The nineteenth-century intersection of gender and science is of particular interest due to number and complexity of ways in which authors permitted ideological assumptions about gender to shape their presentations of scientific material. From this perspective, scientific publication was a theater in which to perform "the ideological work of gender," to borrow a phrase from literary critic Mary Poovey. This "ideological work" virtually always positioned healthy Victorian white women as either physically or psychologically inferior, or both, relative to men.
The assumption of female sex as a condition of essential deficit, at least when compared to the male norm, provided the backdrop for a variety of controversies related to the education of women; their fitness for work outside the home, including intellectual work, which was thought to be especially taxing; and the social and demographic effects of increasing numbers of women in the workforce. The following bibliography includes references to important textual records of these controversies.
The bibiography also includes a number of references from the medical literature. Of all the sciences, medicine was among the most conducive to the expression of gender bias in scientific terms. Of particular interest are publications devoted to the etiology and management of diseases considered specific to women, from neurasthenia and hysteria to puerperal fever. Notably, even ordinary processes like menstruation were often pathologized in terms of women's perceived biological inferiority.
Although the following bibliography lists sources that are representative of this rough typology, the list is hardly exhaustive, and some sources will fit into more than one category.
[Particularly important sources are marked with an asterisk.]
*Anderson, Elizabeth Garrett. "Sex in Mind and Education: A Reply. " Fortnightly Review 15 (1874): 82-95.
Aveling, James Hobson. English Midwives: Their History and Prospects. 1872.
Bliss, W. W. Woman and Her Thirty Year Pilgrimage. New York: William M. Littell, 1869.
Buckle, Henry Thomas. The Influence of Women on the Progress of Knowledge. 1858.
Carter, Robert B. On the Pathology and Treatment of Hysteria. London: John Churchill, 1853.
*Chadwick, Edwin. Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Laboring Population of Great Britain. London, 1842.
Clouston, T. S. "Female Education from a Medical Point of View." Popular Science Monthly 24 (December 1883): 322-33.
*Darwin, Charles. Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. London, 1871.
*Ellis, Havelock. Man and Woman: A Study of Secondary and Tertiary Sexual Characteristics. 1894.
Esquirol, E. A Treatise on Insanity. Trans. E. K. Hunt. 1845.
*Fuller, Margaret. Woman in the Nineteenth Century. 1845.
Geddes, Patrick and J. A. Thomson. The Evolution of Sex. W. Scott: London, 1889.
*Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Man-Made World or, Our Androcentric Culture. New York, 1911.
*Hardaker, M.A. "Science and the Woman Question." Popular Science Monthly 20 (March 1882): 578-584.
Hayek, F.A., ed. John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor, Their Correspondence and Subsequent Marriage. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951.
Higginson, Thomas Wentworth. Woman and the Alphabet. 1859.
Jacobi, Mary Putman. "Hysterical Fever." Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 15 (1890): 373-88.
Jones, E. L. Chlorosis: The Special Anemia of Young Women. London: Balliere, Tindall & Cox, 1897.
*Krafft-Ebing, R. von. Psychopathia Sexualis. London, 1886.
*Maudsley, Henry. "Sex in Mind and Education." Fortnightly Review 15 (1874): 466-83.
Meigs, Charles D. Females and Their Diseases. 1848.
Meigs, Charles D. Woman: Her Diseases and Remedies. 1859.
*Mill, John Stuart. The Subjection of Women. 1869.
Mitchell, S. Weir. Fat and Blood: An Essay on the Treatment of Certain Forms of Neurasthenia and Hysteria. 3rd edition, 1884.
Power, John. Essays on the Female Economy. London: Burgess and Hill, 1831.
Schreiner, Olive. Woman and Labour. London, 1911.
Skey, F. C. Hysteria. London, 1867.
Stevens, John. Man-Midwifery Exposed; or, The Danger and Immorality of Employing Men in Midwifery Proved; and the Remedy for the Evil Found . London, 1865.
Storer, Horatio. The Causation, Course, and Treatment of Reflex Insanity in Women. 1871.
Studley, W. H. "Is Menstruation a Disease?" American Journal of Obstetrics and Diseases of the Woman and Child 8 (1875): 487-512.
Thorburn, John. Female Education from a Medical Point of View. Manchester, 1884.
Tilt, Edward. On the Preservation of the Health of Women at Critical Periods of Life. London, 1851.
*Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. London, 1796.
Last modified 14 March 2013