The article mainly discusses the life of being born as a hermaphrodite and the contradictions that medical management and medical investigators have on them. The author of the article, Anne Fausto-Sterling, believes that hermaphrodites are human too and that the medical field should only worry about the hermaphrodite’s health conditions rather than their physical appearance. The article states that Western culture strongly agrees that there are only two sexes, so being a hermaphrodite is none existing. They are simply unexplored by science itself (pg. 2). Sterling believes that hermaphrodites have needs as well as problems that need to be met and that they deserve to be accounted for as sexes. The five sexes that are being discussed are male, female, and intersex. Intersex is described as a catch-all category for the subgroups that share both male and female characteristics. That creates the term hermaphrodite (herms), which are people who have both male and female parts. The second subgroup is called male pseudo hermaphrodites (merms) which are people who are born with mostly male parts. The third subgroup is called female pseudo hermaphrodites (ferms) who are those who mainly have female organs. The article focuses on the structure of how hermaphrodites are classified. Ferms, which are the females, are mainly female because they still develop a menstrual cycle during puberty but if they do not take any medication for their disorder, they would develop traits as a
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In this section of chapter 3 Georgian Davis talks about the power the medical field had on the topic of the intersex body. Georgina set up an interview at a pediatric medical center with Dr. I who was a well-known expert of the intersex body. After the publication of the “Consensus Statement of Management of Intersex Disorders” intersex language had been replaced with the terminology DSD (Disorders of Sex Development) in the medical profession. As mentioned in chapter 2 she reiterates critiques that the medical field have undergone based on their inability to diagnose honesty to people with intersex traits. She noted that the medical profession can either do harm or good to the intersex community based on its position in the level of gender structure. In the medical profession, there was not always a form of naming abnormalities. It began with the Greeks and continued into the 18th century until they created a classification of the many medical traits. Sociologist Phil Brown argues that for there to be diagnostics there has two be two parts to complete it. One the diagnosis is technique which includes forming the classification by using various tasks and techniques. While the work diagnosis includes clinical evaluations and task. By using this form of diagnosis, we can better understand intersexuality.
In her article "The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female Are Not Enough," Anne Fausto-Sterling describes why male and female gender identities are not sufficient in identifying the sexes of every individual. While “Western culture is [still] deeply committed to the idea that there are only two sexes" (20), Fausto-Sterling challenges this viewpoint by determining that there are more than just two sexes, but “at least five sexes– and perhaps even more” (21). According to Fausto-Sterling, these five (or more) sexes lie on a much wider sexual spectrum, where male and female are not the only biological sexes. It so happens that there is a small number of people who are born intersex: having both male and female sex organs or other sexual characteristics
“I'm not like other girls,and I don't want to be. The person who people want me to be isn't who I am, but that doesn't mean I'm going to change my gender to fit the stereotypes. I'm going to remain a girl who loves boy things” (Anonymous). Science has crossed the line with gender reassignment surgery. The process of gender reassignment surgery is an unnecessary mutilation. It reinforces gender stereotypes. Also there is no scientific proof that the ‘disease’ that people claim to have even exist.
In “Intro-How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States,” Joanne Meyerowitz writes about the beginnings of transsexuality. She beings the article by defining cross-gender identification, as “the sense of being the other sex, and the desire to live as the other sex” (Meyerowitz 432), while transsexuality, “being the quest to transform the bodily characteristics of sex via hormones and surgery” (Meyerowitz 432). According to Meyerowitz, transsexuality began in the early 20th century. Experiments on changing sex, began in europe on animals. Then in 1920, on humans. Joanne Meyerowitz writes that “the debate on the visibility and mutability of sex” began after Christine Jorgensen, an american who went to Denmark to get a sex change in 1950, became a media sensation in America. While professionals were figuring this out, people “who identified as transsexuals, transvestites, lesbians, and gay men” (Meyerowitz 433) were having the conversation and creating the language within themselves. This conversation on sex change, occurred alongside the sexual revolution in the 60’s, opening “the movement of the organizing of programs, clinics, conferences, and associations to promote study of and treatment for transsexuals” (Meyerowitz 434).
Only 5% of these females experienced gender dysphoria- which shows that other factors are important in gender development and that hormones weren’t a key factor of determining gender in this study. This criticism of the biological approach shows that it is too reductionist, in that it ignores other factors. As well it is deterministic, as it reduces human behaviour down to simply biology and the act of hormones on gender development, ignoring social and cultural influence.
People with gender Identity crises do not feel their genitalia reflects who they are inside. They may feel a powerful drive to have their genitalia match their self-image opting for sex reassignment surgery. Gender expression is far more relaxed than it has been throughout our history in America, but it still poses a problems for some on a daily basis. Gender expression is one area where women have a social advantage over men. It is far more socially acceptable for a woman to dress masculine than for a man to dress feminine; although neither are without predigests.
A person’s sex is determined on the basis of three fundamental human physiognomies, chromosomes (XX for a female and XY for a male), gonads (ovaries for females and testes for males) and the obvious being genitals (vagina for a females and a penis for males). However socially, gender identity is formulated on the grounds of stereotypical roles from both
Disorders of sex development (DSD) are cases where there is a discordance of genetic sex and internal and/or external sex organs at birth related to suppression of, or overexposure to sex hormones in utero. DSDs can also stem from insensitivity to androgens. When these hormonal abnormalities occur, the best general description is that either internal or external genitalia do not form or do not form correctly. In some cases, for example, female genitalia may have a more masculine appearance or the girl may present with both male and female external genitalia, but no internal components such as a uterus (Helgeson, 2012). Wisniewski specifies that study of DSD has provided a greater understanding and appreciation of the impact of hormones on behavior, which has in part caused a reassessment of DSD-related treatments. However, she also emphasizes that socialization and learning have significant influence on gender and gender-role development, but only when prenatal androgen exposure is not a factor. Wisniewski added that she would like to see a gender marker that could be identified from birth and used as part of the formula for predicting gender development. Unfortunately, her own research demonstrates far too much societal and cultural involvement in gender and gender-role development
The patient reported that he had never felt comfortable in his own skin and was exclusively attracted to females (Bradley, S.J., Oliver, G. D., Chernick, A. B,, & Zucker, K. J., 1998). This case study displays that genetic factors have a higher effect on gender identity than modeling or parental rearing. Despite the social and environmental factors rearing her to be a girl he always showed his masculinity. This study is interesting and should also be included in transsexual studies.
ASI (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome) or also known as Intersex is a situation many people are unware of. As for myself I wasn’t really aware of the whole situation of how the process goes along and everything that comes with it. Reading Davis Consenting Intersex and Pagonis story I read the troubles of every that they were being told since, the day day of their birth. Both their parents were being lied to or for better words not being told the truth. I understand that this situation is very difficult and I would like to believe that as Doctors that you take this situation very seriously and try to make the best choice on how to come of it. Unfortunately, from reading the personal stories that’s is not the issue.
Between the Sexes is a compelling narrative. Through several anecdotes, it illustrates the devastating psychological implications of early surgical intervention on intersexuals. According to the article, the surgery robs individuals of their sexual gratification, their gender identity, and their innocence. It's argument is noble, yet flawed. Authors Christine Gorman and Wendy Cole spin several sad yarns of intersexed people who are upset with handling of their gender assignment. They tell horror stories of people kept in the dark about their intersex, about a child forced to stop acting like a boy and become a girl, a teen who was raised to be a girl, but developed into a male. Gorman and Cole stumble into the fallacy of hasty
Through examining the ways intersex individuals are treated in a medical setting, one can see how science only allows binary bodies to be created. Crawley et al. (2007) discusses intersex individuals and the standard treatment of intersex children, being to alter their ‘abnormal’ genitalia to resemble one of the two genders. This has become the normal treatment as if this is necessary, but the only threat the child is in danger of is not fitting perfectly into the heteronormative standard of correct genitalia. Because surgical intervention proves we alter and change one’s sex, it becomes difficult to claim that sex and gender are solely biological, when clearly one’s gender and sex becomes largely altered the moment they are born into society. Anne Fausto Sterling, outlines her concept of the five sexes, explaining that intersex is a term used to describe any individual that doesn’t fit into the narrow categories of male and female. She explains that the same process that was in play in the Middle Ages is
There are a variety of vulnerable populations that exist in today’s struggling society. There are groups that are more vulnerable for certain illnesses or death and individuals that are segregated or treated differently because their preferred sexual interests and habits. This discussion will cover the definition of vulnerable population with the focus primarily on transvestites. The transvestite demographics and my personal awareness of this vulnerable population will be viewed with my personal attitudes and the health care delivery can be affected. I will give my own reflection toward this particular group including my perception before and after becoming more familiarized.
Intersexual disorders though rare have occurred throughout history. The victims of the condition were labeled Hermaphrodites after the Greek son of Hermes and Aphrodite, who was succumbed by the water nymph Salmacis and transformed into an androgynous being. Today, disorders of sexual differentiation (DSDs) occur at a rate of about 1.7% worldwide annually (Larson, 2011). It is defined to include congenital conditions in which development of chromosomal, gonadal, or anatomical sex is atypical. The treatment of individuals born with this anomaly differs in various regions of the world. The responses to the condition vary from being put to death, to being admired and called upon to give advice in the battle of the sexes.
Gender: a word society uses far too often without realizing its true complicated meaning. Children are born every day and the golden question becomes “Is it a boy or a girl?” What would a person do if they heard their child was neither or both? According to the National Institutes of Health, “One out of every 2,000 kids is born with genitals that cannot be clearly identified as male or female.” These types of children are called “Intersex”, and they break the boundary of gender identification. Intersex is a broad category for many situations where an individual’s genital or reproductive anatomy, or chromosomal pattern, lies between the normal standards of both male and female. The prefix “inter” stands for between; therefore, the simple definition of intersex is “between the sexes.” Intersex conditions usually result from a genetic