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date: 15 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Contrary to popular opinion, sex is not only a physical or biological characteristic but also a legal status and a political category. This article studies the various debates found in feminist scholarship that concern gender, sex, and sexuality as both analytical categories and lived experiences. The first section discusses the vocabulary feminist scholars have created to “denaturalize” embodiment and to show how physical capacities have been included in national orders of well-honed hierarchies of difference. The article then differentiates sex from sexuality and gender and highlights the power dimensions present in these concepts. It also studies competing accounts of gender as a cultural mechanism and other uses of sex, gender, and sexuality as overlapping analytical categories.

Keywords: sex, feminist scholarship, gender, sexuality, analytical categories, hierarchies of difference, power dimensions, cultural mechanism

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