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Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 491–494 | Cite as

A Matter of Perspective: A Transsexual Woman-Centric Critique of Dreger’s “Scholarly History” of the Bailey Controversy

  • Julia Serano
PEER COMMENTARY

As someone who is both an academic scientist and a transsexual woman and activist, I would very much welcome a proper historical analysis of the controversy over Bailey’s book The Man Who Would Be Queen: one that fully explores the many ethical issues raised by both the book and the backlash that ensued, one that thoughtfully articulates the perspectives of both researchers/gatekeepers and their transsexual subjects/clients while taking into consideration the institutionalized power that the former group holds over the latter. On paper, Dreger seems well suited for the task given her experience as a science historian, ethicist, and an advocate for sexual minorities in her past work with the Intersex Society of North America. Unfortunately, while Dreger describes her article as a “scholarly history,” it fails in this regard for numerous reasons, several of which I will address here.

The first rule of thumb when conducting a historical analysis—particularly one involving any backlash or...

Keywords

Gender Identity Personal Attack Transsexualism Trans Activist Trans People 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Bailey, J. M. (2003). The man who would be queen: The science of gender-bending and transsexualism. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press.Google Scholar
  2. Barnes, K. (2001, Spring). Some observations on autogynephilia. Transgender Tapestry, 1(93), 24–25, 62.Google Scholar
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  5. Dreger, A. D. (2006, June 7). The blog I write in fear. Retrieved November 3, 2007, from http://www.alicedreger.com/in_fear.html.
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  8. Roughgarden, J. (2004, February 11). The Bailey affair: Psychology perverted. Retrieved November 3, 2007, from http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Reviews/Psychology%20Perverted%20-%20by%20Joan%20Roughgarden.htm.
  9. Serano, J. (2007). Whipping girl: A transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press.Google Scholar
  10. Wyndzen, M. H. (2004). Everything you never wanted to know about autogynephilia (but were afraid you had to ask). Retrieved November 3, 2007, from http://www.genderpsychology.org/autogynephilia.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular and Cell BiologyUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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