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Acquiring gender: from baby in the yellow hat to gender identity and expression

Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 5:30 pm

The Department of Gender Studies 2016-2017 Public Lecture Series

& the Science Studies program at CEU


Anne Fausto Sterling

Acquiring gender: from baby in the yellow hat to gender identity and expression

My ambition is to restructure dichotomous conversations in order to enable an understanding of the inseparability of nature/nurture. My current case studies examine the emergence of gender differences in behavior in infancy. Specifically I am conducting an empirical study to tease apart how even very early sex-related differences emerge from dyadic (parent-infant) patterns of behavior. For the big three – oft cited – early differences (vocalization, motor activity, and toy preference) there is no moment at which a pre-existing nature can be viewed separately from a simultaneously existing nurture. The question is: how can we profitably study the dynamics of emergent behaviors and emergent arenas of difference without falling into dichotomous patterns of analysis. 


Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling is the Nancy Duke Lewis Professor Emerita of Biology and Gender Studies in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry at Brown University, and founder and former director of the Science & Technology Studies Program at Brown University. The author of three books that are referenced widely in feminist and scientific inquiry and over 60 scholarly articles, she is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has received grants and fellowships in both the sciences and the humanities.