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Abstract: The cosmologies of many cultures use gender as symbolic for polar attributes of human consciousness. The author presents a developmental neurobiological theory to account for the non-arbitrary way in which this attribution comes about, and applies the theory to an explanation of the symbolic use of gender in Tibetan tantric Buddhism. He concludes by discussing the implications of the theory for understanding the effects of positive and negative pre- and perinatal experiences upon the development of gender identity.


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