The Cultural Construction of Gendered Bodies

Emily Martin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Scientific descriptions of the body are rife with deep metaphors that build up a world picture and that depend on fantasy. The metaphors used in contemporary scientific descriptions of male and female reproduction and of the immune system are constructed around three central images: production, failed production, and destruction. In this essay, the author considers the social import of these images, focussing on how they instantiate the ideology of gender, h is also considered whether there are ways the forms in which scientific knowledge is presented increase the efficacy of science as ideology. The aim is to make some contribution to Barth 's call for a “comparative anthropology of knowledge” (1987:1), in which the author is not looking at the exotic “other”, but at science, perhaps our own most sacrosanct form of knowledge.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)143-160
    Number of pages18
    Issue number3-4
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Archaeology


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