Challenging Popular Myths of Sex, Gender and Biology

Om kapittelet:

Norwegian legislators have recently altered the legal regulations for the parental leave. Parents are now given the chance to split the existing one year of leave fifty-fifty. A newly proposed bill even seeks to make paternity leave mandatory. Several Norwegian medical and psychological experts have opposed this newly introduced legislation. Their argument is that ‘Research shows that…’ young children may show symptoms of stress reactions and in the worst case suffer from mental health disorders later in life when the primary caregiver changes during the child’s first year of life. Many of the experts implicitly seem to defend a normative idea of static ‘natural preferences’ between men and women, as a basis for a conservative political outlook, that neglects that deducing from scientific knowledge to political decision-making rarely is straightforward. The experts in question rarely seem to recognise that questions of maternity and paternity leave, also concerns opposing values and political priorities, for instance equal rights between the sexes.

Forlagets omtale:

About the book:

Gives insights into the complexity and variety of notions of sex, gender and biology

Enables an understanding of biology that goes beyond popular conceptions of sex differences
Presents international research on current topics of debate, written in an accessible form

This edited volume challenges popular notions of sex, gender and biology and features international, trans-disciplinary research. The book begins with an exploration of supposedly ‘natural’ sexual differences, then looks at research in evolutionary biology and examines topics such as gender stereotypes in humans.

The first chapters explore important questions: What are the fundamental sex differences? How do genes and hormones influence an individual’s sex? Subsequent chapters concern topics including: sex stereotypes in the field of sexual conflict, how the focus on genes in evolutionary biology disregards other means of inheritance, and the development of Darwin's theory of sex differences.

The last three chapters look at humans, discussing: an interdisciplinary approach to the evolution of sex differences in body height, biological versus social constructive perspectives on the gendering of voices and nature-culture arguments in the current political debate on paternity leave in Norway.


Published Feb. 4, 2014 8:00 AM