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FE/MALE asymmetries of gender and sexuality
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis elicits logic of gender and sexuality from modern written material on psychiatric assessment of transsexualism in Sweden. Asymmetries of gender and sexuality with regard to females vs. males are analysed. In two empirical parts, depictions of female-to-male (FTM) compared to male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals are schematically investigated.

In analysing the various aspects involved in gender passing vs. gender crossing, a cross-marking between the realms of gender and body is proposed, suggesting asymmetrical accesses to cross-gender representations for females vs. males, as well as analysing the different strategies necessary for gender passing regarding FTMs and MTFs. Furthermore, this thesis focuses on the sex/gender distinction being empirically conceptualised within the context of psychiatric assessment of transsexualism. It is argued that the subtle but salient asymmetry in the empirical application of the sex/gender distinction is schematically in line with results from earlier psychometric femininity-masculinity tests, in that only passivity-as-femininity in the male invert proved a measurable entity, while the masculinity of the female invert/FTM proved non-measurable.

In addition, primary transsexualism’s historical affinity with category of sexual inversion is focused on. The importance of the concepts of activity and passivity in ascribing and granting meaning to (cross-)gender masculinity and femininity in this paradigm is focused on and extended into an analysis of contemporary applications of these concepts. Additional psychiatric taxonomical work is also analysed, such as the separating of gender from sexuality through differential diagnosis, producing the categories of transvestic fetishism and effeminate homosexuality for males. This taxonomic separation does however not seemingly involve the FTM transsexual.

Finally, it is suggested that the fe/male asymmetries regarding body, gender and sexuality mapped in this material can be further contextualised through an overlay of the gender and sexuality logic employed in the one-sex and two-sex models, as laid out by historians.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. , 192 p.
Keyword [en]
Sociology, transsexualism, gender, sexuality, masculinity, femininity, asymmetries, gender order
Keyword [sv]
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7740ISBN: 978-91-506-1924-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-7740DiVA: diva2:169866
Public defence
2007-04-13, IV, Universitetshuset, Uppsala universitet, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2007-03-23 Created: 2007-03-23 Last updated: 2009-02-19Bibliographically approved

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