Stefan Hirschauer | Gender differentiation in scientific knowledge: Cosmologies, ontologies, and methodologies

The talk looks for new ways to connect science and gender studies. It asks how scientific disciplines use the sex difference to produce their knowledges, and how they contribute to sexual differentiation. The talk investigates four points of contact in which scientific knowledge from various disciplines supports or transforms the daily evidence of the two sexes. These are the development of a cosmology of sexual difference, which projects a classification of humans onto the world (1); its anchoring in an ontology of primary frames ('nature/culture', 'sex/gender') (2); the refinement of the methodology of sexual differentiation (3); and the development of technologies sustaining or transforming sexually differentiated bodies (4). The comparison between sex- and gender studies aims at a sharper orientation for gender studies and at a correction of some of its misconceptions of itself: the 'deconstruction' is not simply a critical procedure of cultural studies, it rather belongs to the cultural repertoires with which the practice of sexual differentiation works on its own ontological aggregate state - whether in the medium of discourses, technologies or lifestyles.