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Essays Explore Varied Aspects of Gender Nonconformity

What does it mean to be a "real man" or a "real woman" in our society? How are culturally constructed stereotypes about appropriate sex-based behavior formed? If a person who is biologically female behaves in a stereotypically masculine manner, what are the social, political, and cultural forces that maypolice her behavior? And how will she manage her gendered image in response to that policing'? Finally, how do race, ethnicity, or sexuality inform the way that sex-based roles are constructed, policed, or managed?

The chapters in Gender Nonconformity, Race, and Sexuality: Charting the Connections edited by Toni Lester address such questions from law and social science perspectives and then examine personal stories of reinvention and transformation, including discussions of the lives of dancers Isadora Duncan and Bill T. Jones, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, and surrealist artist Claude Cahua.Writers from fields as diverse as history, art, psychology, law, literature, sociology, and the activist community look at gender nonconformity from conceptual, theoretical, and empirical perspectives. They emphasize that gender nonconformists can be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or anyone else who does not fit a model of binary masculine and feminine roles.

Toni Lester is associate professor of law at Babson College. She holds a joint appointment at Wellesley College's Center tor Women and has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University's Center for Research on Gender.

Gender Nonconformity, Race, and Sexuality: Charting the Connections (Pub. date: January 1, 2003; Cloth ISBN 0-299-18140-5 $50.00; Paper ISBN 0-299-18144-8 $24.95) is available for sale at booksellers, by phone at (773) 568-1550, or online at