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Visible IdentitiesRace, Gender, and the Self$
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Linda Martín Alcoff

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195137347

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195137345.001.0001

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The Metaphysics of Gender and Sexual Difference

The Metaphysics of Gender and Sexual Difference

(p.151) 6 The Metaphysics of Gender and Sexual Difference
Visible Identities

Linda Martín Alcoff

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on women's specifically gendered identity and its basis in sexual difference. It argues that there are persuasive grounds for an objective rather than totally fluid account of sex categories, that objectivity does not require an escape from mediation in human knowledge or the ability to have “out of theory experiences”, and that the tendency for descriptive accounts to become prescriptive is a variable rather than uniform or absolute tendency and can be offset. The objective basis of sex categories is in the differential relationship to reproductive capacity between men and women, but a sexual categorization based on the biological division of reproductive labor does not establish a necessary link between reproduction beyond conception and heterosexuality.

Keywords:   feminism, women, sexual differences, gender identity, reproduction, conception, heterosexuality

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