Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex
By (author) Alice Domurat Dreger
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Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex by Alice Domurat Dreger
Book DescriptionThis text explores encounters between hermaphrodites - people born with "ambigious" sexual anatomy - and the medical and scientific professionals who grappled with them. Alice Dreger focuses on events in France and Britain in the late 19th century, a moment of great tension for question of sex roles. While the feminists, homosexuals, and anthropological explorers openly questioned the natures and purposes of the two sexes, anatomical hermaphrodites suggested a deeper question: just how many human sexes are there? Ultimately hermaphrodites led doctors and scientists to another surprisingly difficult question: what is sex, really? The book takes the reader inside the doctor's chamber to see how and why medical and scientific men constructed sex, gender, and sexuality as they did, and especially how the material conformation of hermaphroditic bodies - when combined with social exigencies - forced peculiar constructions. Throughout the book Dreger indicates how this history can help us to understand present-day conceptualizations of sex, gender, and sexuality. This leads to an epilogue, where the author discusses and questions the protocols employed today in the treatment of intersexuals. Given the history recounted by her, should these protocols be reconsidered and revised?
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674001893
(235mm x 155mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2000
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Alice Domurat Dreger
One of Us, Paperback (November 2005)» View all books by Alice Domurat Dreger
One of Us views conjoined twinning and other 'abnormalities' from the point of view of people living with such anatomies, and considers these issues within the larger historical context of anatomical politics.
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Author Biography - Alice Domurat Dreger
Alice Domurat Dreger is Visiting Associate Professor in Medical Humanities and Bioethics in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Director of Medical Education at the Intersex Society of North America.
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