Review of Ashley McGuire’s ‘Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female’

My review of Ashley McGuire’s recent book, Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female, has just been published over on The Gospel Coalition website.

McGuire explores numerous fronts of the current assault on the reality of sexual difference: children’s toys and education, cultural discourse around the terms “sex” and “gender,” colleges and their sexual culture, the military, emergency services, the entertainment industry, legal developments, social norms, and the gender identity movement. Each front is presented through a litany of journalistic anecdotes and symptomatic causes célèbres. Together they reveal a society fraught with conflict over one of the most basic human realities—the difference between men and women.

Read the whole thing here.

Some of you might be wondering about the fact that my recent TGC article on artificial wombs has the same title as the book I’ve just reviewed. This was my fault for pitching an idea for that post in the thread devoted to the review of McGuire’s book, the addition of a different TGC editor later in that email thread to deal with the artificial wombs post, and my failure to catch the use of the book’s title in the draft that I was sent of the article (yes, I know!). By the time I caught the error, it was too late to change it.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
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7 Responses to Review of Ashley McGuire’s ‘Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female’

  1. I’d love to know if there is a book that explores the philosophical and theological issues of sexual identity that you’d recommend?

  2. Harriet Connor says:

    Hi Alastair,
    I am fascinated by this topic. I look forward to reading your book.

    I have recently published a book of my own that might interest you. It’s a biblical theology of parenthood in conversation with (post)modern parenting trends. It is written for a general readership. It’s called “Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life”, published by an imprint of Wipf and Stock, USA (although I am Australian). I can get a copy to you if you are interested.

    I would like to gain some greater clarity on how the difference between the sexes plays out in parenthood – I wasn’t able to address this in depth in my book.

    • Thanks, Harriet!

      Your book sounds very interesting, on an extremely important subject too. I would love to read a copy (I’ll email you an address)!

      The differences between the sexes in parenthood, as they might relate to the differences between parenting sons and daughters, are in the hinterland of my area of interest and aren’t directly addressed in my book for the most part. The differences between the sexes as they relate to the differences between the parenthood of mothers or fathers are more commonly addressed in the book.

      It would be great to bounce thoughts off each other at the intersection between our areas of research.

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. p duggie says:

    I was thinking recently: Male and female are not just differentiated socially by the experience of gestation and childbirth that are experiences all women, whether fertile or not, have a connection to biologically and socially. Though this is a key noteworthy experience that they have in common that is definitive for them on a symbolic level (Levitcus 12) there is something else

    A man will have a flow from his flesh that ‘chanceth him by night” but a woman will have a flow of a different kind with a different experiential component.

    Food for thought. Hope you gesture at it in your book.

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