Gender studies : Intersex by Catherine Harper

Hart, Phoebe (2008) Gender studies : Intersex by Catherine Harper. M/C Journal.

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Abstract

Intersex is the condition whereby an individual is born with biological features that are simultaneously perceived as male and female. Ranging from the ambiguous genitalia of the true 'hermaphrodite' to the 'mildly or internally intersexed', the condition may be as common as cleft palate. Like cleft palate, it is hidden and surgically altered, but for very different reasons.

Intersex draws heavily on the personal testimony of intersexed individuals, their loved ones and medical carers. The impact of early sex-assignment surgery on an individual's later life is examined within the context of ethical and clinical questions. Harper challenges the conventional and radical 'treatment' of intersexuality through non-consensual infant sex-assignment surgery. In doing so, she exposes powerful myths, taboos and constructions of gender - the perfect phallus, a bi-polar model of gender and the infallibility of medical decisions. Handling sensitive material with care, this book deepens our understanding of a condition that has itself only been medically understood in recent years.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 66842
Item Type: Review
Refereed: No
Keywords: ethics, intersex, gender, taboo
ISSN: 1441-2616
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Human Rights and Justice Issues (220104)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > OTHER PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (229900) > Philosophy and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified (229999)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Disciplines > Film & Television
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 M/C Publication
Deposited On: 04 Feb 2014 00:35
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2014 00:35

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