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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Professor Gerard Loughlin

Loughlin, Gerard (2018). "Gender Ideology: For a ‘Third Sex’ Without Reserve". Studies in Christian Ethics 31(4): 471-482.

Author(s) from Durham


‘Gender ideology’ is a term used by many, but especially the Vatican, to chastise the view that sexual difference is more than just male and female, sexuality more than desire of the opposite. Each of the three books discussed in this article defends some version of this supposed ideology; each argues—though in different ways—for the need to move beyond a dimorphic account of sexual difference. Their arguments are taken up and deployed against what is here presented as the ideology of sexual dimorphism, as it is seen in the body theology of John Paul II. It is argued that such a theology dehumanises intersexed people, along with homosexuals, and undermines Christian soteriology. The church needs to acknowledge as fully human all who don’t conform to heterosexual dimorphism; it needs to embrace a ‘third sex’ without reserve.