Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose, 1979-1985 by Adrienne Rich

By Adrienne Rich

Via a variety of poetic items, Adrienne wealthy explores during this assortment the intricacies of being white, lady, lesbian, Jewish, and a U.S. citizen, either at the moment of her existence and during the lens of her prior.

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Scientists increasingly suggested that hormones should be thought of as “catalysts” that “bring latent mating behavior to expression” (Young, Goy, and Phoenix 1965, 179). That is, the hormones themselves, although powerful and sometimes capable of inducing sudden and dramatic behavioral changes, did not automatically determine the type of behavior that would be induced, or the frequency or timing of such behavior. For example, scientists were not able to predict the lag time between testosterone injection and mounting behavior in different male animals, and could not understand why castration did not immediately stop mounting behavior in males, whereas castrated females seemed to immediately lose interest in sex.

Being male or female is not simply determined at one moment for any individual organism, but is the result of a multistep process. First, at conception the X chromosome from the egg is joined by a sex chromosome from the sperm, either a Y chromosome (yielding an XY genotype, which is the typical male pattern) or another X chromosome (yielding an XX genotype, the typical female pattern). 6 The first stage of differentiation of these sex-neutral structures is under control of the sex chromosomes, causing the “bipotential” gonads to become either testes (in XY fetuses) or ovaries (in XX fetuses).

Likewise, I have chosen to retain the term sex-typed interests for a core domain of psychology that some scientists link to brain organization theory. I keep the term largely because I found it created too much confusion to jump back and forth between the term common in the studies and the term I preferred (gendered interests). There will probably be other times when I am describing the positions and theories of brain organization researchers where the usage I describe here may seem to falter. But this does reflect my fundamental intentions in usage for the terms throughout this book.

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