L’invenzione della donna: La cultura di genere


  • Verena Stolcke Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Paola Mancosu Università di Cagliari




The gender concept is in crisis. As feminist scholars have shown, gender relations constitute a basic structuring principle in any society, open to change. Since the nineties certainties about the social construction and meaning of gender relations have, however, been eroded. This article presents a semantic genealogy of the controversial gender concept since Simone de Beauvoir’s celebrated dictum «biology is not destiny». I discover the irony that the term gender in actual fact has its origin in the biomedical and sexological paradigm of the sixties and its, dualist sexual, heterosexual and cartesian assumptions. These scientific roots of the concept highlight the persistent analytical dilemma in sex/gender studies, namely, what has sex to do with gender or vice-versa?