Sex Itself: The Search For Male And Female In The Human Genome by Sarah S. RichardsonSex Itself: The Search For Male And Female In The Human Genome by Sarah S. Richardson

Sex Itself: The Search For Male And Female In The Human Genome

bySarah S. Richardson

Paperback | September 25, 2015

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Human genomes are 99.9 percent identical—with one prominent exception. Instead of a matching pair of X chromosomes, men carry a single X, coupled with a tiny chromosome called the Y. Tracking the emergence of a new and distinctive way of thinking about sex represented by the unalterable, simple, and visually compelling binary of the X and Y chromosomes, Sex Itself examines the interaction between cultural gender norms and genetic theories of sex from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present, postgenomic age.
Using methods from history, philosophy, and gender studies of science, Sarah S. Richardson uncovers how gender has helped to shape the research practices, questions asked, theories and models, and descriptive language used in sex chromosome research. From the earliest theories of chromosomal sex determination, to the mid-century hypothesis of the aggressive XYY supermale, to the debate about Y chromosome degeneration, to the recent claim that male and female genomes are more different than those of humans and chimpanzees, Richardson shows how cultural gender conceptions influence the genetic science of sex. 
Richardson shows how sexual science of the past continues to resonate, in ways both subtle and explicit, in contemporary research on the genetics of sex and gender. With the completion of the Human Genome Project, genes and chromosomes are moving to the center of the biology of sex. Sex Itself offers a compelling argument for the importance of ongoing critical dialogue on how cultural conceptions of gender operate within the science of sex.
Sarah S. Richardson is assistant professor of the history of science and of studies of women, gender, and sexuality at Harvard University. She is coeditor of Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age. She lives in Chester, CT.
Title:Sex Itself: The Search For Male And Female In The Human GenomeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:September 25, 2015Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022632561X

ISBN - 13:9780226325613

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Table of Contents

1. Sex Itself
2. The Odd Chromosomes
3. How the X and Y Became the Sex Chromosomes

4. A New Molecular Science of Sex

5. A Chromosome for Maleness
6. Sexing the X
7. The Search for the Sex-Determining Gene

8. Save the Males!
9. Are Men and Women as Different as Humans and Chimpanzees?

10.Gender and the Human Genome

Editorial Reviews

“An understanding of the biology of sex and its relation to the complexities of human gender adequate to the postgenomic era is an urgently needed but dauntingly difficult task. It requires tracing the history from which scientific ideas of sex and gender have developed, and the echoes of which shape our contemporary concepts; a grasp of the decisive feminist critique of the science of sex and gender over the last half century, but one that goes beyond the disclosure of bias to survey comprehensively the influence of ideas about gender on science; and a proper understanding of the revolutionary developments in genomic science that have occurred in the last twenty years. This book provides all of these things with skill, sensitivity, and elegance. It will provide a definitive starting point for future discussions of this vital set of issues.”