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Prep Notes for Week 5


uploading web events
next week:  Act II--De/Meaning Sex and Gender
takes a more biological approach to sex and gender.  most of you have taken gen/sex courses in humanities/social sciences, but few in natural sciences.  some of you have expressed an eagerness to learn more about biological perspectives, others have expressed trepidation. 

reassure you that the texts we have selected do not require in-depth knowledge of developmental biology, endocrinology, evolutionary biology, anatomy, pathology, but are written for diverse audiences and in diverse styles.  For next week:

Joan Roughgarden. Introduction, Chapter 1: “Sex and Diversity," Chapter 2: “Sex vs Gender,” Chapter 3: “Sex within Bodies,” Chapter 4: “Sex Roles," and Chapter 8: “Same Sex Sexuality." Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004 (available for purchase in BMC Bookshop or free on-line through ebrary).

Olivia Judson.  Chapter 12: “Eve’s Testicle.” Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2002: 187-211, 256-8 (in our password-protected file).

John Alcock. "Changing priorities in changing social environments." Animal Behavior, An Evolutionary Approach, 9th ed. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 2009, 168-181 (in our password-protected file).

What Females Want and What Males Will Do. Nature (DVD; April 5, 2008--on reserve). Part I: barn swallows, female choice, monogamy, testosterone (start at 15’; end at 22’); gelada primates, “handicap principle” (start at 30.49’; end at 32.59’); testosterone (start at 48.45’; end at 51.55’). Part II: duck phallus/oviduct, “cryptic choice”, defense against forced copulation (start 40.49’; end 44.49’).

Joan Roughgarden

  • born in Paterson, NJ,
  • BA in Bio and Phil from Univ. Rochester, PhD in bio from Harvard
  • faculty member at Stanford since 1972
  • came out as a transsexual woman at age 52. Prior to that time she was identified as a male named Jonathan Roughgarden. In essence, Jonathan Roughgarden left on sabbatical; Joan Roughgarden returned to the same job and title

from UC Press release about Evolution's Rainbow:  "In this innovative celebration of diversity and affirmation of individuality in animals and humans, Joan Roughgarden challenges accepted wisdom about gender identity and sexual orientation. A distinguished evolutionary biologist, Roughgarden takes on the medical establishment, the Bible, social science—and even Darwin himself. She leads the reader through a fascinating discussion of diversity in gender and sexuality among fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals, including primates. Evolution's Rainbow explains how this diversity develops from the action of genes and hormones and how people come to differ from each other in all aspects of body and behavior. Roughgarden reconstructs primary science in light of feminist, gay, and transgender criticism and redefines our understanding of sex, gender, and sexuality."

Judson writes for the NYT:  Optional

Alcock (textbook)

PBS video


5 p.m. Sun, Oct. 30, web event #2 (4 pp.) due: aiming for a specific audience (of middle or high school students? readers of the Bi-College News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, a sex ed blog site??), explain what's important about some dimension of the diversity of gender or sexuality.


music?  "What's love (sex/gender) got to do with it (disability)?"  by Tina Turner


starting class with silence

revisiting the issues of passing--in light of the multi-modal nature of our sensory perceptions

take two minutes and write down all the phrases with--or meanings of--the word "pass"

pass (v.) Look up pass at
late 13c. (trans.) "to go by (something)," also "to cross over," from O.Fr. passer, from V.L. *passare "to step, walk, pass," from L. passus "step, pace" (see pace (1)). Intrans. sense of "to go on, to move forward, make one's way" is attested from c.1300. Figurative sense of "to experience, undergo" (as in pass the time) is first recorded late 14c. The meaning "to be thought to be something one is not" (especially in racial sense) is from 1935, from pass oneself off (as), first found 1809. The general verb sense of "to be accepted as equivalent" is from 1590s. Sense of "to go through an examination successfully" is from early 15c. Meaning "decline to do something" is attested from 1869, originally in cards (euchre). In football, hockey, soccer, etc., the meaning "to transfer the ball or puck to another player" is from c.1865. Colloquial make a pass "offer an amorous advance" first recorded 1928, perhaps from a sporting sense. Pass up "decline, refuse" is attested from 1896. Pass the buck is from 1865, said to be poker slang reference to the buck horn-handled knife that was passed around to signify whose turn it was to deal. Pass the hat "seek contributions" is from 1762. Pass-fail as a grading method is attested from 1959.
pass (n.) Look up pass at
"mountain defile," c.1300, from O.Fr. pas "step, track," from L. passus "step, pace" (see pace (1)). The meaning "written permission to pass into, or through, a place" is first recorded 1590s, from pass (v.). Sense of "ticket for a free ride or admission" is first found 1838.
also--hall pass, pass/fail

what information do we use to categorize people/events or to make judgments?

McGurk effect--
when we receive contradictory information, what senses dominate?

When our bodies/homes provide contradictory information, what dominates? 
Can they be integrated?   Can this help us understand trans-identities?

points of light

creating large, intimate spaces
exterior of Gehry's concert hall in LA
interior Gehry's concert hall in LA
children building nests indoors and outdoors
what do you think about the acoustics in this room?
clearing our caches on browsers and in our own lived/embodied memories  (the Paul image)