Classification: News

January 1998


"Difference or Defect? Intersexuality and the politics
of Difference" in The Annual of The Society of Christian Ethics

Karen Lebacqz Ph.D.

Robert Gordon Sproul Professor of Theological Ethics

Pacific School of Religion


Under current medical practice, when a child is born intersex, sex is
assigned and medical/   surgical intervention is undertaken.
This practice is criticized by the Intersex Society of North  
America and by feminist scholars. Together they are creating a "politics
of difference" approach in which differences are not seen as "defects"
to be corrected. This paper analyzes the reasons offered in support of
current medical practice and of the politics of difference, and argues
for a move toward the latter. Crucial to the determination that this move
is warranted are justice concerns and the emergence of support groups and
technologies that allow geographically separated individuals        
to form a relevant "group."

Request offprints from Audrey Englert <>

Lebacqz, Karen. 1997. Difference or defect? Intersexuality

and the politics of difference. The Annual of The Society

of Christian Ethics:213-229.