Kadotettu sukupuoli

The lost gender

How to define an individual's sex? Traditionally, sex has been defined on the basis of certain physical signs, such as body parts or organs. With the progress of medical science, hormones and genes have appeared as explanatory factors. Yet there have always been individuals who cannot have been put into either sex in an unambiguous way. Money, Hampson and Hampson studied these so-called hermaphrodites in the United States in the 1950s and came to the conclusion that the strictly polarised division into two sexes was not based on biology, but culture. They also took into use the term 'gender role' to describe these other than biological signs of sex. The new concept of sexual identity made it possible to combine both physical and psychic manifestations of the sexes more accurately than biological sex. This, however, changed the metaphysics of the sexes: the sex was no longer an inescapable fact, but the product of everyday practices which could even be modified.

Login Form