Virtual Women: Ladyboys, Changing Sex in Thailand by Anne Beaumont is due for publication shortly and we’re very pleased to add this intelligent and thoughtful book to the YouCaxton list.
Why do some people reject the sexed bodies they were born into and transform themselves into women? Are the brains of men and women different? Is gender identity fixed at birth, is it learned behaviour or is it socially constructed? In this scholarly work, social anthropologist Anne Beaumont shows us that the answers to these prickly questions lie as much in the sphere of cultural difference as in that of science, and she constructs a new framework for gendering the body – one that centres solely on the individual.
Virtual Women takes us from England to Thailand, to the twilight zone of the bars where genders blend into a human hybrid – the Ladyboys (Kathoey) of Thailand who live betwixt and between in sex. Drawing on extensive empirical research and on interviews with Kathoey and with British transsexual women and with the surgeons and psychiatrists involved, Virtual Women brings a new understanding of the transgender phenomenon.