Accepted paper:

Medicine meets the intersex body: the creation of sex and the creation of a disorder

Authors:

Sorcha Ui Chonnachtaigh (Keele University)

Paper short abstract:

The work of Karkazis (2008) unequivocally shows the medical invention of sex (in modern times) and the work of Dreger (1998) demonstrates that when the intersex body meets with "medical men", it is the subject of examination, fascination, and dispute. Ultimately, medics decide the "true" sex.

Paper long abstract:

The work of Karkazis (2008) unequivocally demonstrates the medical invention of sex (in modern times) and the work of Dreger (1998) has shown that when the intersex(ed) body meets with "medical men", it is the subject of examination, fascination, and dispute. More recently, medical professionals have moved away from the historical and pejorative term hermaphroditism to Disorders of Sexual Development. This terminology may seem scientific, medical but the focus on sex ought to be interrogated. The focus on sex and the sexual function of the intersex body makes the intersex person's sex itself disordered. Medical attention and intervention may well be required for medical problems affecting health and physical function. Sex is not the proper subject of medical investigation and categorisation. Using Foucault and others, I will show that sex is as much a social construction as gender and, thus, not the business of medicine.

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Stream:
Discovery, discussion and decision
Medicine meets the sexed body: Discovering, diagnosing, producing and shaping