Sexing the Hyena: Intraspecies Readings of the Female Phallus

  title={Sexing the Hyena: Intraspecies Readings of the Female Phallus},
  author={Anna Wilson},
  journal={Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society},
  pages={755 - 790}
  • Anna Wilson
  • Published 1 March 2003
  • History
  • Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
T he only way to “sex” most mammals at birth is to inspect their genitals; with humans, it is the first thing we do, and all kinds of trouble follows if there is any doubt about the classification. Thereafter, until male and female maturational pathways diverge, we rely, in the case of animals, on other identificatory markings to which the primary perception of sex is always attached. In the case of humans, infants are allocated names that identify them as individuals, but they are also dressed… 

Spotted hyaenas and the sexual spectrum: reproductive endocrinology and development.

Insight into the costs and benefits of androgen exposure on spotted hyaena reproductive development, endocrinology and behaviour emphasizes the delicate balance that sustains reproductive success, forces a re-evaluation of how the authors define masculine versus feminine sexual characteristics, and motivates reflection about the representative value of model species.

“Hermaphroditish Disturbers of the Peace”: Rufus Griswold, Elizabeth Oakes Smith, and Nineteenth-Century Discourses of Ambiguous Sex

In his 1850 tribute to recently deceased popular American poet Frances Sargent Osgood, magazine editor and anthologist Rufus W. Griswold praised Osgood as the “most womanly” of all the literary

The Role of Nosferatu in the Development of Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Androgyny in Vampire Film

F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu has long been hailed as a classic horror film, serving as an inspiration for the vampire films that followed. Yet, the film is more than a simple vampire story; debates have


Abstract In search for the “missing links” of queer posthumanist discourses, some nonhuman animals play a crucial role in setting up new possible ontologies of sexual diversity. However, the desire

Looking at Animals in Human History

From the first cave paintings to Britta Jaschinski's provocative animal photography, it seems we have been describing and portraying animals, in some form or another, for as long as we have been

Human-brown hyaena relationships and the role of mountainous environments as refuges in a postcolonial landscape

Humans and brown hyaenas (Hyaena brunnea) frequently interact within a shifting landscape of conflict and cohabitation, yet the social and biological dimensions of these relationships, particularly

Index to Volume 28

A Aboitiz, Mikele (see Hill, Felicity, Mikele Aboitiz, and Sara PoehlmanDoumbouya) “After the Bodies Fell,” by Laurie Stone, no. 1:473–75 Alvarez, Sonia E., Elisabeth Jay Friedman, Ericka Beckman,

Conflict in context : a critique and investigation into the logic, nature, and evolutionary consequences of competition in animals.

This work addresses some of the problems associated with the conventional logic of competition, and proposes an alternative perspective, which may help to dissolve the inconsistencies embedded in the current logic.

Gender and the Science of Difference: Cultural Politics of Contemporary Science and Medicine

How does contemporary science contribute to our understanding about what it means to be women or men? What are the social implications of scientific claims about differences between "male" and

(Re)defining heteronormativity

In this article, we examine definitions tied to the term heteronormativity. Taking a random sample of articles from Gender Studies and SociIndex, and a purposive sample of articles from various



Lessons from the Intersexed

"This is a brave book. Kessler says things that need to be said, and she says them clearly, concisely, and with respect for the people whose lives are most affected by the questions she confronts. A

Sexing the Intersexed: An Analysis of Sociocultural Responses to Intersexuality

  • S. Preves
  • Sociology
    Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
  • 2002
explore here the social construction of gender in North America through an analysis of contemporary and historical responses to infants who are born genitally ambiguous, or intersexed

The Medical Construction of Gender: Case Management of Intersexed Infants

Physicians who handle the cases of intersexed infants consider several factors beside biological ones in determining, assigning, and announcing the gender of a particular infant.

Androgens and masculinization of genitalia in the spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta). 2. Effects of prenatal anti-androgens.

Pregnant spotted hyaenas were treated with anti-androgens to interfere with the unusually masculine 'phallic' development that characterizes females of this species, and the present data suggest that development of the male penis and scrotum and the female clitoris and pseudoscrotum, in spotted hyAenas may involve both androgen-dependent and androgen -independent components.

Mammals in Which Females are Larger Than Males

  • K. Ralls
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    The Quarterly Review of Biology
  • 1976
Present knowledge about the species of mammals in which females are larger than males is quite rudimentary and much more information is needed before the authors will be able to speak of the selective pressures accounting for the phenomenon with any reasonable degree of certainty.

Androgens and masculinization of genitalia in the spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta). 1. Urogenital morphology and placental androgen production during fetal life.

Investigating the timing of urogenital development and placental production of androgen during early and mid-gestation concluded that androgen is produced by the placenta and secreted into the fetal circulation from early in pregnancy when masculinization is first evident, before differentiation of the fetal ovary.

Siblicide revisited in the spotted hyaena: does it conform to obligate or facultative models?

It is found that, although sex compositions of hyaena litters averaged over the entire 10-year period did not differ from those predicted by chance, they did vary with environmental conditions, which are inconsistent with the widely accepted hypothesis that spotted hyaenas in same-sex litters routinely engage in siblicide.

Hormonal correlates of 'masculinization' in female spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta). 1. Infancy to sexual maturity.

Gonadectomy (two males and four females) at 4-7 months resulted in nondetectable concentrations of testosterone and oestrogen and a marked attenuation in androstenedione, indicating that the gonads are the major source of these three steroids.

Androgens and masculinization of genitalia in the spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta). 3. Effects of juvenile gonadectomy.

It is suggested that postnatal phallic growth is largely independent of gonadal steroids, with oestrogenic facilitation of female-typical clitoral characteristics in spotted hyaenas.

Science and belief: psychobiological research on sexual orientation.

  • W. Byne
  • Psychology, Biology
    Journal of homosexuality
  • 1995
Support for biological theories of sexual orientation derives as much from their appeal to prevailing cultural ideology as from their scientific merit, which may explain why seriously flawed studies pass readily through the peer review process and become incorporated rapidly into the biologically deterministic canon where they remain viable even when replication attempts repeatedly fail.