Thomas W. Laqueur

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Thomas W. Laqueur
Laqueur OSA, May 2016.jpg
Laqueur at the Blinken Open Society Archives in Budapest, May 2016.
Thomas Walter Laqueur

(1945-09-06) September 6, 1945 (age 73)
Alma materNuffield College, Oxford, Princeton University, Swarthmore College
Known forOne sex two sex theory
AwardsRockefeller Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship[1]
Scientific career
FieldsHistory, Sexology
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley

Thomas Walter Laqueur (born September 6, 1945) is an American historian, sexologist and writer. He is the author of Solitary Sex : A Cultural History of Masturbation and Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud as well as many articles and reviews. He is the winner of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's 2007 Distinguished Achievement Award,[2] and is currently the Helen Fawcett Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, located in Berkeley, California.[1]


One-sex model[edit]

Laqueur wrote that there was an ancient "one-sex model", in which the woman was only described as imperfect man / human and he postulates that definitions of sex/gender were historically different and changeable.[3]

This argument has been challenged by some historians of science, notably Katharine Park and Robert A. Nye;[4] Monica Green,[5] and Heinz-Jürgen Voss,[6] who reject the suggestion that ancient descriptions show a homogenous model, the one-sex model which then mutated in the 18th century to a two-sex model. They encourage a more differentiated perception that makes clear that gender theories of natural philosophy as well as biology and medicine, are embedded and constructed in certain social contexts.


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  • Laqueur, Thomas (2015). The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691157-78-2.
  • Laqueur, Thomas (2004). Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation. Brooklyn: Zone Books. ISBN 1-890951-32-3.
  • Laqueur, Thomas (1990). Making Sex: Body and Gender From the Greeks to Freud. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-54349-1.
  • Gallagher, Catherine; Laqueur, Thomas (1987). The Making of the Modern Body: Sexuality and Society in the Nineteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-05960-3.
  • Laqueur, Thomas (1976). Religion and Respectability: Sunday Schools and Working Class Culture, 1780–1850. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-01859-2.

Selected Articles[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Thomas W. Laqueur Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  2. ^ Database (n.d.). "Thomas W. Laqueur". MIT Press. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  3. ^ Laqueur, Thomas (1990). Making Sex: Body and Gender From the Greeks to Freud. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-54349-1. 25-63.
  4. ^ Park, Katharine; Nye, Robert A. (1991). "Destiny Is Anatomy, Review of Laqueurs Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud". The New Republic. 18. S. 53-57.
  5. ^ Green, Monica (2010). "Bodily Essences: Bodies as Categories of Difference" in Linda Kalof, ed., A Cultural History of the Human Body, Vol. 2: In the Medieval Age. New York City: Berg Publishers.
  6. ^ Voss, Heinz-Jürgen (2010): Making Sex Revisited: Dekonstruktion des Geschlechts aus biologisch-medizinischer Perspektive. Transcript, Bielefeld.

External links[edit]