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Debating Sex and Gender in Eighteenth-Century Spain


  • Date Published: October 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107159556

£ 78.99

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About the Authors
  • Eighteenth-century debates continue to set the terms of modern day discussions on how 'nature and nurture' shape sex and gender. Current dialogues - from the tension between 'real' and 'ideal' bodies, to how nature and society shape sexual difference - date back to the early modern period. Debating Sex and Gender is an innovative study of the creation of a two-sex model of human sexuality based on different genitalia within Spain, reflecting the enlightened quest to promote social reproduction and stability. Drawing on primary sources such as medical treatises and legal literature, Vicente traces the lives of individuals whose ambiguous sex and gender made them examples for physicians, legislators and educators for how nature, family upbringing, education, and the social environment shaped an individual's sex. This book brings together insights from the histories of sexuality, medicine and the law to shed new light on this timely and important field of study.

    • Proposes that modern notions of sex and gender arose in the eighteenth century
    • Demonstrates how eighteenth-century notions of sex and gender have shaped current feminist debates
    • Offers important new contributions to the current discussion about transgender issues and debates over biological basis for sexual difference
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… there is plenty of material for individuals interested in the history of science and medicine, the Spanish Enlightenment, and gender studies, all presented in lucid, jargon-free prose, to make this volume a welcome addition to anyone's library.' Sara T. Nalle, The Journal of Modern History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107159556
    • length: 228 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Preface and acknowledgements
    1. The anatomy of sex
    2. Medical theory versus practice: the case of Sebastián/María Leirado
    3. Nature, nurture and early modern sexuality
    4. The body of law: legislating sex in eighteenth-century Spain
    5. Sex and gender: reconsidering the legacy of the enlightenment

  • Author

    Marta V. Vicente, University of Kansas
    Marta V. Vicente is Associate Professor at the Departments of History and Women and Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas. She has published widely on the history of gender and sexuality and is author of Clothing the Spanish Empire: Families and the Calico Trade in the Early Modern Atlantic (2006).

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