Anne Fausto-Sterling (Brown University): Acquiring gender: From baby in the yellow hat to gender identity and expression
Abstract: 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.
Anne Fausto-Sterling is Nancy Duke Lewis Professor Emerita of Biology and Gender Studies at Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A.) and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a leading expert in biology and gender development.