A journal of academic theology

Jonathan Heaps

Statistically Ordered: Gender, Sexual Identity, and the Metaphysics of “Normal”

The recent call by Pope Francis for the church to develop a “theology of women” raises
more fundamental and prior questions about the very nature of gender and sexual
identity. Drawing on the metaphysics developed in Lonergan’s Insight and his heuristic
structure of a scale of values found in Method in Theology, this article explores these
prior questions in a way that avoids the extremes of either gender essentialism or of
complete gender fluidity. It proposes a form of heteronormativity that is statistically
structured allowing for a greater flexibility than suggested by gender essentialism,
while still constraining the social and cultural construction of gender within certain
biological realities. The authors also present Lonergan’s scale of values as a further
heuristic for anticipating the force of this constraint in a differentiated way.

Scroll to Top