Public Affairs Policy

Critical intersex by Morgan Holmes

By Morgan Holmes

To this point, intersex reports has no longer bought the scholarly awareness it merits as study during this region has been targeted round definite key questions, students and nation-states. Exploring formerly ignored territories, this booklet broadens the scope of intersex reviews, when adopting views that flip the gaze of the liberal, humanist, medical outlook upon itself, for you to reconfigure debates approximately rights, autonomy and subjectivity, and demanding situations the authorized paradigms of intersex id politics. featuring the newest theoretical and empirical study from a world crew of specialists, this can be a actually interdisciplinary quantity containing serious methods from either the arts and social sciences. With its contributions to sociology, anthropology, drugs, legislations, historical past, cultural stories, psychology and psychoanalysis, severe Intersex will attract students and scientific practitioners alike.

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The norm—that, for example, males must stand to urinate and must have penises over a particular length—is reproduced through its repeated articulation (Butler 1993, FaustoSterling 2000). It does not exist as a prior fact. The norm—that, for example, females cannot have a clitoris over a particular length and that a girl should have a vagina—is surgically reproduced at the expense of genital sensation, at the expense of the child’s experience of growing up with intact sexual anatomy, at the expense of the child’s opportunity to avoid being medicalized.

A more current text states: ‘[the birth of an infant] with ambiguous genitalia … creates tremendous anxiety for the parents’ (Warne 2004: 97), and part of the health professionals’ role in this situation involves ‘management of the distressed parents, who become patients themselves’ (97). Similarly, a text on genitoplasty for infants with CAH, states that surgery is undertaken ‘mainly for psychological reasons for the parents and the child. It is quite traumatic for the mother to see her daughter’s abnormal genitalia at each nappy change’ (Conway and Mouriquand 2004: 318).

What is less likely to be mentioned is the experience of the intersex adult in terms of sexually intimate relationships (Creighton 2004),12 and their reflections on how their sexual anatomy figures in those relationships and whether or not, from that point 12 For an exception, see Minto et al. (2001). 34 Clinical Intervention and Embodied Subjectivity of view, the surgery they went through as infants was worthwhile. 13 If imaginary bodies offer the idea of embodiment as a process through which one makes sense of, and becomes through one’s body, drawing on culturally available images and symbols, then the possibility of queer embodiment is potentially part of the range of what is available.

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