June 19, 2012, 3:44 pm
Ah, the Olympics. A seemingly simple pleasure that comes along every four years, when we watch the best athletes in the world compete. But as with all simple pleasures, this one turns out to be a bit of a hairball, since it is based on the most simplistic binary of all—male and female—a binary that has a tendency to implode on itself. The 2012 Olympics present a case in point.
Faced with the conundrum of sex in elite female athletes, the International Olympic Committee decided it would test for levels of testosterone, and if it is “too high,” it would disqualify the athletes from competing. Simple. Except no one knows what “normal” levels of testosterone in elite athletes might be or even whether there is any relationship between high levels of testosterone and superior athletic performance.
According to Katrina Karkazis and Rebecca Jordan-Young, medical anthropologists at…
May 2, 2012, 11:31 am
(Image from Flickr/CC user jonny_goldstein)
Watch a gender reveal party here!
We live in incredibly uninteresting times when it comes to the meaning of sex and gender. Unlike the years of second-wave feminism’s ascendency, today most Americans accept that babies are born male or female and will grow up to be masculine or feminine as a result. Forget “free to be”; embrace sex as destiny.
Whether it’s our favorite gender theorist Larry Summers explaining that there are so few senior professors in the sciences because of differences in “intrinsic aptitude” or the many pop-neuroscience books that tell us women are hardwired to shop and men to be aggressive, we have a culture where it is now “commonsense” to believe that socialization is far less important than what is between your legs.
April 14, 2011, 7:55 pm
Is there anything more dangerous than a boy not knowing he’s a boy? After all, a boy who doesn’t know he’s a boy might grow up to be gay or even a girl and what could be worse than that? Why it’s unheard of, ungodly, and downright un-American. At least that’s what all those experts on healthy gender development over at Fox news are telling us now that they’ve seen Satan in a J. Crew ad.
The ad features J. Crew President and Creative Director Jenna Lyons painting her son’s toenails hot pink. It features the line “Lucky for me I ended up with a son whose favorite color is pink.”
Fox News trotted out not just their usual outrage, but the weight of psychiatric experts as well. Keith Ablow, who blogs at Fox News, appeared wearing a pink tie (note: pink tie yes; polish no) to announce that painting a boy’s toenails pink will result in gender anarchy. At his blog Ablow lays out his…