Gender and Sexuality for Beginners
We should not need to prove our experiences, defend our realities, or negotiate basic human rights. But we do.
What does sexual orientation mean if the very categories of gender are in question? How do we measure equality when our society’s definitions of “male” and “female” leave out much of the population?
There is no consensus on what a “real” man or woman is, where one’s sex begins and ends, or what purpose the categories of masculine and feminine traits serve. While significant strides have been made in recent years on behalf of women’s, gay and lesbian rights, there is still a large division between the law and day-to-day reality for LGBTQIA and female-identified individuals in American society.
Gender and Sexuality For Beginners considers the uses and limitations of biology in defining gender. Questioning gender and sex as both categories and forms of compulsory identification, it critically examines the issues in the historical and contemporary construction, meaning and perpetuation of gender roles. Garbacik interweaves neurobiology, psychology, feminist, queer and trans theory, as well as historical gay and lesbian activism. These fresh perspectives ultimately point to two major topics. The clear inadequacy of gender categories, as well as the ways the sex-gender system oppresses us all.
Gender and Sexuality For Beginners examines the evolution of gender roles and definitions of sexual orientation in American society. Additionally, it illuminates how neither is as objective or “natural” as we are often led to believe.
Review from Dr. Belisa Vranich, Clinical Psychologist, Author, and Media Personality
“A challenging and engaging page turner, this book could change the way Americans perceive gender, orientation, and the practices that privilege heteronormativity. With precision and lucidity, Garbacik manages an impressive feat: she presents readers with an accessible history of the evolvement of our society’s basic tenets surrounding gender and sexuality. What’s more, she turns many widely held assumptions directly on their head, leaving us the disquieting sense that, when it comes to understanding the differences between men and women, we may have been misled.”