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Intersexuality and the LawWhy Sex Matters$
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Julie A. Greenberg

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814731895

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814731895.001.0001

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(p.11) 1 Surgical and Hormonal Creation of the Binary Sex Model

(p.11) 1 Surgical and Hormonal Creation of the Binary Sex Model

(p.11) 1 Surgical and Hormonal Creation of the Binary Sex Model
Intersexuality and the Law

Julie A. Greenberg

NYU Press

This chapter examines the dominant treatment protocol for infants with an intersex condition that first emerged in the middle of the twentieth century and remained largely unchanged for five decades. It considers the assumptions about sex, gender, and disability that have shaped medical practices, along with the recent challenges launched against these common practices. The chapter begins with an overview of sex differentiation, with particular emphasis on the typical sex differentiation path and variations of sex development. It then discusses the evolution of the medical determinants of sex from gonads to genitalia and proceeds by analyzing the challenges to the practice of altering infants with an intersex condition via surgery. In particular, it explores questions surrounding gender identity, medical interventions to create cosmetically acceptable genitalia, and psychologically harmful practices.

Keywords:   treatment protocol, infants, intersex condition, sex, gender, sex differentiation, gonads, genitalia, surgery, gender identity

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