Bats by Cindy Rodriguez

By Cindy Rodriguez

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30 Passive gametes and motherhood, not assertive sex drives, defined women. By about 1906, Steinach and Tandler began to frame sexuality in a radically new light. They independently extended a theory that rejected the tradition of femininity based in eggs, childbearing, and motherhood. Their approach instead separated reproduction, as a means to generate offspring, from sexuality, as an independent expression of anatomy and psyche, which they extended to women as well as to men. Both men championed the idea, first published by the French anatomists Pol Bouin and Paul Ancel, that there were really two glands in the gonad: one functioned in reproduction proper; but it coexisted with a micro-anatomically distinct gland that functioned to control sexuality.

He was the first to demonstrate the developmental flexibility of sexual characteristics that could be permanently altered by different gonadal hormones acting on very young mammals. He stressed the “psychic” significance of the secretions, examining changes in drives and behavior that persisted almost throughout an animal’s entire lifetime. Steinach and the Double Gonad For many years the biological study of differences between the sexes had been dictated by the characteristics of their gametes—­ the sex cells produced by males and females.

The disease had destroyed his will, and, much as he might be unable to will away the bacteria causing tuberculosis, he was powerless to act or feel differently. Krafft-Ebing’s approach, like many others, was dictated by the powerful degenerationist paradigm that dominated biology, medicine, and psychiatry in the late nineteenth century. That paradigm equated disease with biological degeneration and tainted heredity. Patients often accepted and incorporated this discourse, even berating themselves for their fates.

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