Sex Sexuality, and Technoscience

How do new scientific research agendas and protocols, medical categories, and technological innovations intersect with conceptions of gender, sexuality and race? To explore these questions, we consider how biological models of sex and sexuality impact our sense of self and shape our political demands by examining the 1970s gay & women’s liberation movement’s efforts to contest the medicalization of homosexuality and women’s bodies. We then turn to the more recent phenomenon of biomedicalization and the emergence of new biomedical technologies to examine their “subject effects” in the case of the search for the “gay gene,” the development of reproductive technologies, the emergence of the new diagnoses of erectile and female sexual dysfunction, and the marketing of race-based pharmaceuticals. In our final unit, we examine current environmental, trans, and disability activism, each of which makes strategic use of technoscience while reworking biomedical models of embodiment and identity.