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Extra resources for Biophobia and the study of sex differences

Sample text

Although originally rejecting any implication of biological differences as ‘a tool for conservatives who wished to keep women in the home’, they have now rethought their position ‘with a recognition that biologically based differences between the sexes might imply superiority and power for women in some areas’ (Rosser 1997, p. 29). Psychoanalytic feminists use neo-Freudian theory to argue for the unconscious internalization of female powerlessness. Psychoanalytic feminists trace gender differences to the distinct ways of dealing with psychosexual development.

Women must refuse to collaborate with men in any way that oppresses women, lesbianism is the preferred sexuality and artificial insemination the preferred means of reproduction. Essentialist feminists argue that women by virtue of their biological and psychological qualities are equal to or superior to men. Although originally rejecting any implication of biological differences as ‘a tool for conservatives who wished to keep women in the home’, they have now rethought their position ‘with a recognition that biologically based differences between the sexes might imply superiority and power for women in some areas’ (Rosser 1997, p.

The criterion should not be sex but the individual’s ability to perform the tasks that the job entails. Women should be given entry not in the belief that they will act as role models to other women but because to deny them the right to take up a job for which they are qualified and able is a basic human injustice. Whether or not we want to alter the status quo is not a matter for psychologists but for society at large. But the last half-century has shown that there is a public will to do so. But social engineering without a firm scientific understanding of sex differences is like a surgeon operating with a blindfold (Tooby and Cosmides 1992).

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