chapter  One
Dialogues on sexuality and gender
ByIréne Matthis
Pages 22

In "Freud and Female Sexualities", Joyce McDougall presents the Freudian background and outlines the revolution in social representations of sexuality and sexual relationships that they have witnessed during the last forty years. There are conscious beliefs and manifest behaviours related to gendered sexuality. The separation of sexuality from procreation/sexual difference lies at the basis of Juliet Mitchell's arguments. In her discussion, Colette Chiland wants to relate this dissociation to perversity, which she considers specific to human beings. Outlining the history of the term "gender" and the conceptual constructions related to it, Chiland ends up in a position that is quite opposite to Mitchell's. Gender as such, she states, does not express any form of sexuality, reproductive or not. The term "gender", which implies a constructivistic approach, was introduced to help solve the problem of biological sex versus psychosexual identity. The polarization of human sexuality into two kinds—feminine and masculine—is a Western idea.