Date of Award

5-9-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Peter Lindsay

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrew Altman

Third Advisor

Dr. Sandra Dwyer

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Christie Hartley

Abstract

Against Sally Haslanger’s influential position, I argue that gender is not needed to ensure the just treatment of sexually differentiated human bodies. Gender is only needed if the just treatment of socially important sexual differences is most effectively realized through the use of gender terms, such as “woman” or “man.” In light of this aforementioned condition, I assess the following phenomena: sex differences relevant to health and medicine, reproduction, and childcare. In all of these cases, compared to gender terms, non-gender terms, such as “female,” “pregnant person,” or “lactating person,” more simply and accurately capture the morally relevant features of socially important sexually specific phenomena. For this reason, I find that the gender is not needed for justice.

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