Simone de Beauvoir's Le Deuxi_me Sexe has been studied extensively since its appearance in 1949. Through the years, certain passages have taken on prestige; others are seen as unimportant to understanding Beauvoir's argument. In Toward a Phenomenology of Sexual Difference, Sara HeinSmaa rediscovers those neglected passages in her quest to follow Beauvoir's line of thinking. HeinSmaa, like some other recent philosophers, finds that Le Duexi_me Sexe is a philosophical inquiry, not the empirical study it is commonly thought to be. Others who view Beauvoir's masterpiece as a work of philosophy argue it is a criticism not only of Sartrean phenomenology, but of phenomenology as a whole. HeinSmaa thinks differently. She finds that Beauvoir's starting point is the Husserlian idea of the living body that she found developed in Merleau-Ponty's PhZnomZnologie de la perception. So when Beavoir wrote Le Duexi_me Sexe, she was writing not as Sartre's pupil, but as a scholar in the tradition of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty.