Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter sketches the evolution of writing on sex difference in Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew scholarship between the sixth and the late fifteenth centuries, focusing on natural philosophy and, especially, medical theory. It stresses the strong continuities in this textual tradition, which was based on the works of a small group of Greek authorities, of whom the most influential were Aristotle and Galen. At the same time, it describes differences in content and emphasis that resulted from the social orders, institutions, and faiths—Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—that shaped the viewpoints of the authors that contributed to it. The resulting narrative challenges accounts that reduce the variety and complexity of this story by invoking simplistic and misleading doctrines such as the “one-sex” body.

Keywords: medicine, natural philosophy, sex difference, generation, sexuality, contraception, menstruation, Christianity, Judaism, Islam

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.