Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present

By Sue V. Rosser | Go to book overview

Primatologists Who Focus on
Females/Gender
LINDA MARIE FEDIGANPrimatology is today, for several reasons, arguably a gender-inclusive science. First, the discipline includes a large and growing proportion of women practitioners. Second, leading figures of the discipline consider themselves feminists (e.g., Jeanne Altmann, Sarah Hrdy, Jane Lancaster). Third, primatology is widely recognized by science studies scholars as a feminist science (e.g., Schiebinger 2003). And finally, this science has shown itself to be responsive to prior criticism of gender bias and highly inclusive of issues relevant to women, females, and feminists.Following earlier considerations of why this might be the case (e.g., Fedigan 2001), the present essay describes how this came to be the case only over time as the discipline of primatology amended early biases. Two heuristic devices are used to focus this essay: historical stages and transformation phases.
1. Primatologists at different stages of the discipline’s history have addressed the enduring issue: “what is the social role of female primates?” In the 1990s, Shirley Strum and Linda Fedigan constructed a history of North American field primatology (e.g., Fedigan and Strum 1999) that characterized the science as having occurred in four distinctive stages, to which this essay now adds a fifth, more recent one:

Stage 1 1950–1965. The Natural History Phase

Stage 2 1965–1975. The Discovery and Enigma of Variability

Stage 3 1975–1985. The Sociobiological Era

Stage 4 1985–1995. Behavioral Ecology

Stage 5 1995–2005. Comparative Socioecology

2. A transformation model originally developed to characterize phases in the growing incorporation of women into the curriculum is also applied. Several scholars have proposed models to categorize steps in the transformation of curriculum. Rosser (1990) has expanded upon these models and shown how a recognizable set of phases can be

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Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chronological Section- Changes in Myths of Gender over Time 1
  • Antiquity 3
  • Medieval Era 17
  • Renaissance 31
  • The 18th Century 43
  • The 19th Century 61
  • Early 20th Century 79
  • Thematic Section- Concepts of Gender in Different Contexts 93
  • Disciplines - Chemistry 95
  • Physics/Astronomy 103
  • Mathematics 109
  • Computer Science 115
  • Biology 123
  • Psychology 129
  • Medicine 135
  • Technology 141
  • Aspects of Human Biology and Behavior - The Brain 149
  • Cognitive Abilities 155
  • Mental Illness 161
  • Personality/Rationality/Emotionality 167
  • Endocrinology and Hormones 173
  • Menstruation/Menopause/PMS 177
  • Early Modern Health 181
  • Gender/Sex—How Conjoined 187
  • Homosexuality 193
  • Race 201
  • Nature/Nurture 207
  • Institutions - Women’s Education 213
  • Motherhood 223
  • Religion 229
  • Universities 235
  • Federal Agencies 249
  • Industry 259
  • Professional Societies 263
  • Discrimination 273
  • Women Scientists as Leaders 283
  • Nobel Laureates 295
  • Gender and Occupational Interests 319
  • Other Perspectives on Gender and Myths and Beliefs in Scientific Research - Feminist Philosophy of Science 325
  • Biologists Who Study Gender/Feminism 337
  • Historians of Science and Technology Who Focus on Feminism 347
  • Primatologists Who Focus on Females/Gender 357
  • Critiques of Science 365
  • Marxism/Socialism and Feminism/Gender 373
  • Ecofeminism 381
  • Cyberfeminism 387
  • Race, Postcolonial Gender, and Science 393
  • Feminist Science Studies 399
  • Women’s Health Movement 405
  • Science Fiction 419
  • Conclusion 427
  • Appendix of- Statistical Tables 437
  • Glossary 445
  • Bibliography 469
  • Index 481
  • About the Editor 501
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