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From One Sex to Two Sex Model: Testing Laqeuer's Theory on "Making Sex"

29 January 2014
Ex Boccherini - Piazza S. Ponziano 6 (Conference Room )
Thomas Laqeuer, a well-known historian and sexologist, argued that sex, like gender, is a build construction, at least in the Western World. This argument is based on his meticulous study of Western Medicine from Ancient Greeks to today. According to Laqeuer, there is a one-sex model, in which the woman & man is described to be the same, and their differences are perceived to be from the same mold, but women are at one end of the equilibrium, and men are at the other end. Around 19th century, this understanding has shifted to a newer model, a model which Laqeuer terms as two-sex model where man and woman started to be perceived as distinctly different, in fact as two separate entities. Laqeuer furthermore claims that this shift not only occurs in the medical world, with the scientific advancement but in society at large. However, his arguments are based solely on his research on medical texts. In this STSM, we would like to expand and test Laqeuer’s theory with Google’s ngrams dataset, a dataset that reflects not only the medical opinions, but culture at large.
Akdag Salah, Alkim Almila