Sexuality and Gender

Laura McClure

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Sexuality and Gender

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In discussing sexual identity, this article focuses on specific issues in understanding how individuals could be constructed as sexual beings. The ancient Greeks themselves had no specific or overarching terms for either gender or sexuality, yet distinctions based on biological sex were deeply embedded in the linguistic, cognitive, political, and social structures of their society at all periods. Just as biological sex precedes sexuality in many accounts, so men were thought to come into being before women in Greek mythology. Meanwhile, the sexual practices of the ancient Greeks attracted the attention of scholars much earlier than questions about the status and position of Greek women.

Keywords: sexual identity; sexual beings; ancient Greek women; biological sex; Greek mythology

Article.  4987 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History ; Gender and Sexuality

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