Article ID: CBB001450724

Sexual Differentiation in Tibetan Medical and Buddhist Perspectives (2011)


Classical Tibetan medicine is closely related to Buddhist philosophy. This article describes how the study and meaning of sexual differentiation in Tibetan medicine is deeply rooted in Buddhist texts and philosophy. The article pays particular attention to the Buddhist theory of mutual dependence of birth and death and on the medical ways of explaining the determining of sex. While Tibetan medicine approaches sexual differentiation by examining its various determinant factors, thus aiming to improve understanding of the human body and diseases, which manifest differently in men and women, in Buddhist philosophy sexual differentiation is perceived as a fundamental, natural phenomenon of human life that forms a key in Tantric practices to comprehend the nature of mind and thence attaining the highest state of mind. The article consists of a translation of the first chapter of a Tibetan medical book on obstetrics, including a newly written introduction to the Buddhist interpretive frame employed in the chapter.

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Authors & Contributors
Gyatso, Janet
Fausto-Sterling, Anne
Yoeli-Tlalim, Ronit
Garrett, Frances Mary
Hubbard, Thomas K.
Klöppel, Ulrike
Micrologus: Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
History of Religions
Classical World
Journal of the History of Biology
Journal of the History of Sexuality
Basic Books
Harvard University Press
Ashgate Publishing
Columbia University Press
Sex differences
Science and gender
Medicine and religion
Morgan, Thomas Hunt
Riddle, Oscar
Goldschmidt, Richard Benedict
Saṅs-rgya-rgya-mtsho, Sde-srid
Bordeu, Théophile de
Diderot, Denis
Great Britain
20th century
18th century
19th century
20th century, early
17th century

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