We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

E-book purchase
Choose a subscription

Downloaded copy on your device does not expire. Includes 4 years of Bookshelf Online.


Where applicable, tax will be added to the above price prior to payment.

E-book purchasing help


Gender, Sex, and Sexualities

Psychological Perspectives

Edited by Nancy Dess, Jeanne Marecek, and Leslie Bell

Publication Date - 15 February 2018

ISBN: 9780190658540

376 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Offers readers up-to-date knowledge concerning questions about gender, sex, and sexualities, as well as tools for critical analysis.


For decades, the field of gender, sex, and sexualities has been a focal point of increasing interest. This inquiry has been ignited by successive waves of dramatic social change, chief among them: the re-emergence of feminist movements in the U.S. and Europe in the late 1960s; the sustained (and increasingly successful) bids for legal, social, and religious acceptance of non-heterosexual sexualities in many parts of the world; and the burgeoning number of people (whether cisgendered, gender-variant, trans, or questioning) whose individual and collective experiences of gender and sexuality warrant deeper understanding and further progress toward a fuller realization of human potential and civil rights.

In psychology, the intellectual project of understanding gender, sex, and sexualities encompasses a variety of subfields spanning neuroscience and developmental, cognitive, social, and cultural psychology, as well as critical theory. As such, these approaches have inspired new and different psychological questions, as well as increased interest in previously unfamiliar topics of investigation.

Edited by Nancy K. Dess, Jeanne Marecek, and Leslie C. Bell, Gender, Sex, and Sexualities offers both students and scholars the tools they need to consider and approach such questions as: how do children come to embrace (or repudiate) gendered activities and identities; how do people experience intimacy, desire, and sexual arousal; and what strategies can psychologists use to de-center their own points of view and effectively contribute to a decolonial psychology?

As a result, this volume will open new avenues of inquiry as well as cross-disciplinary conversations for readers everywhere.


  • Offers a uniquely broad survey of theoretical approaches to the study of gender and sexualities that are of interest to psychologists
  • Contributions reflect emerging issues in the study of gender and sexualities
  • Features a roster of renowned contributors from around the world

About the Author(s)

Nancy K. Dess is Professor of Psychology at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Her work on the relationship between emotion and eating, peace, and research ethics has appeared in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. She is a member of the American Psychological Association's Board of Scientific Affairs, has served as APA's Senior Scientist, and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.

Jeanne Marecek is William R. Kenan Professor of Psychology Emerita at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. She is a critical feminist psychologist and has worked extensively in Sri Lanka and in the Nordic countries. She is co-author of Making a Difference: Psychology and the Construction of Gender (Yale University, 1990); Gender and Culture in Psychology: Theories and Practices (Cambridge, 2012); and Doing Interview-based Qualitative Research (Cambridge, 2015). She is co-editor of Feminism & Psychology.

Leslie C. Bell is a psychotherapist and sociologist in private practice in Berkeley, California. Her research focuses on young women's experiences of sexuality and relationships, and integrates psychoanalytic and sociological theories and methods. Her work has appeared in various academic and popular publications and has been frequently featured in the news media. She is the author of Hard to Get: Twentysomething Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom (University of California Press, 2013).


"Overall this is an intelligible and comprehensive book worth utilizing for psychologists and psychologists in training to become better acquainted with gender, sex and sexuality. If psychologists stay abreast on these topics, they can continue being at the forefront for social change and activism." -- APA Division 44 Newsletter

"Lively, provocative, and informative reviews of key topics and emerging methods." -- Psychology of Women Quarterly

"This book addresses the importance of understanding gender, sex, and sexualities when shaping public policies and defining terms. Dess, Marecek, and Bell address gender and sexualities appropriately and further explain, through appropriate terminology, how to apply this knowledge in everyday life." -- CHOICE

"Gender, Sex, and Sexualities provides up-to-the-minute reviews of research on topics that are themselves changing rapidly: nonbinary gender identities, gendered power, gender development, desire and sexuality, and intersectionality. The authors represent an all-star list of experts in the field. Each of the topics is of high interest to gender and sexuality scholars, who will find useful reviews in each chapter. The writing is accessible and the book will be useful in both graduate seminars and undergraduate courses in gender and sexuality studies." --Janet Shibley Hyde, Evjue-Bascom Professor, Helen Thompson Woolley Professor of Psychology and Gender & Women's Studies; Director, Center for Research on Gender & Women; University of Wisconsin

"This capacious, comprehensive book will be useful for everyone from the curious undergraduate to the specialized advanced scholar. Leading scholars and researchers from throughout the world guide the reader through the newest empirical research and the most complex theory, from genetics, neuroscience, and biology, to cognitive and developmental psychology, psychoanalysis, and social psychology." --Nancy J. Chodorow, psychoanalyst, sociologist, and author of The Reproduction of Mothering, Individualizing Gender and Sexuality

"Nancy Dess, Jeanne Marecek, and Leslie Bell have curated a brilliant, accessible and lively text on Gender, Sex, and Sexualities that works like a feminist GPS, guiding novice and experienced readers through contemporary transnational work on gender/sexuality research, theory practice, and activisms...Dess, Marecek, and Bell help us imagine how we make sense, and make trouble, about gender at the radical intersections." --Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor of Critical Psychology, Women's Studies, American Studies and Urban Education, The Graduate Center, CUNY

"This book works well as a starting point for those new to the psychology of gender and sexualities in that it provides concise overviews and histories of different psychological perspectives and also serves well for those more experienced readers who seek to engage with up-to-date ideas and research in the field. The book clearly demonstrates that the field of gender and sexualities research continues to be an exciting and vibrant area of study." -- Feminism & Psychology

Table of Contents


    PART I Emerging Frameworks: Beyond Binaries

    Chapter 1: Setting the Stage: Gender, Sex, and Sexualities in Psychology
    Eva Magnusson and Jeanne Marecek

    Chapter 2: Intersectionality as a Framework for Theory and Research in Feminist Psychology
    Leah R. Warner and Stephanie A. Shields

    Chapter 3: Non-Binary Gender Identities
    Peter Hegarty, Y. Gavriel Ansara, and Meg-John Barker

    Chapter 4: On Being and Becoming Female and Male: A Sex-Neutral Evolutionary Perspective
    Patricia Adair Gowaty

    PART II Contemporary Avenues of Inquiry

    Chapter 5: Gender and Sex(ualities): A Cultural Psychology Approach
    Tugçe Kurtis and Glenn Adams

    Chapter 6: Discursive Psychological Approaches to the (Un)making of Sex/Gender
    Ngaire Donaghue

    Chapter 7: Gendered Power: Insights from Power Basis Theory
    I-Ching Lee and Felicia Pratto

    Chapter 8: Gender Stereotypes and Stereotyping: A Cognitive Perspective on Gender Bias
    Monica Biernat and Amanda Sesko

    Chapter 9: Psychoanalytic Theories of Gender
    Leslie C. Bell

    Chapter 10: Gender, Dispositions, Peer Relations, and Identity: Toward an Integrative Developmental Model
    Campbell Leaper

    Chapter 11: The Integrative Psychobiology of Early Gender Development
    Melissa Hines

    Chapter 12: Contemporary Theory in the Study of Intimacy, Desire, and Sexuality
    Lisa Diamond

    Chapter 13: Integrating Evolutionary Affective Neuroscience and Feminism in Gender Research
    Leslie L. Heywood and Justin R. Garcia

    Chapter 14: Categories, Gender, and Development: A Feminist Perspective
    Ellin Scholnick and Patricia Miller

    About the Contributors

Related Titles