Graduate Papers/Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology


School of Theology and Seminary

First Advisor

William Cahoy

Second Advisor

Helen Rolfson, OSF


This study explores the way in which ancient physiological theories influenced female gender definition, both psychologically and practically. Special emphasis is placed on the ascetic understanding of both the effects of food restriction in the female body and the goals of "becoming male" and the disappearance of gender differentiation. This investigation focuses on the physical effects of food deprivation, the theological understanding of gender and the ideal of virginity.


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