Molecular Repressing of Fears That Is about Sex Which Is Genetically Constructed Cover Image

Molekularne poskramianie lęków, czyli o płci konstruowanej genetycznie
Molecular Repressing of Fears That Is about Sex Which Is Genetically Constructed

Author(s): Aleksandra Derra
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: gene; genetics; gender; history of genes; sex genes (SRY; DAX1); feminist approach to science

Summary/Abstract: The author considers the way contemporary genetics employs the notion of the gene. She studies its history and contemporary senses, being especially interested in how genetics defi nes sex. She presents the history of seeking for genetically defi ned masculinity pointing out how it has established oversimplifi ed model of the phenomenon of biological sex. She underlines the role of feminist critiques in developing less narrow-minded views of sex in biology. The author shows that biology and especially genetics has promised to resolve doubts concerning human nature and the nature of sexes. Making this kind of promises can be interpreted as a special way of dealing with human fears which have appeared together with development of contemporary science and modern technologies and its impact on the world. It concerns especially fears of the interventions in natural environment and applications of the results of the research in genetics to medicine, both of which change the society and its values. When genetics has promised to fi nd causal correlations between given genes and organisms’ properties, it was supposed to explain the source of diseases or even human personalities or specifi c social relations. Unequivocal explanations were needed to calm us down, to reduce fears, to allow us to state that this is how we are “by nature” made. As it turned out genetics was not able to fulfi lled these promises for as the author is going to show, its objects of studies are more complex and complicated than the genetics have assumed.

  • Issue Year: 15/2013
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 85–99
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Polish