Intersex Narratives

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Intersex Narratives:
A Critical Analysis of the Social Construction of Sexuality

Victoria Fulton
GNDS 215
TA: Aarzoo Singh
October 15th, 2013

A binary model of sex is a seemingly universal truism for many, despite “human and animal biology calling this distinction into question” (Karkazis 2008:31). This example and belief of two distinct sexes is a concept that is quite obvious and natural to most individuals, which is why individuals that fall outside of this binary classification can be quite “incomprehensible to many” (Karkazis 2008:31). An intersexed individual, or a hermaphrodite, is someone who is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy
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Narratives are defining aspect of Preves piece on intersexuality as she uses the experiences of those directly affected by the stigma surrounding ambiguous genitalia to prove her point. Medical professionals within our society are often viewed as having an authoritative role and their opinions are rarely contested. Due to this, it is clear that their opinions help to shape the way individuals feel about themselves and how others should view them. When discussing Drew, who did not undergo medical sex reassignment, Preves addresses the fact that it was only after seeing a gynecologist that Drew felt her body was “different” (Preves 2013:28). This is due to the “authority of the doctor’s medical position”, which led Drew to reconsider her self-concept. Medical professionals are social agents, meaning they influence socialization and can impact what society views as normal and acceptable (Preves 2013:32), which is why Preves asserts that medical professionals have the ability to “normalize” sexual variation and reframe the way society views these differences. The issue is that individuals and society strive to classify individuals into groups. Being born with aspects of both sexes restricts one individual from easily defining another, and this is also true for societal views
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