Gender, Videos

It’s A Fuzzy Line Between Male And Female (VIDEO)

June 18, 2015 by Justin Lehmiller

“We now know that sex is complicated enough that we have to admit nature doesn’t draw the line for us between male and female, or between male and intersex and female and intersex; we actually draw that line on nature. So what we have is a sort of situation where the farther our science goes, the more we have to admit to ourselves that these categories that we thought of as stable anatomical categories that mapped very simply to stable identity categories are a lot more fuzzy than we thought.” – Alice Dreger

For much of our history, our bodies have been used to separate us into categories that tell us who we are (e.g., male vs. female). However, the more that science has advanced, the more we have come to realize that the categories we created are not as clear cut as we once thought. In this TED talk (“Is Anatomy Destiny?”), Dr. Alice Dreger walks us through history and science to demonstrate that the line separating man from woman (not to mention the lines separating several other social categories) is actually pretty fuzzy.

This talk is a few years old, but it remains pretty timely given all of the discussions that have taken place in the media lately about the degree to which our anatomy defines us (e.g., in the case of transgender issues). Check it out and weigh in with your comments below.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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