“Sissies and Tomboys” Conference

On Friday, February 10, 1995, CLAGS will present a conference entitled “Sissies and Tomboys: Gender ‘Nonconformity’ and Homosexuality” in the Proshansky Auditorium of the CUNY Graduate School. The time will be announced. Most of the current psychiatric literature, even the more progressive, operates from a traditional, dichotomous conception of gender with corresponding notions of what is “appropriate” identity and behavior for each gender. Scientific research, moreover, continues to search for biological substrata for gender. In contrast, the trend in cultural studies and literary and film criticism has been to destabilize the gender dichotomy, and studies in anthropology point to cross-cultural examples of “third genders” or other non-traditional gender identities. Some questions to be addressed include: What do we know about the formation of gender identity, in both its biological and social-psychological components? What model of gender is most theoretically and empirically adequate? What do we know, and what don’t we know a bout the connection between childhood gender non-conformity and the development of a homosexual orientation? Do homosexuals comprise a third gender category, or is it correct to assume always a continuum of gender identity and behavior? What are the problematic aspects of gender “nonconformity,” especially in children? Participants include: Susan Coates and Sabrina Wolfe of the Childhood Gender Identity Center at St. Lukes/Roosevelt Hospital; Ken Corbett and Adrienne Harris of the Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis at NYU; Justin Richardson of the Columbia Center for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Mental Health. The conference has been organized by Matt Rottnek. Call the CLAGS office at 212 642-2924 for further details.