Alice Dreger, Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Michigan State University and adjunct faculty at the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, brings us this study of how and why medical and scientific men have construed sex, gender, and sexuality as they have.
The so-called twins, or John/Joan case, is one of the most famous in modern medicine and the social sciences, cited repeatedly over the past thirty years as proof that our sense of being male or female is not inborn but primarily the result of how we are raised.
This special issue of Chrysalis: Journal of Transgressive Gender Identities is guest-edited by intersex activists and is completely devoted to addressing intersex issues.
Chase, Cheryl. 1997. Special issue on intersexuality. Chrysalis: The Journal of Transgressive Gender Identities, Fall/Winter.
Chrysalis was the journal of the American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc., now Gender Education & Advocacy.
Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Disorders of Sex Development in Childhood is a handbook for health care professionals who provide care to pediatric patients with Disorders of Sex Development. It is also a valuable resource for health professional students, educators, parents of children with DSDs, and adults with DSDs.
The companion Handbook for Parents is a resource that physicians can give parents to aid in understanding and adjusting to the child’s needs.
The Clinical Guidelines have been produced by a consortium consisting mainly of clinical specialists with expeience in helping patients with DSDs, adults with DSDs, and family members (especially parents) of children with DSDs.
Consortium on the Management of Disorders of Sex Differentiation (2006). Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Disorders of Sex Development in Childhood.
Rohnert Park, Intersex Society of North America.
Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology : A Multidisciplinary Approach. Essentially an intersex textbook with a significant emphasis on psychological care (and on issues such as psychological support) with chapters by clinical psychologists like Lih-Mei Liao, Julie Alderson and Polly Carmichael.
Balen, Adam H., Sarah M. Creighton, Melanie C. Davies, Jane MacDougall, and Richard Stanhope, eds. 2004. Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology : A Multidisciplinary Approach: Cambridge University Press.
From the author, Lisa Lees:
Carys has never willingly worn a dress and Jami, who has, is intersexed. Teenage love is never easy, but for Carys and Jami love is an often terrifying journey in self-discovery and trust.
Carys, a senior, meets home-schooled Jami at a week-long Arts
Camp where she is clowning (as a tramp named Lovelorn) and
Jami is helping teach a photography course. Carys is immediately attracted to Jami and boldly sets out to determine if the interest might be mutual. Jami surprises herself by telling Carys that she is intersexed, and so begins a sometimes very emotional process of figuring out what it would mean for Carys and Jami to be in love, and eventually to make love. They continue to see each other when the Arts Camp ends, becoming involved in each other’s activities and interests.
The Handbook for Parents (a companion to Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Disorders of Sex Development in Childhood.) is a resource that physicians can give parents to aid in understanding and adjusting to the child’s needs. The Handbook addresses the many questions and emotions parents have upon learning that their child has some kind of disorder of sex development (called a DSD for short).
Written in plain language, the book offers background information on child development, how to talk with the child and others about his or her DSD, and reproducible information pages to give family and others important in the child’s world.
Common questions are answered, and the handbook provides guidance for preparing parents and the child for doctor’s appointments and the value of keeping a journal.
Espeically insightful are the generously shared thoughts and experiences of other parents and of adults with DSDs.
Consortium on the Management of Disorders of Sex Differentiation (2006). Handbook for Parents. Rohnert Park, Intersex Society of North America. (133 pages).
Hermaphrodites with Attitude was the occasional newsletter of ISNA, published from December 1994 thru Spring 2003. Here are all the back issues, in pdf form.
This collection of 21 articles is designed to serve as a state-of-the art reference book for intersexuals, their parents, health care professionals, ethics committee members, and anyone interested in problems associated with intersexuality. It fills an important need because of its uniqueness as an interdisciplinary effort, bringing together not just urologists and endocrinologists, but gynecologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, lawyers, theologians, gender theorists, medical historians, and philosophers. Most contributors are well-known experts on intersexuality in their respective fields. The book is also unique in that it is also an international effort, including authors from England, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, India, Canada and the United States. The book begins with introductory chapters on the etiology of intersex conditions, conceptual clarification, legal issues, and reflections about the inherent characteristics of medical care that have led up to the issues we face today and explain the resistance to change in traditional practices. Researchers provide recent data on gender identity, surgical outcomes, and appropriate clinical care. Issues never having been addressed are introduced. The significance of intersexuality for Christianity and for philosophical concerns with authenticity add further depth to the collection. The final chapters deal with future possibilities in the treatment of intersex and for intersex advocacy.
In Intersex and Identity: The Contested Self, sociologist Sharon Preves explores how people with intersex conditions experience and cope with being labeled sexual deviants in a society that demands sexual conformity. By demonstrating how intersexed people manage and create their own identities, often in conflict with their medical diagnosis, Preves shows that medical intervention into intersexuality often creates, rather than mitigates, the stigma these people suffer.