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Essay History Humanities Natural Sciences Nonfiction Other Social Sciences Theory

Trans as Bodily Becoming: Rethinking the Biological as Diversity, Not Dichotomy

By Riki Lane, 2009

Feminist and trans theory challenges “the” binary sex/gender system, but can create a new binary opposition of subversive transgender versus conservative transsexual. This paper aims to shift debate concerning bodies as authentic/real versus constructed/mutable, arguing that such debate establishes a false dichotomy that may be overcome by reappraising scientific understandings of sex/gender. Much recent biology and neurology stresses nonlinearity, contingency, self-organization, and open-endedness. Engaging with this research offers ways around apparently interminable theoretical impasses.

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