Doing Gender Diversity

Readings in Theory and Real-World Experience


Edited by Rebecca F. Plante and Lis M. Maurer

First Edition • August 1, 2009 • 576 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813344379 • $65.00 USD$94.99 CAN

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What is gender diversity? Doesn’t diversity often mean a focus on people who vary from typically gendered people, like intersex people and drag queens? What would it mean to talk about gender diversities? What does it mean to argue that all forms of gender, from the usual to the unusual, are socially constructed? How is gender developed, experienced, and presented by the range of persons who “do” or perform gender (namely, all of us)?This reader demonstrates the multiple ways in which the universe of gender is socially, culturally, and historically constructed. The complexity of our gendered lives can be confusing. This anthology focuses on gender itself—how gender operates socioculturally, exists, functions, and is presented in micro and macro interactions. In order to avoid balkanization, the authors examine the various ways in which culture intersects with individuals to produce the range of presentations of self that we call “gender,” from people born male who become adult men to lesbian women to transmen, and everyone else on the diverse gender spectrum. This cutting-edge book focuses on both hegemonic and transgressive gender development, roles, identities, and practices.


Rebecca F. Plante is associate professor of sociology at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. Plante has written Sexualities in Context: A Social Perspective (Westview, 2006) and coedited (with Michael S. Kimmel) Sexualities: Identities, Behaviors, and Society (Oxford, 2004).

Lis M. Maurer is the founding coordinator of The Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Education, Outreach, and Services at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. Maurer has been a sexuality educator, consultant, and trainer for more than twenty years.

Section I. The Basics of Gender

Ch 1. Gender Diversity and the Binary

1. Candace West and Don H. Zimmerman, “Doing Gender.”
2. Judith Lorber, “Night to His Day: The Social Construction of Gender.”
3. Patricia Hill-Collins, “Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection.”
4. (brief) Jesse Walker, “The Death of David Reimer: A Tale of Sex, Science, and Abuse.”
5. (brief) Zachary Nataf, “Whatever I Feel, That’s the Way I Am.”
6. Suzanne Kessler, “Defining and Producing Genitals.”
7. (brief) Catherine Lord, “Subject: Her Baldness Meets Beth and Gets High on Gender.”
8. (brief) Kate Bornstein, “Hoowahyoo?”

Ch 2. Learning How to ‘Do Gender’

1. Abigail Fuller, “What Difference Does Difference Make? Women, Race-Ethnicity, Social Class, and Social Change.”
2. Natalie Adams and Pamela Bettis, “Commanding the Room in Short Skirts: Cheering as the Embodiment of Ideal Girlhood.”
3. C.J. Pascoe, “‘Dude, You’re a Fag’: Adolescent Masculinity and the Fag Discourse.”
4. (brief) Robert Jensen, “Masculine, Feminine or Human?”
5. Aída Hurtado and Mrinal Sinha, “More than Men: Latino Feminist Masculinities and Intersectionality.”
6. Tracey Lee, “Trans(re)lations: Lesbian and Female to Male Transsexual Accounts of Identity.”
7. Karen D. Pyke and Denise L. Johnson, “Asian American Women and Racialized Femininities: ‘Doing’ Gender Across Cultural Worlds.”

Section II. The Microcosm of Gender: Individuals in Context

Ch 3. Constructing the Gendered Body

1. Dionne Stephens and April Few, “The Effects of Images of African American Women in Hip Hop on Early Adolescents’ Attitudes Toward Physical Attractiveness and Interpersonal Relationships.”
2. Virginia Braun, “In Search of (Better) Sexual Pleasure: Female Genital ‘Cosmetic’ Surgery.”
3. (brief) Max Beck, “My Life as an Intersexual.”
4. (brief) Jamison Green, “Part of the Package: Ideas of Masculinity among Male-Identified Transpeople.
5. (brief) Sean, “Diary of an Anorexic.”
6. (brief) Kathleen F. Slevin. “Disciplining Bodies: The Aging Experiences of Older Heterosexual and Gay Men.”

Ch 4. Doing ‘It’: Sexualities

1. Jenny A. Higgins and Irene Browne, “Sexual Needs, Control, and Refusal: How ‘Doing’ Class and Gender Influences Sexual Risk Taking.”
2. Gloria Martinez, “‘My Body Is Not The Same’: Body and Sexuality for White and Latina Long-Term Breast Cancer ‘Survivors’.”
3. Nadine Naber, “Arab American Femininities: Beyond Arab Virgin/American(ized) Whore.”
4. Peter Chua and Diane C. Fujino. “Negotiating New Asian-American Masculinities: Attitudes and Gender Expectations.”
5. (brief) Robert Jensen, “Just a John? Pornography and Men’s Choices.”
6. Heidi M. Levitt, Elisabeth A. Gerrish, and Katherine R. Hiestand, “The Misunderstood Gender: A Model of Modern Femme Identity.”

Section III. The Macrocosm of Gender: Institutions, Structures, and Politics

Ch 5. Doing Gender Diversity: At Home and At Work

1. Judith E. Owen Blakemore, Carol A. Lawton and Lesa Rae Vartanian, “I Can’t Wait to Get Married: Gender Differences in Drive to Marry.”
2. Sally Hines, “Intimate Transitions: Transgender Practices of Partnering and Parenting.”
3. Dana Berkowitz, “Can a Gay Man be a Housewife?: Gay Fathers Doing Gender, Family, and Parenting.”
4. Shirley A. Hill, “Teaching and Doing Gender in African American Families.”
5. Joan Acker, “Gender, Capitalism and Globalization.”
6. Mary Nell Trautner, “Doing Gender, Doing Class: The Performance of Sexuality in Exotic Dance Clubs.”
7. David Iacuone, “‘Real Men Are Tough Guys’: Hegemonic Masculinity and Safety in the Construction Industry.”

Ch 6. Thinking Critically about Structures and Institutions in Our World

1. (brief) TLC, “Peeing in Peace” excerpts[Transgender Law Center Pamphlet]
2. (brief) “Gender Neutral Restrooms” (FAQ)
3. Gretchen M. Herrmann, “His and Hers: Gender and Garage Sales.”
4. Melanie Carlson, “I’d Rather Go Along and Be Considered A Man: Masculinity and Bystander Intervention.”
5. Sinikka Elliott. “Men, Race, and Emotions: Men of Color and Masculine Productions.”
6. (brief) Thomas Rogers, “What the Pregnant Man Didn’t Deliver.”
7. Joane Nagel and Lindsey Feitz, “Deploying Race, Gender, Class, and Sexuality in the Iraq War.”
8. Heather Worth, “Bad-Assed Honeys with a Difference: South Auckland Fa’afafine Talk about Identity

Ch 7. Rattling the Cage: Social Change

1. (brief) Anonymous, “Gender Normative Privilege.”
2. Robert Heasley, “But You’re So Queer For a Straight Guy! Affirming Complexities of Gendered Sexualities in Men.”
3. Barbara J. Risman, “Social Structure: Theory Wrestling with Activism.”
4. Verta Taylor and Leila J. Rupp, “When the Girls are Men: Negotiating Gender and Sexual Dynamics in a Study of Drag Queens.”
5. (brief) Eli Clare, “Sex, Celebration, and Justice: A Keynote for QD2002.”
6. Belisa Gonzalez, “Can’t We All Just Move Beyond? Everyday Manifestations of the Black-White Binary.”

“This is an excellent anthology that will encourage undergraduate students to think critically about gender diversity. It will be useful for faculty members teaching social science courses about gender or women’s studies and who want to have a rich collection of readings about gender in micro- and macro-contexts. Students will enjoy and learn from the readings in this new anthology.” —Teaching Sociology

“Finally, the quintessential collection of Gender and Sexuality Studies readings. Plante and Maurer have brought together an interdisciplinary reader that spans the breadth of the field. Their astute selection of essays, based on first person narratives, scholarly empirical studies and theoretical articles, is a fundamental addition to anyone’s library.” —Lisa Jean Moore, Purchase College, State University of New York

“In Doing Gender Diversity, Plante and Maurer have assembled an outstanding collection of readings that explore the cultural construction and personal negotiation of gender by looking at diversity in practices and performances. Avoiding the trap of presenting gender diversity as ‘freaks on parade,’ they compile works examining normative and non-normative ways of embodying gender in the context of hegemonic ideologies of gender. While US-focused, this reader incorporates a diverse selection of classic theoretical works, contemporary empirical analyses, and first-person narratives and provides an excellent foundation for undergraduate explorations of the diverse ways of ‘doing’ gender.” —Erin Calhoun Davis, Cornell College

“Plante and Maurer’s Doing Gender Diversity is a highly innovative anthology that critically examines unexplored and taken for granted aspects of gender normalcy and gender privilege. This reader is a comprehensive collection of classical and contemporary works that is a must-read for a diversity of gender scholars across multiple fields.” —Sharon E. Preves, Hamline University

“Plante and Maurer have brought together a collection that recognizes and wrestles with the diversity that characterizes contemporary gender studies, identity, and expression. Doing Gender Diversity is a well-considered text that promises to advance students’ theoretical and empirical understandings of gender, race, class, and sexuality.” —Jessica Fields, San Francisco State University

“This deeply thought-provoking collection of new and classic essays is a must for students of gender and genders in all their complexities.” —Peggy J. Kleinplatz, University of Ottawa

“The timing is apt for a collection of this nature to emerge in feminist studies….By combining theory with real-life explorations, students are able to see the applied nature of some concepts that could otherwise seem diffuse and daunting to the academician in training. Doing Gender Diversity: Readings in Theory and Real-World Experience seems to embody the zeitgeist regarding recent feminist texts.” —Sex Roles

“The interdisciplinary collection provides valuable resources for challenging students in women and gender studies, sociology, and psychology courses to think more critically about gender variations.” –Psychology of Women Quarterly

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