Intersex and Identity: The Contested Self

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Rutgers University Press, 2003 - Psychology - 213 pages
"With sensitivity and solid critical analysis, Intersex and Identity brings to the fore the long-ignored voices of people with intersex conditions. This is an important and accessible book for all, including 'patients, ' parents, clinicians, activists, scholars, and novice students."-Cheryl Chase, Founder of the Intersex Society of North America "In Intersex and Identity Preves has produced the most up-to-date, comprehensive account available of what it is like to grow up and live with a body that isn't simply male or female. This work is compassionate, intelligent, and beautifully written, and promises to be well read and highly valued."-Alice Dreger, author of Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex "Sharon Preves's analysis of her interviews with adult intersexuals illuminates the power of the coming out process in transforming stigma into pride. This book is an invaluable resource in the ongoing discourse on the clinical management of intersexuality."-Walter Bockting, assistant professor, Program in Human Sexuality, University of Minnesota Medical School Approximately one in every two thousand infants born in the United States each year is sexually ambiguous in such a way that doctors cannot immediately determine the child's sex. Some children's chromosomal sexuality contradicts their sexual characteristics. Others have the physical traits of both sexes, or of neither. Drawing upon life history interviews with adults who were treated for intersexuality as children, Sharon E. Preves explores how such individuals 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 argues that medical intervention into intersexuality often creates, rather than mitigates, the stigma these people suffer. Sharon E. Preves is an associate professor of sociology at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
 

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Contents

Beyond Pink and Blue
1
Illustrations
17
Medical Sex Assignment
23
Typical sexual differentiation of the external organs
25
Stigma Secrecy and Shame
60
Variation in physical appearance of five patients with Turners Syndrome
71
Seeds of Change
87
Newsletter cover Hermapirodites with Attitudes 1994
94
Intersex Pride
125
Implications of Intersex Mobilization
144
Methodological Appendix
159
Notes
173
Glossary
189
An Anomaly Finds a Group New York Times
193
References J 93
207
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