Some notes on time and chance and sex and gender for
PHL 403, Senior Seminar on Heroism and the Human Spirit

Develop Nomos/Phusis distinction, relate it to appearance/reality fact/value nature/culture

Develop sex/gender distinction

Sex Gender Orientation

Male F-->M Hetero-,Homo-,Bi-, Null, Oscillating . . .

Female F-->M Hetero-,Homo-,Bi-, Null, Oscillating . . .

Androgynous FM-->MF categories probably parallel the above.
(See Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002) for a well researched novel addressing some of these issues.) 

Standard distinction: Sex biological, gender learned.

Issues Biological---Social interplay, problem of determining, plasticity of human nature, persistent features of most cultures. Discuss effects of learning and training on brain and body.

Considerations of the role of practice and Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hour Rule (Outliers, 2008).

Blurring of standard distinctions.
Blur/Criticize the distinction in terms of the kind, and in terms of specific issues.

(For one account of the effects of gender dysphoria on a family, see Noelle Howey's  Dress Codes: Of Three Girlhoods-My Mother's, My Father's and Mine (Picador, 2002) and John Irving’s In One Person (2012). )

Sex/gender and opportunities for heroism, with respect to 

"time and chance happeneth to them all."  ( Ecclesiastes 9:11;  see

and  "Not every 'man' fits every 'hour.' Some incompatabilites there are. A given genius may come either too early or too late" 

(from William James' essay "Great Men and Their Environment"; see

Do group work with students using the categories of sex/gender/blurred

Michael Kagan
October, 1997; converted to html October, 1998; posted Oct. 1999.  Additions:10/2003, 11/2009, 10/2010, October 11, 2013, March 3, 2014

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