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History and Cultural Diversity

  • Ben Vincent
  • Ana Manzano
Chapter
Part of the Critical and Applied Approaches in Sexuality, Gender and Identity book series (CAASGI)

Abstract

This chapter will discuss different ways gender has been understood historically, and across different cultures. Historical data is reviewed using the case study approach. Identity categories are analysed, illustrating how relatively recently gender was not commonly or instinctively binarised. Pre-dating contemporary language, variation in gender expression (sometimes related to sexuality) is explored through examples of English Mollies, Italian Femminielli, Roman eunuchs, and Albanian Sworn Virgins, who were all positioned as “other” from men and women, without necessarily being marginalised. The chapter will also explore the range of North American two-spirit people, the Buginese people of Indonesia who have a five-gender system, and other examples including the South American Machi and Indian Hijra.

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Further Reading

  1. Herdt, G. H. (1993). Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  2. Johnston, L. (2015). Gender and Sexuality I Genderqueer Geographies? Progress in Human Geography, 1–11.Google Scholar
  3. Kessler, S. J. & McKenna, W. (1978). Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach (Chap. 2). In Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Gender (pp. 21–42). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  4. Newman, L. K. (2002). Sex, Gender and Culture: Issues in the Definition, Assessment and Treatment of Gender Identity Disorder. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 7, 352–359.Google Scholar
  5. Ochoa, M. (2008). Perverse Citizenship: Divas, Marginality, and Participation in “Loca-Lization”. WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 36, 146–169.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben Vincent
    • 1
  • Ana Manzano
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsLeedsUK

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