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Sex, Gender, Sexuality

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Mun Hou Lo

on 3 February 2014

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Transcript of Sex, Gender, Sexuality

Sex
Gender
Sexuality
Are gender and sexuality related?
Should
they be related?
What are the effects of
conflating
or
collapsing
them? And what are the effects of
separating
them?
Some Terms -- As We Know Them Today
"homosexual"
"transgender"
"transsexual"
"transvestite"
Disentangling "Gender" from "Sexuality"
The Life and Work of Virginia Charles Prince (1912-2009)
Transvestia
magazine (1960-1980):
“dedicated to the needs of those heterosexual persons who have become aware of their ‘other side’ and seek to express it”
“For those of you who do not know me, I am a male. I was born one and I will die one. I am not a homosexual. I am not a transsexual, but I have lived the last five years as a woman. There is not one thing any doctor or any surgeon…could possibly do to improve my gender. Any kind of carving you might do on me might change my sex, but it would not change my gender, because my gender, my self-identity is between my ears, not between my legs” (“Sex vs. Gender” [1973] 30)
“I, at least, know the difference between sex and gender and have simply elected to change the latter and not the former” (“Men Who Choose To Be Women” 1969)
The Invention of
"Transgender"
“There are three classes of such ‘trans’ people, generally called ‘transvestites, transgenderists and transsexuals.’” (“The Transcendents” [1978] 42)
“The word transvestite says what he DOES, not what he IS.” (42)
“The second class is a group of which I am a member and about which most of you haven’t heard, namely that of the transgenderists. These are people who have adopted the exterior manifestations of the opposite sex on a full-time basis but without any surgical intervention….To digest this term you will have to really understand the difference between sex and gender, i.e., between female and woman.” (43)
“Finally there is the third class of ‘trans’ people—the so-called transsexuals. These are persons who wish to not only change their gender, that is their lifestyle, but to have a surgical alteration of sex at least to the extent that modern medicine can approximate it. Such people are transcending two barriers at the same time, that of sex as well as that of gender, and for some of them the third one of sex object choice, too.” (44)
“Transgenderal”
First used in “Change of Sex or Gender,”
Transvestia
10.60 (1969): 53-65.

“Transgenderist”
First used in “Men Who Choose to Be Women,”
Sexology
(1969): 441-444.
And also in “The ‘Transcendents’ or ‘Trans’ People,”
Transvestia
16.95 (1978): 81-92.

“Transgender”
Never per se used by Prince, but since adopted as a more encompassing umbrella term.
"Transvestite"
c. 1910: Magnus Hirschfield (“transvestism”)
"Transsexual"
c. 1923: Magnus Hirschfield (“seelischer Transsexualismus”)
c. 1949: David O. Cauldwell? (“transexual”)
"Sexuality"
(cf. "sexual preference," "sexual orientation," "sexual object choice")
"Homosexuality"
"Heterosexuality"
1869: Karl-Maria Kertbeny (see Hekma 222)
1892: C. G. Chaddock
19th Century "Homosexuality" As...
Gender inversion? Sexual inversion?
The story Gert Hekma tells is one in which “homosexuality” moves
from
being conceptualized as “gender inversion”
to
“sexual inversion.”
Conflating "Gender" and "Sexuality"
Homosexuality as Gender Inversion
Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (1825-1895)
German lawyer
1864-5:
Riddles of Man-Manly Love
(series of five pamphlets)

"urning" (German), "Uranian (English), "the third sex"

"anima muliebris in corpore virili inclusa"
["a female psyche/soul trapped/enclosed in a male body"]
Hekma on Ulrich's theory of homosexuality as gender inversion:

"Only the soul, not the body, belonged to the other sex" (220)

"A non-threatening representation of homosexuals for heterosexuals" (234)

"Because sexual desire was then defined as attraction between opposites," Uranians as attracted to Dionians (221)

"Homosexuals won in respectability what they lost in masculinity" (235)

"Helped to restrain the expression of homosexual identities and behaviours," "a mimicry of male-female relations" (236)
Ulrichs's Followers:

Karl Friedrich Otto Westphal

Richard von Krafft-Ebing
Psychopathia Sexualis
(1886): "homosexual preference and
gender inversion were completely intertwined" (Hekma 226)

Magnus Hirschfield

Annual for Sexual Intermediaries
(1899-1923)
Ulrich's Detractors:

Elisar von Kupffer:
Against the idea of homosexuality as effeminate (Hekma 227)

John Addington Symonds, Edward Carpenter, Walt Whitman:
Homosexuality on a
continuum
with (straight) male friendship,
male bonding (Hekma 228)
The Shift to Homosexuality as
Sexual
Inversion

“Homosexuals started to give up their feminine styles and to develop an interest in their own…The new model of gay life and sex was that of friendship and marriage….The masculinization of homosexual styles since the 1950s….Gay men began to develop a ‘macho’ style of sex and gender, and although many outsiders doubted the masculine qualities of the style, it caused a revolution in models of gay desire. The idea that sexual attraction existed only between opposites began to disappear as ‘macho’ men and ‘clones’ had sex with each other, disregarding the older model of queen and trade that governed the homosexual world until the 1950s.” (Hekma 238)
What were the
stakes
of this shift?

Stake #1: Effeminate Men and Boys

“The masculinization of homosexual styles since the 1950s…On the other hand, the effeminate homosexuals or queens did not disappear but became a minority in the gay world.” (Hekma 238)

1973: The dropping of “homosexuality” from DSM-III…1980: …and the addition of “Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood” to DSM-III.

“Part of the same conceptual shift” (Sedgwick 157)

“leave the effeminate boy once more in the position of the haunting abject” (Sedgwick 157)

“One serious problem with this way of distinguishing between gender and sexuality is that, while denaturalizing sexual object-choice, it radically renaturalizes gender” (Sedgwick 159)

Stake #2: Gay Men, Masculinity, and Women

What is the relationship between gay men and women;
between the gay movement and feminism;
between homophobia and misogyny?

Homosexuality as a
kind

of femininity
;
Or homosexuality as the
highest form of masculinity
?
(E.g., Whitman and friends [Hekma 229], Benedict Friedlander [Hekma 228], Greeks, fascism and homosexuality)
Full transcript