CfP: Challenging Popular Myths of Sex, Gender and Biology (Publication); DL: 01.05.2010

This call for papers is for a transdisciplinary anthology about gender and biology written by international researchers, aimed at a public audience. Empirical research in biology, psychology, and other life sciences sometimes undergirds popular notions of female and male sexual difference, while much of current biology actually opens a space for variable and non-static views of sex and gender; instead of emphasizing dichotomous difference, the natural sciences may look into sameness and the continuum of morphologies, behaviors and processes in between. Our aim is to make these insights public knowledge.

We would like to highlight different areas of biology and related disciplines that question popularly held ideas of biology. There exist many popular conceptions about biology, sex, gender, and bodies that stem from supposedly common-sense notions of gender, human evolution, biological processes animals in general, and even life at the microbial level. Often these popular beliefs are distantly connected to the ideas developed and held by researchers in biology, archaeology and medicine. Our goal is to deepen the understanding of biology beyond these popular conceptions. We want contributions that 1) explain areas where biologists/archaeologists/psychologists, etc. have a varied view of sex/gender which is not known to the public and/or 2) has a critical perspective on different biological topics pertaining to sex and gender.

Possible questions to explore include:

How does a recent understanding of developmental biology, rate of evolution, diversity of sexualities, the anisogamy argument, parental investment and sexual selection affect our views of sex and gender? How can a critical perspective shed light on topics like sexual conflict, toy preference research, ideas about hunter-gatherers? What is a statistically significant biological sex difference? – how can we explain variation within and between categories? Where does brain research fit in constructing or challenging popular notions of difference between the sexes? How can we understand the diversity and variation of sex within nature? How has the notion of ”sex roles” been used to describe animal behavior and what are the consequences?

Deadline for abstracts (approximately 300 words) and a short CV: 1 May 2010

Selected submissions will be notified at the latest by June 1, 2010. Completed chapters (4000 words) will be due by August 31, 2010.


Malin Ah-King,
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California Los Angeles, USA
/Centre for Gender Research
Uppsala University, Sweden

Andrew Lee,
Department of Sociology
Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada

We are looking forward to your contribution. For further information, in case of questions, and for sending in your contribution please contact Malin Ah-King:


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