- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press; New Ed edition (April 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674013794
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #535,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States New Ed Edition
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A masterful history. Drawing on extensive and compelling evidence, Joanne Meyerowitz shows how transsexuals, the doctors who treated them, and the media not only expanded the possibilities for individual sex change but also transformed the cultural meanings of sex, gender, and sexuality in twentieth-century America. (Estelle B. Freedman, author of No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women)
Quite simply the best work on transsexual history yet produced. How Sex Changed is a wonderful introduction to the topic for newcomers as well as a solid point of departure for specialists already working in the field. A lucid, readable tour de force of archival research. (Susan Stryker, Executive Director, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Historical Society/International Museum of GLBT History)
How Sex Changed brings transsexuals into the canon of U.S. history. Meyerowitz provides the disciplined analysis of the emergence of this minority that we need in order to bring them into our evolving gender history. This is one of the most original and useful contributions to the history of sexuality in a decade. (James W. Reed, Rutgers University)
An absorbing tale. In Meyerowitz's deft telling transsexuality becomes a complex phenomenon that shook the foundations of American thinking about the ostensibly natural linkages among sex, gender, and sexuality. This is a masterful work. (Leila J. Rupp, author of A Desired Past: A Short History of Same-Sex Love in America)
This splendid, beautifully written history of sex changing is also a history of changing sexual politics, social and political identities, and new technologies that have combined to change all our lives. A "must have" for all scholars of sex, sexual mores and sexual and gender politics, as well as required reading for all transsexual and transgender people. It is a reclamation of our history, of where we have come from and where we are going. (Stephen Whittle, author of Respect and Equality: Transsexual and Transgender Rights)
How Sex Changed succeeds brilliantly in bringing together cultural, medical, and social histories of transsexuality, and in giving powerful voice to transgendered and transsexual people's role in making that history. This is a compelling and important book. (Regina Kunzel, Williams College)
Meyerowitz's easy, readable style makes her thorough research in a wide range of fields accessible and enjoyable, even when she is detailing such subjects as internecine fighting among psychiatrists over the merits of sex-change operations...[How Sex Changed] is an invaluable introduction to how ideas about gender and sexuality have evolved. (Publishers Weekly 2002-07-01)
[A] fascinating account of how transsexuality has challenged American concepts of sex, gender, and sexuality in science, medicine, law, and popular culture in the 20th century...With her sympathetic reporting on the lives of individual men and women coming to terms with their transsexuality--especially Jorgensen, who lived until 1989--Meyerowitz gives serious social history an engaging human face. Informative and absorbing. (Kirkus Reviews 2002-08-01)
This unusually intelligent and straightforward cultural history...convincingly shows that our coming to view "biological sex"--the physical markers of femininity and masculinity--as malleable rather than immutable constituted one of the most profound moral, social, legal, and medical changes in twentieth-century America. (The Atlantic 2002-09-01)
Meyerowitz, teacher and editor...uses both skills to explain a confusing subject and pilot readers through a morass of changing terminology and interpretations...The book might have bogged down in the anatomical, chromosomal, psychological, and social aspects of the differences between men and women, but Meyerowitz avoids this by maintaining focus on major trends and attitudes. She cites carefully chosen persons, organizations, and publications to demonstrate the gradual development of the now generally accepted idea of maleness and femaleness occupying a qualitative continuum rather than representing polar conditions. Detailed and informative, and well supported by references and notes, Meyerowitz's work is commendable to anyone seriously interested in transsexuality. (Booklist 2002-09-15)
About the Author
Joanne Meyerowitz is Arthur Unobskey Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University and Co-Director of the Yale Research Initiative on the History of Sexualities.