This is a key concept in women’s studies and feminist theory, with a focus on topics of control over women’s bodies, corporeal diversities, and critiques of gender dichotomy and essentialism.
Discourses about gender affect bodies in different ways, namely through informing the appearances or competencies of girls and boys, women and men, or through generalising narratives about anatomy, physiology and other bodily characteristics of the genders. Due to the ubiquity of (new) media and popular science discourses on women’s and men’s roles in their assumed direct relation with corporeality, these discourses hold significant prescriptive power.
(1) Pilcher, J., and Whelehan, I. (2004). Fifty Key Concepts in Gender Studies, London, Thousand Oaks;
(2) Šribar, R. (2015), ‘Glossary of common terms in gender equality and feminist theory’, in M. Ule, R. Šribar and A. U. Venturini, eds., Gendering Science: Slovenian Surveys and Studies in the EU Paradigms, Vienna, Echoraum.