Bearing the Image of God: The Nature of the Human Person

Catholic Conscience presents:
A webinar in our Beauty of Creation series
Bearing the Image of God: The Nature of the Human Person
Ft. Professor Sonsoles de Lacalle
In Partnership with: Society of Catholic Scientists

We spoke with Professor Sonsoles de Lacalle – physician, neuroscientist, professor, and Chair of Health Science at California State University Channel Islands – about gender, sexuality and identity, highlighting the synthesis between rigorous science and the Catholic intellectual tradition. We discussed our sexually dimorphous nature, masculinity and femininity, our inherent complementarity, the purpose of sexuality, healthy development and the importance of the family, among other things.


Sonsoles de Lacalle obtained her M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Navarra (Spain) in Neuroscience. In 1990 she moved to the US with a Fulbright Fellowship to train in research at the University of Chicago. Her academic experience includes teaching and research in a medical setting (University of Chicago, Harvard Medical School, and Ohio University’s College of Medicine) and in predominantly undergraduate institutions (CSU Los Angeles, Charles Drew University and currently CSU Channel Islands).

Her research has focused on structural plasticity and brain responses to selective cell loss, and the extent to which the aged nervous system reacts to signals that can promote synaptogenesis and neural regeneration. Dr. de Lacalle has mentored undergraduate, graduate and medical school students, directed training programs and served as Program Director in NIH grants. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and has presented many invited lectures at international symposia and universities.


On identity

  • O’LEARY, Dale, The gender agenda. Redefining equality, Vital Issues Press, Lafayette (Louisiana) 1997
  • TAYLOR, Charles, Sources of the Self. The Making of the Modern Identity, Harvard University Press, Cambridge 1989
  • BURKE, Cormac, Man and Values: A Personalist Anthropology, Scepter Publishers, New York 2008
  • TRIGG, Roger, Ideas of Human Nature. An Historical Introduction, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford 1999
  • O’CALLAGHAN, Paul, Children of God in the World. Introduction to Theological Anthropology. Catholic University of America Press, 2016
  • MACHOWSKI, Marty, God Made Boys and Girls: Helping Children Understand the Gift of Gender. New Growth Press; 1st edition, September 2, 2019
  • ANDERSON, Ryan T., When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment. Encounter Books, 2019
  • SHRIER, Abigail, Irreversible damage: the transgender craze seducing our daughters. Regnery Publishing, 2020.
  • THE COMMISSION ON CHILDREN AT RISK, Hardwired to connect. The new scientific case for authoritative communities. Published by the Institute for American Values, 2002.
  • AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PEDIATRICIANS, Gender ideology harms children. In:, 2017.
  • SAMUEL, Ana, Sex, Gender and Identity.
  • Heyer, Walter, “I Was a Transgender Woman”, Public Discourse, 2015,
  • De Solenni, Pia, A Hermeneutic of Aquinas’ Mens Through a Sexually Differentiated Epistemology of Woman as Imago Dei, Apollinare Studi, 2000.
  • JOYCE, Helen, “The New Patriarchy: How Trans Radicalism Hurts Women, Children—and Trans People Themselves”, Quillette, December 4, 2018
  • SULLIVAN, Andrew, “The nature of sex”. NY Magazine 2019,
  • TRUEMAN, Carl R., The rise and triumph of the modern self: cultural amnesia, expressive individualism and the road to sexual revolution. Crossway 2020
  • PLUCKROSE, H. and LINDSAY, J., Cynical theories. Pitchstone Publishing 2020
  • SOHL, D., The end of gender. Debunking the myths about sex and identity in our society. Threshold Editions, 2020.
  • MITHEN, Steven, The singing Neanderthals: the origins of music, language, mind and body. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2005

On theology of the body

On creation

  • HAFFNER, P., Mystery of Creation, Gracewing/Fowler Wright Books, Leominster (England) 1995
  • RATZINGER, J., In the Beginning…: a Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, T & T Clark, Edinburgh 1995
  • ELDERS, L.J., The Philosophy of Nature of St. Thomas Aquinas. Nature, the Universe, Man. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1997
  • SCHMAUS, M., God and Creation, Sheed & Ward, London 1969
  • WHITNEY,W.B., “Beginnings: Why the doctrine of Creation Matters for the Integration of Psychology and Christianity”. In:
  • JAKI, S.L., Cosmos and Creator, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh 1980.
  • THOMAS, Joseph, An Introduction to the Theology of Creation, Scepter Publishers
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