The Fate of Gender: Nature, Nurture and the Human Future

With The Fate of Gender, US science reporter and author Frank Browning (The Culture of DesireA Queer Geography) has written a very complicated book because… it’s a very complicated subject. There’s a lot more to gender than just endless snits about “blue toys for boys and pink toys for girls”, and Browning not only acknowledges the myriad different strands (and micro-strands), he does a near-heroic job of weaving them together to produce a compelling narrative.

Split into sections and then chapters, The Fate of Gender examines subjects as diverse as gender as a construct and a performance, as opposed to a biological reality, the neuroscience of “male”/“female” brains, the notion of masculinity and femininity being fluid rather than set, and distinctions between genders not so much vanishing as splintering and restructuring into new forms. As Browning says, Lady Gaga’s supportive message in Born This Way may actually be far too rigid for the lifelong fluctuations some people experience with their gender identity. According to some of his interviewees, some people are born one way, then end up being quite another way.

Read More

Our videos