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Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages Medicine, Science and Culture

ISBN-10: 0521483786
ISBN-13: 9780521483780
Edition: 1995
List price: $39.99 Buy it from $27.56
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Description: In describing and explaining the sexes, medicine and science participated in the delineation of what was feminine and what was masculine in the Middle Ages. Hildegard of Bingen and Albertus Magnus, among others, writing about gynecology, the human  More...

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Book details

List price: $39.99
Copyright year: 1995
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 3/31/1995
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 328
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.320
Language: English

In describing and explaining the sexes, medicine and science participated in the delineation of what was feminine and what was masculine in the Middle Ages. Hildegard of Bingen and Albertus Magnus, among others, writing about gynecology, the human constitution, fetal development, or the naturalistic dimensions of divine Creation, became increasingly interested in issues surrounding reproduction and sexuality. Did women as well as men produce procreative seed? How did the physiology of the sexes influence their healthy state and their susceptibility to disease? Who derived more pleasure from intercourse, men or women? This book explores how scientific ideas about sex differences in the later Middle Ages participated in the broader cultures assumptions about gender. Cadden discusses how medieval natural philosophical theories and medical notions about reproduction and sexual impulses and experiences intersected with ideas about such matters as the social roles of men and women, and the purpose of marriage.

List of illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Seeds and Pleasures: The Evolution of Learned Opinions
Introduction: The character and extent of medieval dependency
Prelude to medieval theories and debates: Greek authorities and their Latin transformations
The origins of medieval alternatives: Ancient Greek authorities
Early translations, uses, and forms: The transmission of ancient ideas to the Latin West
The emergence of issues and the ordering of opinions
Traditions and transitions
Constantine the African: Texts and readers beyond the monastery
Hildegard of Bingen: Extension and integration
Questions and answers on human generation
Academic questions: Female and male in scholastic medicine and natural philosophy
Old wine and new bottles: translated texts and scholastic methods
Seminal ideas: Female and male generative contributions
Fathers and sons: How the embryo acquires its sex
The rise and division of pleasure
The measure of pleasure
Sex Difference and the Construction of Gender
Introduction: Convergence and diversity
Feminine and masculine types
Gendered meanings
Being feminine and being masculine: Complexion, shape, and disposition
Becoming feminine and becoming masculine: Creation and procreation
Feminine and masculine types: The possibilities and limitations of a binary construct
Sterility: The pursuit of progeny and the failure of reproductive function
The values and functions of fertility
Impediments to fertility
Sterility, fertility, and sex difference
Is sex necessary? The problem of sexual abstinence
The reins of restraint: Varieties of abstinence
The reins on restraint
Conclusion
Works cited
Manuscripts
Printed works
Index

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