perspective. The authors that will be referenced to support this statement will provide evidence from history on how the binary has been constructed to create stratification of the genders to essentially generate differences rather than similarities of the sexes. The gender binary system is the categorization of sex and gender. It has been created to clearly classify between male and female attributes within society. The binary also produces gender roles that we must identify with to perform, and act based on what is assumed by our sexual orientation. It is also regulated within society and if we break the binary, consequences will occur as a result of this break (Larken, Oct 2nd). The binary also does not only affect the stereotypical male and female agendas “Queers, transgendered people, intersexed people and anyone whose body or gender expression does not adhere to the male/female binary are subject to discipline in a society that believes in only two, opposite genders.” (Archer, Transgender Theory, 2012, p. 249). When examining the two-gender system as seeming “natural”, this is an indication of our understanding about “new” science, and in political terms, “biopower”, and how we differentiate gender more politically through biological determinism, which is based on the scientific perspective of what seems legitimate and what can be controlled within society, specifically by males, at this time, (Gerwal & Kaplan, Gender in a Transnational world, 2006, p.2). This ideology of modern legitimacy through science has shaped us to follow gender constructs based off of what we’ve been taught through



Bibliography: Kinsman, Gary, Sexual colonization of the Indigenous People, In The regulation of Desire, (1996), (pp. 92-97). London: Black Rose Books. June Larken, WGS 160 Lectures (September 25th – October 2nd) Mann, Susan Archer, Transgender theory, In Doing Feminist Theory: From Modernity to Postmodernity, (2012), (pp. 249-251), New York: Oxford Press. Oudshoorn, Nelly, Gender In A Transnational World: (“Sex and the Body”, Beyond the Natural Body: An Archaeology of Sex Hormones), (1994), (pp. 6-8) Grewal, Inderpal & Kaplan, Caren, Gender In A Transnational World, (2006), (pp.1-5) Martin, Emily, Gender In A Transnational World: (“The Egg and the sperm”), (2006/1996), (pp. 10- 15)

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