“The Spectrum of Sex” by Maria Nieto and Victoria Viloria— Understanding  Biological sex and Gender Diversity

Nieto, Maria and Victoria Viloria, “The Spectrum of Sex”, illustrated by Alex Law, Jessica Kingsley, 2020

Understanding  Biological sex and Gender Diversity

Amos Lassen

“The Spectrum of Sex” introduces us to seven variations of human sex, commonly considered intersex and challenges the myth that sex and gender are binary. We explore the inherent diversity of biological sex and its relationship to gender identity and expression, and the impact that this has on society. Through the examination of historical, linguistic and socio-cultural understandings of sex and gender, as well as genetic and scientific definitions, authors Mari Nieto and Victoria Viloria dismantle gender and sexuality-based discrimination and promote understanding and inclusivity.

The book includes detailed anatomical illustrations throughout and is an introduction to gender and sex diversity. We clearly see the complexities of sex and gender but this is explained in accessible ways. Also included are first-person accounts of life from people from diverse sex and/or gender communities and they remind us that what we learn has implications.

We must eliminate the binary classifications of gender and sex if there is to be real equality. We must recognize and embrace the reality of a third sex – intersex, a diverse biological spectrum between male and female. The conversation between biology, identity, and sociology come together here.



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