April 04, 2020

#BookReview: The Spectrum of Sex by Hida Viloria; Maria Nieto

Synopsis: This transformative guide completely breaks down our current understanding of biological sex and gender diversity.

Introducing readers to seven variations of human sex, commonly considered intersex, the book challenges the myth that sex and gender are binary and explores the inherent diversity of biological sex and its relationship to gender identity and expression, and the impact this has on society. Examining historical, linguistic and socio-cultural understandings of sex and gender, as well as genetic and scientific definitions, the book is an important resource for dismantling gender and sexuality-based discrimination and promoting understanding and inclusivity.

Co-written by one of the world's leading intersex activists and a highly respected scholar in biological sciences, and accompanied with detailed anatomical illustrations throughout, this pioneering text is the essential introduction to gender and sex diversity for gender studies, women's studies, biology and genetics courses, as well as professionals working with intersex and trans communities.


Rating: ★★★
My Review: Most of this book was things that I already knew from taking college classes. However, the personal stories were amazing.  My major issue were the typos and no punctuation.  I know that this was an ARC but it was really bad and I wished that this would have been edited more before it was released for reviewers. 

It is said that no book can do it all, but The Spectrum of Sex does just that in terms of enlightening readers, of all backgrounds, about the complexities of sex and gender. The authors brilliantly explain complex anatomical and genetic jargon in accessible ways that will be eye-opening to everyone from high school students enrolled in a sex education course to doctors who wish to continue learning about the complexities of bodies in order to be better providers for their patients. The authors creatively incorporate first-person accounts of life from people from diverse sex and/or gender communities to remind readers that what they are learning has real world implications for all of us. Highly recommended. -- Georgiann Davis, author of Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis and Associate Professor of Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This extraordinary book needs to be required reading in all medical schools, by parents of intersex infants and everyone who cares about humanity. We are over due in our understanding of the beautiful spectrum of human diversity. -- Cheryl Cohen Greene DHS, author of An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner
This book provides a fascinating explanation of the wide range of gender expressions and biological sex traits that are a natural part of the human experience.
The authors simplify very sophisticated scientific concepts and explain how the failure to acknowledge them marginalizes segments of our society. Their analysis makes clear that we must eliminate the binary classifications of gender and sex if we are to achieve equality for all.
-- Michelle Waites, Civil Rights Advocate

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